Montessori 7th through 12th grade education has been in development for 30 years. During the last fifteen years, there has been signifiant increase in the number of Montessori schools throughout the United States providing excellent education from 7th through 12th grade. Leaders in the Montessori secondary education movement have documented best practices, established training centers, and provided a network of support to insure new schools can open successfully. Montessori secondary education is designed for students who have attended Montessori elementary schools. Montessori observed that this stage of a child’s development provided excellent opportunity for a student to develop and hone social and problem solving skills.
Montessori wrote about what we now call the value of 21st Century Learning Skills back in the early 1900s. She predicted that if adolescent students were allowed to learn in an environment specially designed for their specific stage of brain development, the result would be adaptable, independent, ingenious and creative adults with excellent communication and problem solving skills. She laid out a design for this type of education in “From Childhood to Adolescence”.
Montessori secondary schools are divided into two “sub-planes”. The 7th – 9th grade program is a land based program with real life problems solving scenarios. Students combine didactic, academic lessons with concrete hands-on activities. They are daily working with both their head and their hands to deeply internalize academic concepts. The 10th – 12th grade program is a highly academic program preparing students for university. Having come through the Montessori program to this point, students are well able and ready to handle the most rigorous content. The high school remains centered on core Montessori values. This includes Montessori trained teachers, long periods of uninterrupted work time, key lessons, and a variety of methods whereby a student can demonstrate mastery of knowledge. Assessments will include rubrics, portfolios, presentations, quizzes on vocabulary and skills, end of unit knowledge assessments plus all Federal and Colorado State mandated testing.