Our Middle School Program

Grades 7 to 8, for ages 12 to 14

Our middle school program is a mixed-age Montessori community. It brings together the Montessori approach to independence and foundational knowledge, adapted for the development of adolescents. Students master academics and prepare for high school—while starting and running a business of their own design.

The middle school student is in a period of rapid development, which Maria Montessori analogized to the growth and learning experienced by very young children. Their minds are more fully engaged than in elementary.

Adolescence is the time when students first grapple with their place in the world. They are thinking about who they are, and carving out identities and values in a wider context.

Guidepost's middle school program helps ground young adolescents and allows them to develop and flourish. We provide preparation for the next steps in life and provide an environment that practices entrepreneurial community engagement.

Entrepreneurship

Each year students in Guidepost middle school build and run a business. They create a business plan, organize themselves and give themselves roles, and operate all aspects of their enterprise.

Our program provides the structure to help students make their ambitions real. They learn dozens of skills, from accounting to marketing to management. Curricular resources provide an integration of real-world skills with academic foundations, and learned in such a way as to integrate with the Montessori practice of elevating the student's psychology.

Academics

The Guidepost middle school student continues their course of study provided by our elementary program: a blend of paced, purposeful academics and self-regulated learning, taught to small groups of students.

Guidepost offers a curriculum in the core academic disciplines of math, language arts, history, and science:

  • Literature is an opportunity to learn about being human. In guided discussions, our students learn about psychology and character, virtue and vice, and gain the skill of moral reasoning.

  • Our approach to writing demonstrates its use as a cognitive tool to communicate complex ideas. Students learn to demystify writing, break it down into its components, mastering this vital skill.

  • Algebraic thinking is recognized as the model of human reasoning and a basis for clear thinking. Our individualized math curriculum takes adolescents through pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry.

  • Science gives students a foundation for understanding nature and human technology. It gives students the ability to reason like a scientist: to draw causal inferences from empirical evidence and to think critically about the foundations of complex sciences.

  • History is the story of how we arrived at this moment. Our approach gives students the chance to discuss events and the intellectual positions that give shape to culture and politics. The curriculum has a particular focus on American history and world history.

Much time is spent doing independent work, followed by research, writing, and problem-sets. Students continue the Montessori tradition of organizing their own time, independently following through on their work, and discussing academic goal setting with their guides.

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High School Preparation

Middle school students are at the threshold of adulthood: high school, college, and jobs.

Our students receive academic tutoring in preparation for high school and admissions. And our teachers work with both students and parents to determine post-graduation goals, and to design a course of tutoring to ensure those goals are met.

High schools and colleges care about academic preparedness and performance, and we support that. But increasingly, they are interested in students who have done things: run a business, create amazing artwork, or successfully start a YouTube channel.

The entrepreneurship components of our program are designed to enable a student to become purposeful, to flourish, and take first steps toward establishing themselves as creators and valuers in the broader 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

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