Middle school is a critical time for adolescents as they mature and develop along their academic and personal journeys. In the spirit of Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy, the Chesterfield Montessori School Adolescent Program (CMS AP) provides a holistic, interdisciplinary education that incorporates movement, purposeful work, extensive time outdoors, as well as creative and critical thinking.
AP students inspected their beehives to check for varroa mite density after treating the hives with thymol, a miticide solution
CMS Activities Bring Students Outside of the Classroom
Recently, students of the Chesterfield Montessori School Adolescent Program spent three nights with Big Muddy Adventures. They explored two of the largest rivers in North America, transported thirty-feet canoes around Chain of Rocks, and swam in the fresh water springs at Bottomland Forest that are only visible during low tides.
Their adventures across the local Missouri outdoors correspond directly with their lessons in humanities, which are presently focused on exploration, the founding of new lands, and native/indigenous cultures. The adolescents worked together on their trip to overcome adversity and build their community through shared experiences.
Supporting the Whole Child to Prepare Them for High School
An essential component of the mission at Chesterfield Montessori involves supporting the development of the whole child so that each student is empowered to embark on a life-long quest for knowledge, and become innovative thinkers. This is reflected in our commitment to promoting an inclusive environment that allows children to be who they are, as well as our dedication to the Montessori educational philosophy. We seek to provide a learning culture in which the student’s success is connected to the social and emotional health of the child.
In a 2020 article for the Journal of Montessori Research, Elizabeth Lapon details her study of five students’ experiences of attending a Montessori middle school and then transitioning to a public high school. She suggests three elements of a successful transition to ninth grade, which include growing students’ academic and social-emotional skills, developing positive attitudes toward education, and promoting ways for students to form their own sense of self-reliance, self-advocacy, and grit.
Lapon writes, “The findings of this research indicate that the Montessori middle school enriched these students’ learning experience, made learning more personally meaningful, and fostered academic and emotional development. . . Students discussed how their interpersonal relationships in middle school helped them learn essential social skills, such as making friends, resolving conflict, and collaboration, which were necessary for high school.”
Adolescent students start their six-week practice of yoga to try new things and open their minds to possibilities outside of their comfort zones.
Learn More About How CMS Could Benefit Your Child
With smaller classrooms, a lower-pressure learning environment, and the opportunity to be active participants in their learning goals, students of CMS AP leave prepared to enter the next phase of their education, carrying with them a respect for people, a belief in the dignity of work, and a sense of responsibility for their own development as happy and productive human beings.
Our program takes advantage of the adolescent’s tendency toward dialog within a social context. Supplementing traditional learning materials such as textbooks and lectures, our seminar-style approach helps establish oral communication and critical thinking skills. Student-led discussions provide a strong platform for academic studies, including humanities, language, math, and literature. We seek to help students make connections between their studies and the world around them.
From camping trips across natural wonders, to the dissection of honeybees to learn more about adaptation and insect morphology, CMS AP students are having fun while learning about the world and themselves.
To learn more about the Adolescent Program, Chesterfield Montessori School, and overall Montessori education, please consider joining some of our Adolescent families for an Information Session and Parent to Parent Happy Hour on Friday, October 15 in Chesterfield Valley from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Parents of current students and CMS AP graduates will be present to speak more on what the AP experience could offer your child. More information on the location and program will be provided when you RSVP. To put your name on the list for the Parent to Parent Happy Hour or to set up a tour or classroom visit, contact us at email@example.com or call 314-469-7150.
AP students engaged in a science lesson on the classification of life and adaptations of flowers.