Life After Sunstone

“Sunstone teaches you how to think, how to learn. I remember there being a great emphasis on teamwork at Sunstone. They teach you how to work with other people, how to be kind and accepting.

Yeah, Sunstone teaches you how to be a good human.”

Kendall Accetta, Sunstone Alum

Where do children go to school after Sunstone?

The short answer is anywhere!

Sunstone graduates are curious, life-long learners who are capable of attending and succeeding in any school they wish after Sunstone. School choices include a wide variety of private and public middle schools, high schools and colleges.

At the middle and high school level approximately 50% of our graduating sixth years move on to attend private schools such as Northwest Academy (NWA), Metro Montessori Middle School, St. Francis Academy, OES, Pacific Crest Community School (PCCS), Riverdale K-8, and Catlin Gabel, while the other 50% transfer to their local public schools.

At the college level, our students continue to thrive in a wide variety of private institutions, state colleges and universities:

  • UCLA
  • Goucher
  • Embry Riddle University
  • University of Oregon
  • Oregon State
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Agnes Scott College
  • Whitman College
  • MIT
  • Willamette University
  • Notre Dame
  • University of Denver
  • UC Santa Cruz-Rachel Carson College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Portland State
  • Texas Christian University
  • University of Alabama
  • and Western Washington University to name a few

Curiosity, Confidence, Self-Reliance, and Flexibility

“We love Sunstone students! Our teachers are always impressed with how comfortably Sunstone students enter our program considering our intensive writing expectations and homework load.

The curiosity, confidence, self-reliance and flexibility that students gain in Sunstone’s program sets them up for success in ours. These skills allow them to meet challenges and new expectations with grace and ease.

Most importantly, Sunstone students are wonderful citizens. They are committed to treating everyone with kindness and helping to create a welcoming and respectful community.”

Rachael Torchia, Head of Middle School, Northwest Academy

How Do Montessori Students Transition to Middle School?

Sunstone graduates transition to middle school really well because they are capable, curious, compassionate life-long learners!

But parents often want a longer, more detailed, answer, so we invited Sunstone alumni, Holden Anderson and Kendall Accetta, to field questions from Sunstone parents and here is what they said:

Q: Did you feel prepared for the transition to other schools in which homework was assigned?

Holden: Montessori prepares you to be responsible for yourself. It wasn’t hard to to get used to homework because of this sense of instilled responsibility.

Q: How hard was the transition socially to go from a Montessori school to a different school setting?

Kendall: Having a Montessori background was a conversation starter that helped me make friends. In Montessori you can choose subjects that speak to you and you are able to pursue those subjects. You are able to find out what really interests you at Sunstone. This helps in the transition and allows you to easily find others with common interests.

Q: Were you prepared for the transition from having choice in what work you can do to being told what to work on?

Holden: There is a misconception that you can do whatever you want in the classroom at Sunstone. There is choice, but you are accountable and held responsible, and there are some things that you do have to do, like math, and reading, and writing.

Kendall: The transition to Middle School was exciting for me. It was something different and I was excited to learn new subjects.

Q: Did you feel like you had to unlearn things in Middle School because the concepts are taught through different methods and through materials?

Kendall: I didn’t feel I had to unlearn anything. Sunstone teaches you how to think, how to learn. I remember there being a great emphasis on teamwork at Sunstone. They teach you how to work with other people, how to be kind and accepting. Yeah, Sunstone teaches you how to be a good human.

Holden: No. I didn’t feel like I had to unlearn things. The subject that was perhaps the most different was math, because at Sunstone we had a lot of concrete materials to learn mathematical concepts with. But the Sunstone Guides did a good job of transitioning me from doing math with materials to doing math abstractly on paper, without materials, so it was not a drastic change. I didn’t feel like I had to unlearn anything. In fact, Sunstone allowed me to develop my passion for math by giving me access to such complicated math at such a young age in a way that I understood. As a result I was able to pursue math at a very high level in High School (Calculus 3) and will continue this passion in college.

Sunstone Alumni