MIDDLE SCHOOL (Ages 12-15)
The 7th and 8th grade years encompass a time of rapid growth and
change in the early adolescent. In response to the developmental needs
of this age group, School of the Woods implemented a program which has
become a model for other Montessori and public middle school programs.
The program seeks the empowerment of adolescents through the encouragement
of both individual "response-ability" and cooperative skills.
All subjects are interrelated, and large blocks of thinking time allow
for the emerging cognitive ability to explore possibilities and ideas.
Curricula are interdisciplinary and multi-stranded, and applications to
life are emphasized in each subject area.
Students prepare a monthly progress report for parents and plan and
initiate parent-student-teacher conferences three times a year. They evaluate
themselves in 3 areas: academic growth, individual "response-ability,"
and group "response-ability." Students now must demonstrate a
90% mastery of each area of study through presentations as well as test
scores. Two independent study projects are required each year as well as
one elective per month in order to address the adolescent need to explore
Cooperative skills are enhanced through community service, community
building activities (such as the ROPES course) and cross-age teaching.
Students participate as interns for 3 weeks in schools, 2 weeks of which
are spent with handicapped students. Another week of internship is served
in local businesses. Students interact in student government committees,
and they present science, history and computer lessons to other School
of the Woods' students. Class businesses allow students to exercise cooperative
and practical applications of skills. Students also plan monthly socials
where they may attend plays, movies, or dances.
HIGH SCHOOL (Ages 15-18)
The Woods High School courses of study reflect an integration of the Texas requirements of essential elements, 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.
The curriculum and instruction is designed as a four-year program in which students earn at least 24 Texas Education Agency credits. The english, speech, Spanish, health education, outdoor education, service learning, and fine arts are courses of continuous progress. The science, humanities, health and math are studied by topics or concepts. Students must earn 4 credits of english, 4 credits of math, 3-4 credits of science, 4 credits of social science, 2 credits of foreign language, 2 credits of health, 1.5 credits of health fitness, 1 credits of fine arts, 1 credit of academic electives, 2 credits of speech, 2 credits of computer technology, 1 credit of community outreach, 1 credit of career education and .5 credits of other electives. Students who are interested in college level courses can enroll for a 3 or 4 credit hour class during their senior year.
Woods High School offers a challenging curriculum. Students are expected to complete core classes with an 80% mastery of the material. Students who complete core course work on time with 80% mastery receive credit for the course with an Honors designation. Students who choose to challenge themselves in specific classes and complete the additional projects assigned will receive credit with a Gifted/Talented Honors designation. Students who need more time, alternative assessment, or extensive coaching in any course will receive credit for the course with an Academic designation.