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Middle School

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Free Horizon Middle School 

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We believe that middle school is a time for students to start fostering independence as well as building confidence. The confidence they build in our program will help them to make positive life choices in high school and beyond. We do not consider middle school to be a “mini” version of high school, but a foundation for high school success. Here are some components that make our program unique:

Our program is designed with the early adolescent in mind - literally. Other than infancy, the brain of the adolescent is growing faster than any other time in life. Just like their body has a growth spurt, so does their brain. During this time of brain development, we know three things to be true of the early adolescent. 1) They feel things intensely 2) They have desires to take risk 3) They are the center of their own universe. The Free Horizon Montessori Middle school takes those developmental needs into the highest consideration.

Through community meetings and restorative justice circles, we allow the early adolescent to find their voice and develop problem solving skills. This helps to further build confidence, in addition to ​allowing the student to learn when to take ownership. Finding their voice at an early age can help them to stand up for themselves in difficult situations that may arise later in life.

The early adolescent’s brain has a desire to take risks. Our goal is to fulfill the need of risk-taking behavior in a safe environment. Students participate in a variety of activities ranging from indoor skydiving to career internships and exploration. Allowing them to take risks in safe venues can serve as a deterrent for students who may seek out other unhealthy risk taking behaviors.

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Students and a teacher give you an in-depth look at Free Horizon Montessori Middle School. 

 



"I always had someone there, whether it be a classmate, a teacher, or even a kid I didn't know, someone always made me feel better when I needed it. That's one of the amazing things about this school - everyone loves each other. We are a community, a family."   ~ Brooklyn

 


 


HOMEWORK POLICY

At Free Horizon, we believe that developing practical life skills and nurturing relationships at home is time well spent.  Based on this belief, our homework policy is as follows:

 
  1. Students are given time to complete homework in a work cycle in which teachers are providing hands on support and instruction.

  2. Homework will not simply be given for the sake of giving homework.  All homework is relevant to the instruction happening in class (relevance is key to the adolescent mind).

  3. Large projects may require more homework, and they will come with rubrics so that parents know how to provide support at home.

  4. We believe that the parent-child relationship needs more attention during early adolescence than at any other time of life, so we want to make sure you have that time.  The sense of responsibility can be created by giving your child “grown up” jobs that make them feel an important part of your home community - cooking dinner, taking care of the lawn, helping with younger siblings are all examples of ways to start transferring adult responsibility.  

  5. Our teachers strive to assure homework load is manageable and relevant. We think your time as a family is more valuable.
          

    "All Montessori schools are based on the belief that children have a natural desire to learn.  Montessori middle school nurtures this desire by providing an environment that builds trust and a community that provides meaningful work, allowing adolescents to create a vision for their future.  This is the Bridge to Adulthood."

- Dr. Betsy Coe, former President of the American Montessori Society
 

DRESS CODE

Fashion is important to the early adolescent.  While this may seem like a small area to us as adults, it is HUGE to the early adolescent because it combines those 3 critical components of feeling things intensely, taking risks, and being the center of their own universe.  At Free Horizon we follow a dress code, but also honor the uniqueness of a middle schooler.  Our kids are definitely not cookie cutters.  From suits and ties, to jeans and tees, natural brown hair, to funky pink, we embrace our middle schoolers for who they are!

 

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TRAVEL AND FIELD TRIPS

Students travel on at least one educational-curriculum or service learning field trip per month. Real world learning and hands-on experiences are important to our program. Students take school buses, chartered buses, local buses and light rail to destinations and gain independence and confidence in local transportation. Not all field trips are offsite. The Colorado Mountain Club brings their bouldering bus, a mobile classroom, to school. Students are given a hands-on lesson in physical education and team building while gaining self confidence. An overnight trip is also planned every year with the school traveling to Washington, DC in spring in even numbered years. As a part of their business and economics class, students run a business to fund raise for large trips and gain hands-on business experience.

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DISCIPLINE

Discipline procedures are a fact of life in all school settings, however, at Free Horizon we feel strongly that students should be an active part of the disciplinary process through Restorative Practice.

Restorative Practices empower students to resolve conflicts on their own and in small groups, and is a growing practice in schools around the country. Essentially, the idea is to bring students together in small groups to talk, ask questions, and air their grievances, allowing the student to be actively involved in the process to repair any harm done to relationships. Quotes

ID CARDS 
Students will receive an ID after picture day in the fall.

CHROMEBOOKS
All students will be assigned a Chromebook for academic use while at school. Students and parents will sign an agreement for use before a computer is issued.  

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SNACKS 
Research and experience indicate that adolescents benefit from having periodic snacks to meet the needs of their growing bodies. Students may bring healthy snacks from home and eat them at any time during the school day as work permits. Students are also encouraged to bring water bottles to school every day. 

LUNCH
Students may bring lunch from home or purchase hot lunch. Breakfast is also available for purchase before school. Parents and students are encouraged to pack healthy snacks and lunches if bringing from home. Soda and "junk" foods are not allowed per the Student Handbook. 

DATES
Please refer to the school calendar for important dates for the entire school year. Please remember dates are subject to change and the calendar is updated regularly. Reminders will also be found in each week’s newsletter. 


Want to learn even more about our program? 
Watch a video of a special panel night hosted by current and former middle school students, teachers, staff and parents. 

 

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