Whole Child Education
Although a positive classroom experience is a crucial component of a successful academic program, learning should take place beyond the time spent in the classroom and should include both theoretical and practical components. As the first and currently only public Montessori high school in the state of Arizona, we strive to educate adolescents to prepare them for life in college and beyond. We believe that adolescents learn best when participating in intentional, meaningful, and intellectually challenging activities that connect to what they learn in the classroom to life. To guide students in connecting class activities to the real world, our classes are structured with cross-curricular themes by grade level which change in subsequent years. In each class, students work at different levels within the same content area, and instruction is differentiated to meet each student’s needs.
Our core Montessori classes include the study of the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and mathematics which are all offered at the honors level. Outside of the core subjects, our students are able to take electives offered by the larger Camelback High School Community.
Our curriculum is enriched through structures common to Montessori secondary schools:
- Longer class periods of 105 minutes allow for longer blocks of uninterrupted student work time and for meaningful in class activities
- Weekly student checklists engage students in learning to manage their time and provide students with the opportunity for choices in choosing assignments
- Student-led community meetings, both intra-grade and inter-grade, help build a sense of community in the program and strengthen relationships between peers
- Socratic seminars in all subjects teach students to articulate their thoughts, to respect and learn from their peers even if they disagree, and to think divergently
- Project-based work is carefully designed to align students to work of the hands and to prepare them for real work as they transition into adulthood
- Solo time and mindfulness provides a safe space for students to reflect and become more aware of themselves and their connection to their environment
- Field experiences give students the opportunity to go out into the larger community in order to broaden their learning
- Service learning provides an opportunity for students to develop a more compassionate heart as they learn about the history and current status of a community before serving alongside the stakeholders and following up with a reflection of the purpose and value of service
- Yearly Erdkinder (literally “Earth-Child” experiences, which invite the adolescent to engage with the natural world to physically challenge the self and learn practical skills in self-sufficiency as they fulfill their needs for interdependence and independence
- As our program continues to grow, our curriculum will fluidly adapt and expand to meet the needs of our student.
With the opportunities provided, it is our goal that 100% of our graduates will be college-ready and prepared to be compassionate and productive global citizens.