Middle School (7th & 8th grade)
Because Happy People Make a Better World
At Metro in Northwest Portland, young adolescents are given the opportunity to develop their interests and passions through study and hands-on work every day. They grow in independence by balancing freedom and responsibility in a small community setting. Our Guide team is here to support, challenge, and inspire!
Our doors are always open for your family to gain a first-hand experience of what it feels and looks like to be a Metro student! We offer Program Tours for parents and adolescents as well as Shadowing Experiences once we receive your Application. We are also looking forward to getting to know your whole family in an informal Family Interview so we can tailor your adolescent’s learning experience to their strengths and meet their developmental needs.
Social Development and Community Life
A Safe Container to Build Self-Confidence
Here at Metro, we cultivate a welcoming and safe environment for adolescents to navigate the ups and downs of early adolescence. Your teen learns to be a competent and valued member of the community, supported by their Advisor and the Metro Guide team. They try new things, learn from their mistakes, and in the process find out who they are. There’s nothing like a Metro experience to develop self-confidence and preparedness for the bigger social realm of high school and beyond!
Metro is a place of belonging. We take a Restorative Practices approach to positively build community through the use of circles, affective language, and addressing conflicts in the community. Your adolescent will actively shape the life of the community with projects such as developing a Code of Civility at the beginning of each school year, processing concerns in weekly Council meetings, and supporting their peers, aided by an Advisor, in mixed-age Advisory groups. This is becoming by doing!
Individualized, Inquiry and Project-based, Experiential
- Build a bike from scratch and learn all about the physics of simple machines.
- Puzzle over the conundrums of ethical dilemmas and argue your point in a collaborative setting.
- Design an earth oven and create a delicious and healthy meal to enjoy.
- Wonder about the origins of city life and how it can inspire solutions to 21st century problems.
- Yearn to make a difference by working on the big issues of society with students across the world and propose solutions to the real United Nations.
Immerse yourself into Metro experiential learning and apply, explore, and deepen your understanding of core skills across the subjects in integrated Humanities and Occupations classes. Find your favorite art and build it into your personal creative expression or a business! Distinguish yourself through your passion and collaborate with individuals like and unlike you. Metro is the place to find yourself as a scientist, writer, creator AND collaborate with other self-motivated learners to make a better world, one project at a time.
Why Metro Graduates succeed in all high school environments?
Self-Confidence, Skills, Preparation for Life
We asked the Metro community: what kind of a person is a Metro graduate? Here is what we came up with - the profile of an 8th Grader ready for high school. We call it the Middle School Learner Outcomes. By the time your adolescent graduates Metro, they know how to advocate for themselves, handle traditional homework, manage their time, and place into a variety of Honors and AP classes. But most importantly, they have developed as a whole person.
Nuts + Bolts Classes
In our “Nuts and Bolts” classes, we build the foundations for a 21st century education: our students learn key skills and concepts in the fundamental subjects of Mathematics, English Language Arts, STEM, and Spanish to become critical and creative thinkers as well as excellent communicators and collaborators.
Occupations and Humanities
We question, think, discuss, read, write, and process using history, social sciences, and philosophy. Some of our Humanities classes are: Ethics, Urban Origins, Economics, Lifeways of the Pacific Northwest, Gender Equity.
We tinker, experiment, problem-solve, and create combining mathematics and STEM. Examples of Occupations classes are: The Human Body, Physics through the Bicycle, Child Development, Food + Fire, River Ecology.
Students create business plans, generate products and provide services to the community, and manage finances. Our newest enterprise is the Metro Bakery: our students bake for Cycle Town Coffee Roastery next door. They also manage finances, logistics, communication, and delivery!
Our students write a new Play from scratch every year, then produce it in a four-week intensive with all hands on deck.
The second 6 week learning cycle of the academic year is an amazing platform to think critically, sharpen research and writing skills, collaborate in a team, and perform in collaborative or competitive settings! Our adolescents may choose to participate in Montessori Model United Nations, the Oregon Middle School Ethics Bowl, or a STEM-based experience such as Science Expo or First Lego League.
A Campus Way Bigger than a School
We take a pedagogy of place approach to learning and constantly create new opportunities for our adolescents to engage outside the classroom.
Some of our community partners are:
- The PSU Department of Philosophy
- The PSU School for Art + Design
- The Portland Art Museum
- Focus on Youth
- The Rebuilding Center
Trips! Where Challenge Meets Skills for Extraordinary Experiences
We start the year with Odyssey
The Odyssey trip is the foundation of community life at Metro. We camp for 7 days and in the process learn to cook, work on the land, orient ourselves to the history and culture of the place, backpack, and bond over the ups and downs of stretching beyond our comfort zone. THIS is Odyssey!
Montessori Model United Nations: New York, Here we Come
This academically challenging class culminates for a group of 8th Graders in a trip to New York City where our Student Delegates work with adolescents from many countries to find solutions for the world’s toughest problems, ranging from climate change, to houselessness, to protecting the rights of the child. The Conference closes at the United Nations in a close-to-life simulation of the voting process on Resolutions. There’s nothing more satisfying than collaboration across differences to imagine a better world!
We end the year with Spring Trip
In early June, we venture out on a 5-day trip for science-based adventures, biking and camping, and to close the year as an even stronger community.
Why It Matters: Rigorous External Evaluation of the Student Experience and High School Credit!
Metro is accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This means that we develop a 6 year action plan to constantly review and improve the learning experience of our students, leading up to a site visit where WASC studies all aspects of our program. WASC then generates a report that critically assesses the effectiveness of Metro.
Metro was reaccredited in October 2021 and received a glowing report. The program was evaluated as “highly effective” in many categories such as:
- Creating a positive, safe, inclusive learning environment that supports high achievement for all students.
- Providing a high level of caring and concern by staff and exhibiting the qualities of respect and inclusivity while embracing the individuality of the student.
- Institutional planning and processes to continuously improve the school based on comprehensive, data-driven, reflective input from all stakeholders.
- Engaging students in a variety of research-based instructional strategies that are varied and assist in meeting students where they are in their learning.
- Offering classes that are true to Montessori pedagogy, highly engaging, interactive, and hands-on and develop high levels of critical thinking and student engagement.
- Creating a strong and consistent sense of connectedness and collective understanding of identity and association with the school and learning experiences among students.
Accreditation also means: our students are earning high school credit in Mathematics and Spanish!