Adolescent Program – 7th & 8th Grade

Coming September 2024!

Sunstone is Opening a Middle School!

We are very excited to announce that Sunstone Montessori will open a Middle School in September 2024!

Modeled after Maria Montessori’s Farm School, our middle school program will support adolescents during the most critical, and most vulnerable stages of their transition to adulthood–the 7th and 8th grade years.

Sunstone’s Farm School will provide the ideal mixture of intellectual, practical, and ethical work that allows the young adult a safe space to sculpt their emerging identity, understand their place in society, and create opportunities to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

Take a Tour

Please click below to join Peter Oviatt, future Sunstone Farm School Guide, and Cathy Newman, Head of School, at our Rusk Road campus for an overview of what a Montessori Farm School is and how this specifically prepared environment works in tandem with an interdisciplinary curriculum to perfectly support the teenager’s passage to adulthood. We will address Sunstone’s vision for the Rusk Road campus, which is slated to open in September of 2024, and provide opportunity to explore the expansive 12-acre campus! Click below to schedule your tour.

Agrarian Landscape

We have signed a lease for a bucolic, 12 acre campus, located just 4.5 miles due South of our Woodstock campus. With a pond, wooded land, open fields, and a mature stand of beautiful Oregon white oak, this land will allow us to realize the prepared environment that Maria Montessori recommended for adolescents. 

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Designed to Meet the Specific Needs of the Adolescent

Teenagers need opportunities to develop higher order “formal” thinking skills through reasoning, debate, and personal expression. They need a broad academic curriculum emphasizing the interrelationship of subject areas and practical “hands-on” experiences that lead to sophisticated problem-solving and meaningful contributions. They need to feel a sense of community among teachers and students to establish the classroom as a safe place to learn and grow. Sunstone’s AP campus will be the environment specifically prepared to meet all of these needs.

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Interdisciplinary Academic Curriculum

Our Adolescent Program will provide an interdisciplinary academic curriculum designed to guide students from introduction, to exploration, to mastery in mathematics and science, history, language arts, and world languages, while simultaneously providing the necessary hands-on learning experience of a working farm with goats and chickens, and a wide array of crops (including shiitake mushrooms!). This will form the basis of a micro-economy, a rich opportunity for students to apply their math, science, and social skills to real-world experience, while getting a taste of economic independence. 

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Trained Guide

Our very own Peter Oviatt, current Lupine Room Assistant, will take the lead at our Milwaukie campus. Incorporating stewardship, global citizenship, and a rich interdisciplinary curriculum, he will guide our Sunstone adolescents along their individual paths towards adulthood.

Peter earned his doctorate in Cultural Anthropology and Science Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has research experience in ecology, food systems and environmental ethics. Combined with his work in the Children’s House and Elementary classrooms here at Sunstone, Peter has an ideal foundation to lead our Adolescent Program. He has begun an AMI Adolescent Diploma Course that will include a summer residency at Hershey Montessori School, one of the first farm environments to realize Maria Montessori’s vision for the needs of the adolescent.

The Doors (and farm gate) of the Sunstone Farm School will open in September 2024! We are beyond excited and we feel very fortunate that we are able to expand our program to support the crucial transition of our Upper Elementary graduates into early adulthood.