Middle School Washington Montessori School
New Preston, Connecticut

Getting Started

Where students cultivate critical thinking, independence, and a sense of community.

Adolescence, a phase rife with profound changes — physical, emotional, and cognitive — stands second only to infancy in its transformative impact. Dr. Montessori observed that an adolescent’s defining trait is the state of hopeful anticipation, coupled with a penchant for creative endeavors and the imperative of fortifying self-assurance. Our Middle School program harmonizes with Montessori’s principles, all the while meticulously preparing students for the leap to high school.

In the Middle School realm, students showcase mastery through diverse channels—encompassing tests, projects, papers, and verbal presentations. WMS veers away from conventional grading, opting for a comprehensive and continuous evaluation system. In tandem with instructor input, learners are tasked with gauging their own progression via informal and written self-assessments, nurturing practical self-awareness, and fostering a sense of authority over their educational journey.

Middle School Program Goals

Middle School School Day

At the Middle School level, the regular school day includes academic classes in humanities, science, math, and Spanish as well as opportunities to engage in meaningful social interaction and to experience self-worth through real and important work—a process Dr. Montessori termed “valorization.” On any given school day, Middle School students can be found engaging in some type of community service, outdoor education, or field study within their academic classes.

Other school days are set aside for dedicated field trips, service work, and outdoor education. Throughout the middle school program, students engage in sustained and authentic work with significance beyond the four walls of the classroom.

Drop-Off at 8:20 AM

Having time to unpack their things and greet friends is a positive way for adolescents to begin their school day. The Middle School Commons is supervised every morning beginning at 8 a.m. MS students are encouraged to take advantage of this time to unpack their things, greet friends, and connect with teachers.

The school day officially begins at 8:30 a.m. with a Community Meeting attended by all Middle School students and staff. These meetings provide a daily forum to look at the day and week ahead and to discuss important issues affecting the Middle School community.

Within the larger Middle School community are Advisor Groups led by an Advisor and made up of students from 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Students get individual help with academic organization from their Advisors who focus on the personal growth and development of each student. Advisor Groups meet once a day and also gather together for lunch. There is time set aside for community meetings, with a focus on group problem solving and personal reflection.

Advisor Groups have lunch together every day either somewhere outside on campus or in the Advisor’s classroom. After lunch, all Middle School students have recess together. Unless weather conditions are unsuitable recess is outdoors.

Students of all experience levels are encouraged to participate in Middle School after-school arts and athletics. We believe the adolescent brain, in particular, is strengthened by trying new things, taking risks, making mistakes and learning from them. Middle School arts and athletics are designed to support both the novice and the practiced. All participants, regardless of experience or technical skill, have something to contribute. Athletic teams meet after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tuesdays and Fridays are reserved for arts programs.

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Middle School Signature Experiences

Middle School Special Class

In addition to music history and art history, which are topics studied during the school day in conjunction with humanities class, Middle School students have dedicated classes in PE, music and art, as well as the option to participate in the Middle School chorus.

Middle School Curriculum

Middle School After School Activities

Art Lab

Art Lab functions as an open-studio where artists are allowed the freedom of self-direction and to focus on works and mediums of their own choosing. We also discuss not only the formalistic qualities of a work of art, but also the intention or idea behind it, and encourage conceptual thinking. Middle School artists also have the opportunity to receive help and guidance in specific areas of their choosing. Art Lab takes place after school for 90 minutes once a week.

Music Lab is a primarily self-directed, collaborative time for musicians to work on repertoire of their choosing. Students sing together as an ensemble, and work on solo/small group pieces with the intent to hone vocal skills for performance. Music Lab may also include small instrumental collaborations incorporating singers, piano, cello, guitar, ukulele, drums, etc., with the option to perform in a recital in the spring.

There are many ways for Middle School students to be part of the annual Middle School play, which meets after-school two days a week throughout the fall. Students can take on technical jobs including, lights, sound, props, costumes, and stage managing or can enjoy time in the spotlight.

Theater Lab is an opportunity for students to further explore aspects of the dramatic arts, including set design, film production, improvisation and playwriting. Theater Lab meets twice a week after school when the MS play is not in session.

Our educational philosophy espouses the importance of the development of the body as well as the mind. Athletic activities play an important role in preparing our students physically, morally, psychologically, and socially. The school provides opportunities through sports and other physical activities to prepare and inspire our students in preparation for lifelong physical activity and for continuing sports experiences as they move from WMS to secondary school environments.

FallWinterSpring
SoccerBasketballTennis
Cross CountrySkiingTrack & Field
Outdoor Club Outdoor Club