Middle School: Grades 7 and 8
Our 7th and 8th grade students have entered the early years of Maria Montessori’s third plane of development (ages 12-18), a time of development focused on the individual finding their place in society. Children at this stage of development have sensitive periods for growth in social, emotional, and physical well being. Montessori envisioned an Earth school, or "Erdkinder" for adolescents where they would be able to live close to nature and engage in practical and purposeful work that contributes to their community. Our middle school program nurtures students at this stage by providing ample opportunities for students to connect with our natural environment, develop strong and positive relationships with each other, explore their own interests, and learn about society’s systems.
The middle school program at MVCS honors our nature-based approach through incorporating best practices in place-based ecology education (PBEE). Successful place-based teaching and learning occurs in our local natural environment and in our community, focusing on local themes, systems, and content through learning experiences that are personally relevant to our students. Our goals for these integrated, interdisciplinary projects and studies include laying a foundation for understanding and participating in local, regional, and global issues, understanding that our natural and human built environments are dynamic, interconnected systems, and supporting the development of a love for one’s place.