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The Middle School provides an environment that is sensitive to the emotional and academic needs of the adolescent. Emphasis is placed on helping the student understand him/herself as a learner and using this information to further develop the mind. Knowing that this can be a vulnerable period in a child’s life, teachers and students work together to constantly strengthen their community with the values of respect and kindness.

The low student teacher ratio allows for individualized instruction, a natural work pace for mastery and emotional understanding, ample time for project-based work and time to study art, music, business and other topics. Students are guided through time management exercises to help them balance the expectations and requirements of school and those from their personal lives. Acquiring this life skill during these years sets a strong foundation for personal and professional success.

Students at ASM show what they’ve learned in a multitude of formats that include working with Montessori materials, conducting labs and experiments, engaging in project based work, writing essays and discussing what they’ve learned in groups. Learning this way allows students to collaborate, create and problem-solve, and are all forms of assessment even though they may not look like the familiar quiz or test. Learning outcomes that require higher order thinking can’t be assessed in a multiple choice testing format, which measure student achievement based upon small bits of information that are easily scored.

The skills that students need to acquire as they journey down their path of education are the ability to critically think and analyze, and apply the information they’ve learned to real-life problems. At ASM, your child will be assessed through daily teacher observations, discourse, essay writing, and by using project rubrics.

Click here to view our Secondary School Placement list to see where ASM graduates continue their educational journey!

Sample Daily Schedule

8:00–8:10 a.m. Daily preparation meeting

8:15–9:05 a.m. Health and Physical Education

9:10–10:05 a.m. Pre-Algebra for grade 7, Algebra for grade 8

10:10–10:55 a.m. Business Collaborative

11:00–11:55 a.m. Science or STEM/Land Study

12:00–12:30 p.m. Recess

12:30–1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:05–1:55 p.m. Humanities

2:00–2:55 p.m. Music

3:00–3:15 p.m. Responsibilities and Advisory

Core Curriculum


The Middle School Humanities program takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of ancient and modern history, literature, western and non-western cultures and geography. Through exposure to literature, poetry, oral history and the Arts, our students develop an appreciation and understanding of the attitudes, beliefs and struggles of people during different time periods. Attention is given to comparing and contrasting various cultures, governments and philosophical ideals. Emphasis is placed on conducting research and analysis. Students synthesize information and think critically, expressing ideas both orally and in writing.

Literature Circle

In Middle School, students meet regularly to discuss literary works within a variety of genres. Guided discussions allow students to express their understanding of themes, plots, characters and settings. Students are encouraged to develop their own style of expression with a voice that reflects their personal opinion; to identify words and concepts that challenge their understanding; to listen to and respond to their peers’ evaluations; and to connect what they see in literature to their own experiences.

Writer's Workshop

Over a two year period, Middle School students compose various pieces of polished work such as expository, descriptive and persuasive essays. Students explore the writer’s craft by sharing exemplars and experimenting with required pre-writing exercises and drafting before they present final pieces of work. Students work together as peer editors and meet with their teacher to evaluate work and to engage in dialogue about content. Through lessons and practice, students apply grammar skills to their speaking and writing.


The Middle School Pre-Algebra curriculum focuses on developing students’ proportional reasoning skills. The investigations in each unit of the curriculum provide opportunities for students to develop and test conjectures. Students apply their understanding of proportions in their study of similarity and scaling of length, width and volume. ASM’s small class sizes allow for individualized instruction and ample opportunities for students to discuss concepts and share ideas and strategies. This is important in the development of the students’ thorough understanding of concepts.

The math curriculum at the Middle School level is aligned with and often exceeds the Massachusetts state and national frameworks for math instruction.


The Middle School Algebra curriculum develops students’ understanding of functions from linear to quadratic and exponential. ASM’s small class sizes allow for individualized instruction. Discussions and sharing of ideas and strategies are important in the development of the students’ understanding of the concepts. The curriculum introduces topics through an intuitive and contextually based approach. Concepts are revisited throughout the course, allowing students the opportunity to master them at different times depending on their level of understanding and to review and maintain their skills. Emphasis is placed on helping students formulate or develop the rule for a particular problem rather than use a given rule to find a solution, allowing them to understand why the rule works rather than just when it works. Students learn to use the graphing calculator to enhance their understanding of various functions and statistical methods.

The math curriculum at the Middle School level is aligned with and often exceeds the Massachusetts state and national frameworks for math instruction.


Middle School science encompasses the study of physical, earth and life sciences. Through discussion, research, and hands-on activities, students learn and appreciate the conventions of science, vocabulary used in scientific discovery, the goals and impact of current scientific research and the vast expanse of unanswered questions that would explain the universe in which we live. Students build their scientific knowledge by observing the natural world, learning the history of discovery, critical thinking, organization, collaboration, research, writing lab reports and public speaking.

Students work independently to design an experiment in which they utilize the scientific method and present their findings at our annual school-wide Science Fair. At this event, area scientists and engineers judge projects; based on the results, ten students in grades 6, 7 and 8 advance to compete in the Massachusetts Regional State Science and Engineering Fair.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

The Middle School STEM curriculum cultivates intellectual creativity with challenges such as building a Rube Goldberg machine and building programmable robots. The Engineering Design Process is used throughout the curriculum as students are presented with real life problems that require them to explore, design, build and test their solutions. Using more sophisticated mathematics in the process is required at this level.

STEM Lab provides opportunities for students to apply the engineering design process (EDP) in order to solve problems.

Students continue to hone their presentation and communication skills, sharing the results of their work with the community. Students are exposed to the different fields of STEM by visiting various labs in the Greater Boston Area, including the biotechnology company, Biogen in Cambridge and Beyond Benign, a green chemistry education company in Wilmington.


At the Middle School level, Spanish is a major academic subject and is equivalent to level one high school Spanish. The classes are spoken entirely in Spanish and fluency in listening and speaking become well-developed. Learning activities include paragraph and report writing, in-depth readings, grammar practices, frequent homework and daily speaking opportunities. Long-term projects allow students to express their creativity through designing children’s literature, art projects and travel brochures.

Students will:

  • Apply correct grammatical structures to their writing and speaking
  • Continue to develop proper pronunciation and spelling
  • Expand their knowledge of vocabulary
  • Achieve a higher level of written expression
  • Research Hispanic cultures and present projects to the ASM community



Middle School students have Art class weekly. Through class discussion and engaging projects, they develop a deeper understanding of the Elements of Art (line, value, color, shape, form, space and texture) and the Principles of Design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm and unity).  The Middle School students create a wide variety of 2-D and 3-D works of art that are inspired by the work of 19th and 20th century artists as well as the historical cultures that they are studying in Humanities class. Each spring, students select several works for display in the annual Student Art Show.

Open Art Studio allows students to spend additional time in the Art Room on creative projects they are working on in within their academic curriculum.

Students will:

  • Explore works by trailblazing artists such as: Henri Matisse, Gustav Klimt, Jim Dine, John Constable, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and Salvador Dali
  • Develop the ability to create sophisticated works of representational art as well as art influenced by prominent movements such as Pop Art, Dada, Abstraction, Romanticism, and Surrealism
  • Use a variety of art materials to create 2-D and 3-D works of art, such as: charcoal, acrylic paints, watercolor, clay, collage, wood, and embroidery floss


ASM’s Health Program engages students in thinking critically about health and healthy behaviors. Students set individual health goals and track their progress. Topics such as the value of good nutrition, positive decision-making and predicting consequences, and Internet safety are discussed. ASM’s Health Program is taught in collaboration with the Physical Education teacher the School Nurse, and guest speakers.

The  curriculum is based upon the Great Body Shop ®. Teaching methods include lecture, demonstration, projects, discussions, and role playing, among others.  We acknowledge that you are your child’s primary health educator and we value your partnership. Your child will bring home materials so that you are aware of the lessons being presented and be involved in their class work.

The Middle School students discuss drug and alcohol use, violence prevention and preventing diseases. Students complete a long-term project each year. On a global scale, students study the relationship between environment, disease and public health.


In Middle School music, students develop a deeper understanding of music theory while refining their skills on their respective instruments. Lessons are designed to inspire critical thinking about music and its relationships to other disciplines. 

Students will:

  • Practice skills learned in Upper Elementary.
  • Receive focused instruction on several instruments throughout the year, including drums, ukuleles, and xylophones. 
  • Take responsibility for their individual learning and contribution to the ensemble.

Students are provided several opportunities for both solo and ensemble performance throughout the year, including both in the classroom and on stage. Students may perform at events such as All-school meetings, First Friday Coffees, and the Coffee House. Each December, the Elementary and Middle School present a winter concert. Additionally, students present a musical performance at their Eighth Year Graduation ceremony in June.

Physical Education

The mission of our physical education program is to provide students with a safe and positive physical environment while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

Middle School students pursue a variety of cooperative activities and team oriented games which will develop athletic ability and overall fitness. The students will regularly take initiative, act as leaders, and contribute effectively within a team. In middle school, physical education classes meet twice a week and students learn effective strategy and play sports such as football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, frisbee, wiffle ball, tennis, and engage in running, dance and personal fitness. Students will perform a variety of strength endurance exercises, improve cardiovascular endurance, participate in agility drills, and understand proper flexibility routines.

Field Trips

The professional theatre company from Plymouth State University, TIGER (Theater Integrating Guidance, Education, and Responsibility), teaches Middle School students how to approach social situations in a proactive and positive manner.

Hagerman the Magician’s Math-A-Magic program enlightens students with optical illusions, patterns, and how our brain uses math naturally.

In addition, Middle school students have traveled to:

  • Beyond Benign in Wilmington, MA: As part of an experiential lab, students have the opportunity to learn how industry uses green chemistry – the science of creating safe, energy efficient and non-toxic products and processes.
  • Biogen Community Lab in Cambridge, MA: The Middle School, along with our sixth year students, had an opportunity to spend the day engaging in a hands-on laboratory studying Sickle Cell Anemia.
  • Chewonki Outdoor Classroom in Maine: Students were provided with the opportunity to become one with nature and help them be better stewards of the Earth!
  • The Leadership School at Kieve in Nobleboro, Maine: This is an amazing and unforgettable opportunity for our middle school students. They were challenged and supported in all their endeavors, creating a unique bond among their classmates. Some of their experiences include “reaching new heights” during a high ropes course; discussing their ideals for a healthy community and developing friendships with students from other schools.
  • Montessori Model United Nations Conference: This conference allows our students to engage in thoughtful, passionate and highly educated debates on current issues around the world. Students come away with a broader understanding and deeper respect of the needs, rights, political views and belief systems of other cultures. Students travel to New York City for this conference.
  • Philadelphia, PA where Middle School students brought their classroom studies of Art, U.S. History and Government, Literature, and Science to the forefront of their visit. They explored  the National Liberty Museum, the Franklin Institute of Science, the National Constitution Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and attended a Shakespearean play.
  • Phillips Academy Observatory in Andover, MA. 
  • Red Gate Farm in Ashfield, MA: Students spend several days on an educational farm caring for the land and gardens, tending to the barn animals, and discovering the wonders of nature in the forest.
  • Washington, D.C. where Middle School students brought their Humanities studies to the forefront of their visit. They explored many of our capital’s treasures including the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument.

Standardized Testing

The Educational Records Bureau (ERB) standardized test is administered to students in grades 7 and 8. The multiple choice exam measure a student’s development in areas such as reasoning, reading comprehension and mathematics.

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