LADYBIRD MONTESSORI SCHOOL
7th to 9th grade
Middle School (12-15 years old)
Montessori Secondary programs, for Middle School students ages 12 – 15, integrate rigorous academic studies with purposeful work, preparing teenagers to become contributing adult citizens who are self-confident and possess skills needed to thrive in society.
The new developmental stage of adolescence involves different educational needs than those of the Elementary stage. Montessori Secondary Programs work with the developmental essence of adolescents to help them live full, vital lives.
The approach responds to the unique developmental changes of this stage, which include:
- Physical: Adolescents experience a period of tremendous physical and neurological growth.
- Emotional: They experience self-awareness and self-criticism, emotional ups and downs, and egocentrism. They feel an increased desire for autonomy, along with a susceptibility to peer pressure. It is a time characterized by a tendency toward courage and creativity.
- Social: Adolescents seek solidarity with peers and crave greater independence from adults as they establish their own identity. They are concerned with human welfare and dignity, and may exhibit novelty-seeking and risk-taking behaviors as a response to a tendency to express courage and creativity.
- Cognitive: Adolescents are critical thinkers who persistently ask “why.” They are creative, and have the ability to reason and debate.
Montessori programs for adolescents offer thoughtful environments and experienced teachers attuned to these needs, safeguarding the young learners’ well being while preparing them for adulthood.
In Montessori Secondary Programs, students are commonly grouped in 2- or 3-year age cohorts. For example, a school might offer grades 7 – 8 or 7-9 (Middle School).
These communities allow opportunities for collaborative work and student leadership through:
- Regularly scheduled student-led community meetings
- Activities, such as in inquiry-based problem solving, and applied scientific method, that encourage diversity of perspectives, thoughts, and learning styles
- Compassionate and respectful relationships and an appreciation of differences
Uninterrupted Work Periods
The daily schedule allows for uninterrupted work periods of 2 hours or more in core curricular subjects—math, language arts, history or humanities, sciences, additional world languages, and creative arts. Uninterrupted work periods honor student choice, foster concentration, and support student engagement, while allowing for deep inquiry and a chance to work in collaborative project teams.
A “spiral curriculum” exposes students to many interrelated topics, repeatedly over time, resulting in broad and deep knowledge. Students are academically challenged and given reasonable opportunities for pacing work to meet their needs, while also learning responsibility, meeting deadlines, and mastering skills and concepts with the support and guidance of master teachers.
What Your Adolescent Will Learn
Montessori Secondary programs are rooted in hands-on, experiential learning. Your adolescent may have an opportunity to start a business, complete with developing a business plan and secure funding, as well as other economic lessons.
The Montessori Secondary program also includes advanced courses in language arts, mathematics, sciences, and social studies that are academically challenging. In addition, students take specialized courses including world languages, visual and performing arts, health and fitness, and participate in field studies (such as apprenticeships) and service learning. The Montessori Secondary program also has a Makerspace so students can physically apply the lessons they are learning in the classroom to actual hands-on learning projects in the makerspace such as using geometry lessons to build furniture or art installations, etc.
Montessori acknowledges the need of the adolescent to serve others, so service is taught as a way to care for the school community and the world outside the school. Through service, students learn the value of hard work, are exposed to lives and cultures different from their own, and develop a sense of empathy. Powerful, successful service projects teach students that they have agency in the world—they can identify things that need to change, and help change them. This is a skill that will serve them well as adults.
Secondary students complete complex projects—a culmination of learning—that include research and presentation and illustrate their mastery of concepts. Through all of their studies, tools (such as checklists, rubrics work plans, and study guides) promote time management, organization, and decision-making.
Additional components of the Montessori Secondary curriculum include:
- A community within the classroom that allows opportunities to participate in classroom government and other leadership experiences. Students will additionally have the option to participate in the Montessori Model United Nations and have the option to attend the Montessori Model United Nations conference in New York each spring! To learn more about the Montessori Model United Nations you can follow this link: https://montessori-mun.org/
- Experiences in nature that cultivate respect for the environment. These experiences will happen both on our 14 acre campus and additionally on overnight field trips at nature labs such as the https://blackwoodland.org/ or https://discovernci.org/home/. Field trips are always optional but highly encouraged.
- Micro-economic experiences such as developing and running a business to promote a genuine understanding of currency.
- Responsible and ethical use of technology, with the majority of the school day spent in learning activities and practices that require peer-to-peer and student-teacher interaction.
Supporting Adolescent Well-Being
Montessori Secondary educators respect the need for adolescents to have school/life balance, get adequate sleep, and maintain their love of learning. For these reasons, Montessori Secondary programs typically do not engage in “high stakes” testing and keep homework to a manageable amount. Ladybird Montessori only requires the students to participate in the IOWA test once annually and it is not to rate the student but to provide data to the Guides on how to best customize each child’s learning journey.
Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of the education system that bears her name, believed in giving adolescents the opportunity to experience self-worth through real and important work—a process she called valorization. The Montessori Secondary curriculum provides the opportunity for adolescents to realize they are strong, worthy, and capable of effort.
Montessori Secondary programs respond to the adolescent’s need to exhibit creativity, to problem solve, to take responsibility, and to claim independence. Ultimately, the programs support each student in finding a place in the community and in becoming a respectful, responsible, and ethical contributor to society. Isn’t this exactly what you want for your child’s middle school years?
(The American Montessori Society)
Education should therefore include the two forms of work, manual and intellectual, for the same person, and thus make it understood by practical experience that these two kinds complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence. ~ MARIA MONTESSORI, FROM CHILDHOOD TO ADOLESCENCE
Ladybird Montessori is located on 14.5 acres of land in Buda, TX. The birth-3 program gets to experience our nature program by going on stroller rides on the walking trail at our school farm and outdoor classroom space. The 3-6 years olds get to go on nature walks on the walking trail, have lessons in the outdoor classroom space, and also have a 2,000 square foot covered porch attached to their classrooms to encourage outdoor learning. The elementary students have a nature class elective in our outdoor classroom space and help care for our farm animals. The future middle school students will have a makerspace where they design different elements for our outdoor spaces such as water irrigation, planter boxes, permaculture projects, etc.
Ladybird Montessori has a Spanish program that is hosted by Mariposas Spanish School for Kids. An instructor comes out weekly to present new lessons that the students continue to practice in their classrooms throughout the week.
In the birth-3 and 3-6 programs music is a big part of our group lessons and a wonderful way to teach a variety of lessons in language and social emotional development. In the elementary and middle school programs there are sound bars and lessons where the students practice reading and writing sheet music which can springboard to support any instrument the student may be learning at home. The elementary program also has a choir that has a few performances throughout the year and the middle school will have school plays that incorporate musical elements.
In the birth-3 and 3-6 classrooms, there is a designated art section in the classrooms that will rotate to expose students to a variety of art lessons. In the elementary program, there is an art shelf and art is also integrated into the project based learning assignments in the curriculum. In the middle school, the students will have the ability to create a variety of art projects and art installations in the new makerspace.
In the 3-6 classrooms the students study geography and cultural lessons to learn about people different than they are. In the elementary classrooms the students get to start their “going out” activities and volunteer in the local community at places such as the Hays County Food Bank. In the middle school the students also volunteer locally as well as have some opportunities to travel as a class for a weekend or week getaway to a farther off destination to learn about permaculture or other interesting lessons at facilities intended for academic growth and hands-on experiences to help improve our world, such as at the Blackwood Land Institute in Hempstead, TX.
2023-2024 Tuition and Fees
For students new to Ladybird Montessori.
Application: $50.00 (per student)
Enrollment: $200.00 (per family)
Enrichment: $150.00 (per student)
(Application, Enrollment, and Enrichment Fees are Non-Refundable and hold your child’s placement in the classroom prior to start date.)
For returning students each school year.
(re-enrollment fee covers all children in that family)
Enrichment: $150.00 (per student)
(fee goes towards supplies for the year)
Total: $300.00 (per student)
Total for family with 2 students: $450.00
(Re-enrollment and enrichment fees are non-refundable.)
Nido Community (NC): (8 weeks – 18 months)
NC: $1,350/month (7:00am-6:00pm) (12-month program)
Young Children’s Community (YCC): (18 months – 3 years)
YCC: $1,250/month (7:00am-6:00pm) (12-month program)
Children’s House (CH): (3 years – 6 years OR preschool – kindergarten)
CH Half Day Program: $900/month (8:30am-12:00pm) (12-month program)
CH Full Day Program: $950/month (8:30am-3:30pm) (12-month program)
CH Extended Day Program: $1,200/month (7:00am-6:00pm) (12-month program)
CH After Care: $200/month (3:00pm-6:00pm) (12-month program)
Elementary Program (Lower El (6-9 years OR 1st – 3rd grade) and Upper El (9-12 years OR 3rd – 6th grade))
Elementary Program: $1,000/month (8:00am-3:00pm) (10-month program)
Elementary After Care: $225/month (3:00pm-6:00pm) 10-month program)
Middle School Program (12-15 years OR 7th – 9th grade)
Middle School Program: $1,300/month (8:00am-3:00pm) (10-month program)
Middle School After Care: $225/month (3:00pm-6:00pm) (10-month program)
Sibling Discount: $25 off per child, per month (cannot be applied to pay in advance options)
Pay in Advance Discount:
Pay 6 months in advance: 5% discount off tuition
Pay 12 months in advance: 10% discount off tuition
Elementary Alumni Graduates who re-enroll for Middle School: 15% discount off tuition
Field Trip Fees:
Lower Elementary: $400.00 annually or $200.00 bi-annually
Upper Elementary: $500.00 annually or $250.00 bi-annually
Middle School: $600.00 annually or $300.00 bi-annually
***Does not include the optional Model UN field trip to New York in the spring of 2024***