VMS’s Middle School program is designed to help prepare the Middle School student for the adult they will soon become. Each year, our students are challenged to make and run a fully functional small business that interfaces with the community, providing students a taste of the business world and developing skills ranging from marketing and accounting to product design and business meeting etiquette. Language Arts, History, and Civics are practiced through the Socratic Dialogue process that encourages students to have deeper discussions with their peers about vital topics and their application in modern life.
Students oversee the school archaeology site as part of their science curriculum, do personalized foreign language and math study, develop several research projects of their choice throughout the year, and participate in in-depth artistic studies such as textile arts, wood carving, bookbinding, and basket weaving. Traditional local folk arts and outdoor skills are woven throughout the program to give students a strong sense of the rich heritage of the area they will soon inherit.
Montessori Middle School students walk an individualized path while being supported and learning to support the global community around them.
Montessori Middle School Business Page
(please click the logo below to access the business page)
VMS’s Middle School Program offers weekly Socratic History discussions which also frequently feature hands-on Living History experiences. For our lesson on Early Human Migration and Hunter Gatherer Societies we invited the Upper Elementary students to join us for a discussion and foraging for basket making supplies on the school grounds.
First, the students harvested and dried cattails using traditional and sustainable harvesting practices. They then took a beginning basket-making class to try out hunter-gatherer technology. This basket was woven from their harvest by their teacher as part of the demonstration. All materials save the antler bead (by artist Ted Parker, who uses only naturally shed antler) are from the VMS grounds.
Click any image to view larger slideshow.
The VMS Middle School program also includes an on-site archaeology dig as part of its curriculum and teaches students how to clean, research, and track historical finds. The program is led by Middle School Directress Anni Bryner, who has a degree in Archaeology from the University of Virginia and has dug on Native American, Colonial, and Civil War era sites throughout Virginia.