Intermediate Program

Montessori Education for Adolescents Ages 12–15


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Our Intermediate students are...

students observing nature at the pond


From planting seeds on their organic farm to researching composting stations, our students are environmental leaders, educated in sustainable practices, and ready to change the world

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Conflict resolution and peace studies give students the tools to grow into responsible, compassionate, and diplomatic young adults with a love of their community.


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Global Citizens

To confidently speak at the Model UN, travel to San Francisco for immigration studies, and converse fluently in Spanish during lunch...that's daily life in the Intermediate.

Girls practicing with sandpaper letters

Independent Thinkers

In a world of peer pressure, we've created a safe place for young adults to grow strong and flourish. Students develop a strong sense of self and the ability to think and act independently. 


"The role students play in the farm market was one of the things that caught my attention about the school. Learning about entrepreneurship, budget management, and teamwork, is so important out there!"

~ Current Parent


What do our students love about the Intermediate program?

It's more than school, it's a community and a home. It's a safe space to learn and grow during the adolescent years. It's where school doesn't feel like school and every day is different. The lessons learned here build the foundation for life beyond school.

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Academically Prepared and Ready for Real-World Challenges

A Montessori education gives students a holistic, experiential learning experience without the stress and burnout.

From Writer's Workshops to debate, our students learn every subject in a way that resonates with them, where school doesn't seem like "school" and classes and projects take place inside the classroom, outside in nature, or in the external community. The end result is a well-rounded, holistic education that allows adolescents to pursue their passions and build a strong foundation for future academic studies.

Learn More About Intermediate Academics

Not Your "Average" Middle School or Private School

Never a boring day on our student-run organic farm! Our students learn how to create, market, and sell products through our robust Micro-Economy program.  


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Frequently Asked Questions

Intermediate Academics

Our students are academically prepared for High School without the stress and burnout


Hear from Emma Rodwin, the Intermediate Program Director and Upper School Director of Education about how our graduates are prepared for the next level and our changing world.

Life after Butler Montessori: Where do our graduates go?

Our graduates go on to private schools, magnet schools like Poolesville (the Ecology program is popular among graduates!), and public school. It all depends on their interests and where they want to go. We're here to guide and support them on their journey.


Middle School Spanish, Art, Music, Humanities, Science, Drama, Micro-Economy, PE, and much more!

Beyond traditional academics, our Montessori Adolescent program includes a wide range of "specials" to create a holistic learning experience for students.


Intermediate studies are tied as closely as possible to the student-run organic farm. Students see the practical value of the concepts they learn in class, and are able to apply this knowledge to a smooth and efficient running of the farm.

Topics in the science program may include Chemistry, Astronomy, Evolutionary Biology, the Human Body, Water, Energy, Biodiversity, Genetics & Biotechnology, Simple Machines, Engineering, and more.

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Effective expression through writing is particularly important in the adolescent years.

Students learn how to express themselves creatively through poetry, short stories, novels, skits, and speeches. They also practice expository and analytical writing in research essays, lab reports, and literary analysis papers.

Following the writing process, from brainstorming to editing, is highly emphasized as all forms of writing are integrated across the disciplines.

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Students immerse themselves in topics such as American Government and Civics, the History of Montgomery County, MD, Immigration, the Civil Rights Movement, the Ancient World, Trade and Exploration, World Religions, Studies of Race, Sex, & Gender, Studies of Peace, and more.

These topics are brought to life as students are engaged in debates, elections, speeches, field trips, research papers, document-based questions, seminar discussions, presentations, and more.

The program prepares adolescents for further areas of study and fosters lifelong skills of communication, confidence, and a deep passion for learning.

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The underlying aim of mathematics is to challenge students in mathematical thinking, understanding, and problem-solving at levels appropriate to individual students.

Student work includes lessons from age-appropriate Montessori materials, textbooks, individual projects, group projects, tests, and note-taking. During their time in the program, students progress naturally through topics in pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry, preparing them well for further studies of mathematics in high school and beyond.

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With the foundation students build during our Spanish program, they are well prepared to continue learning the language in high school and beyond. Students learn vocabulary, grammar structures, and reading and oral communication through everyday interactions like cooking Community Lunch using Spanish!

Learn More About Spanish
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Performing Arts 

By the time students reach the Intermediate, they have acquired a level of confidence and competency that allows them to enjoy and understand even more of the nuts and bolts of their theatrical production. The preparation of the Spring Play engages them not just as performers and crew members, but also as guides and helpers for the younger students.

Learn More About Performing Arts
students performing in the spring play


Cultivating community is the central focus of the Intermediate Program. In this unique environment, students actively work to create and maintain strong bonds with their peers and teachers through every aspect of their school life, including classes, trips, farm work, creative expressions, and much more.

Each year, we strive to establish a community that feels like a family, supporting adolescents in their social, emotional, and personal growth.

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Through the Micro-Economy, students not only learn to run a small business and develop financial literacy skills, but they also develop a connection with the earth. From planting seeds or tending chickens on their organic farm to building composting stations and implementing sustainability practices, our students are environmental leaders ready to change the world.

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Summer Intermediate

The Intermediate Summer Program offers rising 7th, 8th, and 9th-year students the opportunity to learn the routines of the Intermediate Program, develop leadership skills, and contribute to the student-run Micro-Economy through their work on the Intermediate Farm. During each student's required 2-week rotation, they create strong bonds with their classmates that last throughout the year.

students feeding chickens


One of the goals of the music curriculum is instrumental and vocal practice in ensembles. The students work on Orff barred instruments, African drums, recorders, unpitched percussions, body percussion, and singing, on a rotating model. They learn how to improvise and create their own melodic and rhythmic patterns and experiment with movement and kinesthesia. Students enjoy singing harmonies and challenge themselves with singing multiple-part songs, rounds, canons, and descants.

Learn More About Music
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While art is integrated into all areas of the curriculum, Intermediate students enjoy a dedicated art class each week. Based on the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, students build the foundational skills needed to excel in more complex and intricate forms of art. Examples of art projects include printmaking, illuminated manuscripts, collage, sculpture, and more.

Learn More About Art
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Physical Education (PE)

From Wilderness Survival Skills and Recreational Tree Climbing to Swing Dancing and Traditional Sports, there's nothing boring about this PE program.

Learn More About PE
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Organic Farm

As part of the Intermediate program’s Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA), students raise chickens, grow vegetables and herbs, and produce items such as homemade breads, cookies, tomato sauce, pesto, and more.

These items, as well as eggs from the chickens, may be purchased by parents and staff every week.

Learn More About our Green School
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Travel & Culture

During their time in the Intermediate, students plan and travel to different locations, including New York City, California, and more. These trips are tied to what the students learn in the classroom, culminating in a Culture, Science, and Peace Study each spring.

Students embark on other trips throughout the year, including camping and backpacking trips, DC museum and embassy visits, ski trips, local community service opportunities, and more.

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Self-Expression Learning

Self-Expressions include a two-hour class each week with a small group of students. In these 5-week intensive courses, students experiment with art, cooking, music & theater, and physical activities, each guided by an adult expert.

In Art, students experiment with a particular form of art, learning from experts and practicing techniques. Ceramics is a favorite subject, where students learn the ins and outs of hand-building with clay.

In Community Lunch, students learn different cooking techniques, to work as a team, and enjoy tasting different flavors from around the world. Students are involved in the entire process, from planning the menu and shopping with a budget, to following recipes and preparing a meal for a large group.



In Physical Expressions, students practice unique skills such as bushcraft, wilderness survival skills, wood carving, tree climbing, swing dancing, and more. These classes not only help students develop physical skills, but they also encourage team building, trust, and support.

In Music & Theater, students work on creative projects such as fractured fairy tales, podcasting, mini-musicals, and more. The students are involved in each part of the process, from brainstorming to performing, all while working together as a group.



See our Intermediate program in action!

Interested in learning more about our Intermediate program for adolescents? Visit our beautiful 22-acre campus for a personalized tour of our award-winning green school programs, organic student-run farm, and our experiential academic learning environments. 


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