Our Middle School Community

Ages 12-15

Guidepost's mixed-age community is tailored to meet the unique developmental needs of adolescents. With a holistic focus on the student, Guidepost gives adolescents the academic, personal, and social tools they need to flourish in high school — and beyond.

Adolescence is a critical period of development. Middle schoolers are constantly growing in higher-order thinking skills, peer relationships, personal responsibility, and more. They're searching for their place in the world and beginning to form the values that will shape their lives.

Guidepost's middle school program helps ground young adolescents and allows them to develop and flourish. With a unique blend of purposeful academics and supported, self-directed personal growth, our environment engages students and gives them an active role in building their very best selves.

From Ideas to Action

Embracing Montessori's principle of following the child, students' curriculum can grow as their own interests do. Passion projects like writing a novel or building a website are a part of students' school days. There's room to discover new ambitions, too. Students plan off-campus excursions, such as visits to a lab or a law firm, and pursue projects, such as starting a podcast or launching a school business. As students explore their individual interests, coaches support them in translating ideas into action.

Academics

Guidepost middle school students benefit from a blend of purposeful academics and self-regulated learning. They build internalized understanding that leads them to lifelong application of concepts and skills. We offer a curriculum in core academic disciplines:

  • In math, algebraic thinking is recognized as the model of human reasoning. Our individualized curriculum covers pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry and integrates Python computer programming.

  • History gives students the chance to grapple with ideas that shape culture and politics, past, present, and future. We focus on American and/or world history by campus.

  • Literature is an opportunity to learn about being human. Our students use texts to experience and discuss psychology, character, virtue, and vice. They practice moral reasoning and forming their own ideals.

  • Writing is both a tool for communication and a way to understand and shape one's own thoughts and values. Students learn to break writing down into its essential parts and to write effectively for a variety of audiences.

  • Science provides a framework for understanding the natural world and human technology. Students learn to reason like scientists: to draw causal inferences from empirical evidence and to think critically about the foundations of complex sciences.

  • Electives offer the opportunity to discover new interests and channel self-expression. Offerings vary and may include foreign languages, arts, technology, or sports.

Instead of switching quickly between subjects during the day, long work cycles allow students ample time for deep thinking and complex work. Guides support students in learning to organize their time, expand their interests and efforts, and follow through on goals.

Our structure also allows guides to customize material for individual student needs. As a complement to lessons, follow-up work is designed to provide targeted challenges. Because work comes from thoughtful guides who know the students well—and from the students themselves—students can hone skills and pursue interests that are most personally impactful to them.

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Coaching and Personal Growth

Guidepost students enjoy one-on-one coaching relationships with caring guides. Coaches and students meet weekly to collaboratively develop and track goals in all areas of development. Our program supports students as they gradually work their way towards the self-accountability of an independent adult.

A Thriving Social Community

Guidepost middle schoolers belong to a close-knit social community whose culture is mindfully built through weekly community meetings and student-driven decision making. In community meetings, students learn to navigate the complexities of interpersonal relationships and establish their own identities as valuable contributors to the group.

Students also take an active role in shaping their social experience. Whether they're planning a holiday celebration, starting a club, or founding a school government, students have the support and flexibility to design meaningful activities—and to have fun doing it!

Prepared for High School—and Beyond

A Guidepost middle school graduate is prepared to tackle the challenges of high school. Our students receive individual admissions guidance, and our guides work with families to set and work toward post-graduation goals.

In addition to valuing academic preparedness, high schools and colleges are increasingly interested in students who have done things: run a business, created amazing artwork, or started a successful YouTube channel. Guidepost students have the ability and opportunity to distinguish themselves through their personal projects.

With their independence, foundational knowledge, and applicable practical life skills, Guidepost graduates embark on their next steps with a sense of purpose, ready to begin establishing themselves as valuable citizens in the wider world.

The chief symptom of adolescence is a state of expectation, a tendency towards creative work and a need for the strengthening of self-confidence.

Maria Montessori

T h a n k   Y o u !

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