Manhattan Country School is another school that offers a Pre-K through 8th grade curriculum. As a result, there is no “middle school.” Rather, there is a Lower School and an Upper School, although the Upper School consists of 5th grade through 8th grade.
The Upper School program at Manhattan Country School is designed to prepare students for high school:
The Upper School incorporates the school’s mission of engagement and justice within a sequential curriculum preparatory to high school. It balances active experiential learning, intellectual inquiry, and adolescent development. Academic expectations are high, encouraging children to think critically, to demonstrate in-depth understanding of course material, and to offer analysis comparing multiple perspectives. Students in the Upper School are nurtured and challenged in exploring themselves, culture, and identity. Mastery of academic skills occurs in tandem with increased self-awareness and community involvement.
In 7th and 8th grades, the program is fully departmentalized and taught by specialists. English, history, and science are taught in mixed age groupings. These classes promote academic mentoring relationships and allow for more support for the wide range in adolescent development. Math and Spanish, requiring sequential instruction, are taught primarily in grade groupings. Electives expand arts, music, and physical education offerings. Seventh and 8th graders meet regularly with an advisor who provides personal and academic support.
There are some unique aspects to the Upper School curriculum at Manhattan Country School. One of those is the fact that the school’s facilities includes a farm in the Catskills Mountains. At the farm, students learn about community, interdependence, nature, and sustainability.
When students visit The Farm, the participate in the daily chores of the farm. These include milking cows, collecting fresh-laid eggs, cooking meals with vegetables from the garden and organically-raised meat products. They bake bread, boil maple syrup, spin yarn, and participate in various other educational activities that develop their understanding of the natural world while building character.
Students in the Upper School study all the same traditional courses students at other schools study as well: Math, Science, English, History, Physical Education, etc. They can also participate in community activism, athletics, the arts, and an after school program.
Manhattan Country School employs a sliding-scale tuition model to give students from an economically disadvantaged background the same level of opportunity as other students.
The Manhattan Country School Upper School curriculum is based on the following core values:
- Farm and Nature