Greensboro Montessori School has announced two major changes that will launch in fall 2017: 1) The expansion of its middle school to include ninth grade and 2) The transition of sixth grade, previously a part of Greensboro Montessori’s middle school, to the School’s upper elementary division. Both changes will enable the School to more authentically deliver the Montessori experience for both students and faculty, a hallmark of which is three-year, multi-age groupings within each division.

The three-year groupings that will result—grades four, five and six in upper elementary and grades seven, eight and nine in middle school—are consistent with the pivotal three-year cycle first articulated by educator Dr. Maria Montessori (1870–1952) and later supported by the American Montessori Society, of which Greensboro Montessori is an accredited school member.

Montessori’s three-year cycle recognizes sensitive periods of growth and development shared among each age group. It also allows for skills and concepts to be introduced, explored and mastered through three consecutive and collaborative years of learning.

Commenting on the addition of ninth grade to Greensboro Montessori’s offerings, Associate Head of School Nancy Hofer said: “As researchers and educators increasingly refer to ninth grade as the make-or-break year of high school, Montessori methodology changes the conversation by positioning ninth grade as a capstone year in middle school. Young adolescence is a monumental time in the life of a child. Rather than lead every student down the same path, the Montessori philosophy empowers us to look at each student individually and develop a custom learning plan to unlock his or her full potential. Offering ninth grade to our students and their families is just another way Greensboro Montessori School supports this philosophy in both theory and practice.”

Richard A. Ungerer, the American Montessori Society’s Executive Director, added: “Greensboro Montessori School is one of only six AMS-accredited schools in North Carolina, and it is the only AMS-accredited school in the state’s Piedmont Triad region offering middle school. We are thrilled to see their commitment to the continued process of self-reflection and school improvement that is a critical part of what it means to be AMS-accredited. And by introducing these curriculum shifts, the School reaffirms its commitment to developing the whole child through the time-tested, research-based educational approach of Maria Montessori.”

Greensboro Montessori will graduate its first ninth grade class at the end of the 2017-18 school year. To inquire about enrollment at Greensboro Montessori, please contact Rhea Egbert, director of admission.