7th and 8th Grade
Seventh and Eighth grade Montessori students are starting in a new plane of development, the 12-15 early adolescent plane. Based on brain development and the developing social, personal, and psychological needs of adolescents, the curriculum uses three modes of work: large group work, with the entire school body, small group work, a randomly selected group of three or four students, and individual work. Learning happens in all three modes.
In this multi-age classroom, the curriculum is integrated for the subjects based on themes. There are 10 different themes over two years. Year B are school years that begin with even numbers (2010, 2012, etc.) Year C are school years that begin in odd numbers. All state curricula are covered within this framework.
Students are expected to master concepts at 85%. The curriculum is demanding, but students have choice in the projects that are chosen. They are also assisted by trained Montessori guides who have training in learning differences. Learning for themselves how they learn is an important skill that will build success.
9th and 10th Grade
Traditionally, Montessori students are educated in three year segments based on observation of student growth and levels of understanding. Ninth grade is seen as part of the lower adolescent curriculum, and tenth grade is part of the upper adolescent program. In reality, the edges are not that smooth.
In many parts of the curriculum, ninth and tenth graders will expand and explore more deeply what the middle school students are doing. That will happen in Mathematics, Language Arts, and Science, although in all of their studies, the older students will have much higher expectations and may master higher level skills. History (Social Studies) will move these older students farther along the timeline of history to the present looking at world history, issues, and culture.
The Roberts Academy courses of study reflect an integration of the Nebraska requirements, the newest research on the developmental needs of adolescents, the Montessori philosophy, the state of the art in current learning theory and the predictions of the skills needed for a productive life in the twenty-first century. Mastery learning is still the standard and students receive credit for the courses they have mastered.
11th and 12th Grade
This upper end of the secondary Montessori curriculum continues to encourage adolescents to prepare for the future. Many of the activities and most of the classes are to assist students in their future pursuits.
Eleventh and Twelfth graders continue with their courses in mathematics, history, sciences, and health, communication arts, but have much more voice in how they accomplish these goals that will enable them to graduate and pursue the future they want. Students can develop and study elective classes that will enhance their own educational goals.Students who wish to take technical classes or college classes are encouraged to take advantage of courses offered at local colleges and universities.
Recognizing the need for high school records, credits will be given for courses mastered and recorded for students to meet the Nebraska high school graduation requirements.
The Roberts Academy courses of study reflect an integration of the Nebraska requirements, the newest research on the developmental needs of adolescents, the Montessori philosophy, the state of the art in current learning theory, and the predictions of the skills needed for a productive life in the 21st Century.
Other areas of study:
Students in grades 7-12 participate in internships. These internships are for short periods of time in middle school and progress to working with a community member on projects later in high school as students pursue career interests.
Additionally, grades 7-12 participate in entrepreneurship opportunities to teach students about the world of work. Montessori believed that adolescents need to learn about handling money and financial decisions in a safe environment. Meaning that students need to handle money, budgets, and financial decisions before they need to do it on their own when wrong decisions can have severe consequences.