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Middle School (ages 12-14)

The Evergreen Community


Our Middle School program is designed to nurture and encourage the growing independence of adolescent students and to instill in them the “noble confidence” they will need to meet life’s many challenges.


Erdkinder – Montessori for Seventh & Eighth Years

Dr. Maria Montessori outlined the Third Plane of Development, or Adolescence (ages 12-18), as a time when students are undergoing great physical, mental, and emotional changes, when they are primarily socially motivated, and when friendships can often seem more important than family. (Read more about Middle School Curriculum).


Middle School students with shovels and buckets work the land of an apple orchard; this sort of real work is crucial for a Montessori adolescent program

“The consciousness of knowing how to make oneself useful, how to help mankind in many ways, fills the soul with noble confidence.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence


Outlining a syllabus for this divergent time in development, Dr. Montessori noted that students are also hungry to work on the land at real, authentic tasks, calling them “Erdkinder” or “land children.”


Like other Montessori middle school programs, the Evergreen classroom offers “Occupations” within the larger middle school curriculum, which combines academic coursework with real work of the hands that looks very much like a vocation or a job.


Students experience a great deal of independence surrounding the organization of their time and productivity around self-selected deadlines in both components of the program.


The peace curriculum at this level stresses the need for inner peace and a sense of community peace as the students work closely together on large-scale projects.


Occupations in the Montessori Environment

Our Occupations model allows students to engage in a traditional Montessori work-cycle each afternoon and Occupations work each morning at an offsite, privately-owned apple orchard.


Students choose how to respond to projects. They make decisions concerning finances, purchases, advertising, sales, etc. in the classroom that will impact their Occupations.


The products of their labor in the Occupations help form a class micro-economy where they learn to manage money and make business decisions.


In addition, Occupations can provide diverse lessons based on a single subject. For example: in order to maintain an aquaponics system, they learn both about the nitrogen cycle and how to clean a filter.


Lessons in Middle School

Middle school students receive three-period lessons in new concepts during the work cycle as well as during their Occupations. This includes direct lessons, follow-up practice, and demonstration of mastery. (Read more about Middle School Curriculum).


Because the work is hands-on, the mastery is evident in the success of the task.  


The healthy, nurturing, academic environment of the Evergreen community at SVCMS supports the adolescent student in learning and practicing real work from experts in their fields and contributing to their community, where students learn that they are purposeful themselves and have a place in the world.


Middle School Faculty

Guides in the Middle School program are Montessorians with a passion for adolescent development, who understand deeply the academic, social, and emotional needs of students during this time.


They not only act as role models of adult behavior, exemplifying patient, unconditional support of each student, but also genuinely enjoy spending time with the students.


They are experts in diverse fields and have much to share with the students who look to them as examples. They see the innocence and humor in this challenging period of development and encourage students to make safe and appropriate choices.

Amy Clarke Moore, Level Lead & Lead Guide

Christine Rivas Arriaga, Lead Guide

Kyle O'Brien, Lead Guide

Jamie Hamilton-Jurkovich, Writing Instructor

Lynn Lovett Barr, Improv SEL Instructor

Additional Reading

Middle School Curriculum

Evergreen Blog (password protected for current families)

K-8 enrollment

Montessori education



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