Middle School
(Grades 7 – 8)

Our program is a unique combination of best middle school practices and Montessori education. We provide a small and trusting community that allows students to explore the construction of themselves while engaging in meaningful and challenging work. Our curriculum is based on experiential learning, meaning that students learn through hands-on experiences and by doing their own research. Large blocks of interrupted work time are built into the day for students to create their work schedule. This is very different from traditional schools where classes and time are divided time by individual subjects. The concepts that are studied in Montessori schools are integrated into all subject areas so that students are able to see a connecting theme in language arts, social studies, science, math, and the real world. The Montessori teacher is trained in each subject, enabling deeper learning between subjects to occur.

There is a high level of expectation on all assignments and assessments and students must demonstrate mastery of a concept before moving on to the next. The program curriculum is differentiated and student-centered so that each student may proceed at her own pace. The parent, student, teacher partnership is essential and involves communicating clearly with each other on a regular basis. Students lead their own conferences each semester and use this time to self-assess their academic achievement, academic skills, and life related skills. All of these practices empower students to take responsibility of their own learning.

Each academic year includes five cycles of work followed by an immersion week for service learning, field trips, and business internships. Our ongoing service learning project is in partnership with a local nature preserve. We work on and with the land together as it is the Montessori philosophy to connect with nature. Our field trips are always related to what we are studying and help students apply what we are learning to what is going on in the community.

This is a crucial time for students to establish independence in the classroom, at home, and in the larger community. Montessori middle school does not just prepare students for high school, it is a place for transformative learning. Our ultimate goal is for students to be academically competent, self-aware, engaged in the community, and respectful to all others and the environment. We hope that our adolescents grow to be the creative, compassionate, highly-adaptive, solution oriented adults of tomorrow.

Middle School Faculty:

Kat Sciandra

Middle School Teacher & Barton Tutor

Kat has been passionate about Montessori education since starting at Alegria in 2012. She has worked with all ages and helped start the middle school program. She earned a Master of Education in Montessori Integrative Learning from Endicott College in 2017. Kat received her AMS (American Montessori Society) training at the secondary level at Houston Montessori Center and is completing her credential. She is a St. Petersburg native and went to Florida State University for her undergraduate degree. Kat love nature, art, music, traveling, and spending quality time with her husband, family and friends. She is certified in the Barton Reading and Spelling System.

Lourdes Mora

Spanish Teacher for Upper & Middle School

Lourdes was born and raised in Ecuador. She has her Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language from Cuenca University. As an ESL teacher, she has experience working at both elementary and high school levels, as well as in activities outside of the traditional classroom. Her first teaching experience was during high school when she worked as a volunteer elementary religion teacher at her church for 2 years. Additionally, for 5 years, she worked in one of the most important hydroelectric projects of Ecuador, Sopladora. Lourdes is currently pursuing her Lower Elementary Montessori Training Certification for children age 6-12. She is excited to continue teaching Spanish and the Hispanic culture at Alegria. When Lourdes is not teaching she enjoys painting, reading, and taking care of her flowers.