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Intermediate Academics

Montessori Education for Adolescents Ages 12-15

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Academically prepared for High School without the stress and burnout

How are our graduates prepared for the next level and our changing world?


See our Intermediate program in action!


"Because of the people you want to come back every day. Because of the people you try to do your hardest. And it's because of the people you don't want to leave even after school has ended. "

Graduate, '19

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.


Visit our Intermediates and see the program in action!


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 include Chemistry, Astronomy, Animal Biology, the Human Body, Water, Energy, and Biodiversity. 


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 songs. 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.



Students immerse themselves in topics such as American Government and Civics, the History of Montgomery County, Immigration, the Civil Rights Movement, the Classical World, Elizabethan England, World Religions, and Studies of Peace.

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.


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

The students' work includes lessons from a textbook, 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.


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, basic grammar structure, and reading and oral communication through everyday interactions like cooking Community Lunch using Spanish!

Learn More About Spanish

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, but also as guides and helpers for the younger students.

Learn More About Performing Arts


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.


Through the Micro-Economy, students not only learn to run a small business, 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. 

Learn More About Green School

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 microeconomy 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 through team-building activities, art projects, water games, and more.


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 parts songs, rounds, canons and descants.

Learn More About Music


Art is integrated into all areas of the curriculum, including Humanities, Science, Writer’s Workshop, Math, Spanish, and more.

Examples include illustrated books of poetry in Writer’s Workshop, models detailing the atoms in an element in Science, posters of storefronts in Spanish, and much more.

Art is also a focus of Self-Expressions, a two-hour small, intensive class each week where students experiment with a particular form of art, learning from experts and practicing techniques. 

Learn More About Art

Physical Education (PE)

From Wilderness Survival Skills and Recreational Tree Climbing to Sing Dancing and Traditional Sports, there's nothing boring about this PE program. Physical Expression allows a small group of students to delve intensively into a skillset for 4 weeks. 

Learn More About Physical Education

Organic Farm

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

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

Travel & Culture

During their time in the Intermediate, students plan and travel for an Immigration Study in New York and a Peace and Biodiversity Study in California, Costa Rica or other location.

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

Self-Expression Learning

Self-Expressions include a two-hour class each week with a small group of students.

In these 4-week intensive courses, students experiment with a particular form of art, dance, music, and physical activities.

Past Self-Expression units include swing dancing, tree climbing, art sculpture and more.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Students in the Intermediate program are prepared not just for academic success in their future education, but also for life.

Through their core academic classes in Math, Spanish, Writer’s Workshop, Humanities, and Science, students learn to think critically, express themselves clearly and confidently, and to develop strong interests in a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum.

Our students are also well prepared to advocate for themselves, seek help when needed, and to work with an intrinsic motivation to learn, rather than an extrinsic emphasis on grades and prizes.

These values prepare our students not simply to be successful at the high school and college level, but also to find their passions and instill in them a work ethic that will support all of their future endeavors as adults in the working world.

Through unique experiences such as managing a student-run organic farm, designing real-world travel itineraries, speaking at conferences with global participants, and much more, the Intermediate program supports foundational skills for students to be academically and personally successful, such as problem-solving, decision-making, independence, cooperation, and self-discipline.

After graduating from the Intermediate Program, most students attend local public, private, and/or parochial schools.

Students who have discovered a particular passion in their time at Butler Montessori may opt to apply for specialized magnet programs at various high schools in the area. The Intermediate guides are committed to helping each student find the right next step beyond Butler Montessori.

Examples of high schools our graduates have attended include:

  • Poolesville High School (including Humanities and Global Ecology Magnet Programs)
  • Northwest High School (including Ulysses Program)
  • Clarksburg High School (including Advanced Placement Power Scholars Program)
  • Quince Orchard High School
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel High School
  • Oneness-Family Montessori High School
  • Sandy Spring Friends School

Many of our former students return often to tell us about their lives and experiences in high school, college, and beyond.

Butler Montessori graduates have gone on to attend many selective colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland, Northwestern University, the University of Pittsburgh, Savannah College of Art and Design, the University of Tennessee, and more.

No matter where they go or what they do, Butler Montessori graduates are well equipped to find their own path and make choices that are right for them.

Yes! Students graduate from Butler Montessori with the skills they need to thrive in any environment.

The Intermediate Program is designed to help ease the transition for many students who have been in Montessori schools throughout their lives.

During their time in the Intermediate Program, students become accustomed to a more defined weekly schedule, being responsible for homework and deadlines, and managing their personal organizational system.

Having the opportunity to practice these vital skills sets students up for success when transitioning to their next educational environment.

Furthermore, students in the Intermediate Program have a sense of self and personal identity that sets them apart from their same-age peers.

They are able to advocate for themselves, are respectful and responsible, can hold meaningful conversations with adults, and feel comfortable asking for help.

One of the biggest compliments we get is that high school teachers always know a Butler Montessori graduate, as their work ethic, creativity, independence, and comfort in their own skin sets them apart.

The Intermediate Program is specially designed to meet the developmental needs and characteristics of the adolescent.

Between the ages of 12-15, there are significant physical, emotional, and psychological changes as students enter adolescence. No longer children, these young adults ask questions such as: Who am I? How can I contribute to society? What are my strengths and weaknesses?

The Intermediate Program is therefore constructed as a unique space for students to discover their identities and their passions during this transitional time in their lives. 

The Intermediate Program is a community and every student within that community is both valued by others and learns the value that they contribute to the group. This is a concept unique to Montessori education known as “valorization”. When adolescents feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for their work, their friendships, and their actions, they understand what it means to be a contributing member of society.

Montessori education is designed as an “aid to life,” and the Intermediate Program gives students all of the tools they need to succeed along their journey to adulthood.

Our students have strong academic passions, important practical life skills, lasting relationships with others, a true appreciation for nature, a deep love for their school, and a secure sense of their personal identity. 

Students who attend the Intermediate program with a background in the Butler Montessori Elementary Program are well prepared to transition to the expectations of the adolescent environment.

Butler Montessori students have a strong foundation in their academic, social, and emotional growth.

These students have spent time modeling practices of grace and courtesy, following their intellectual interests, and learning to balance personal freedom with responsibility for themselves and others.

During a child’s 6th grade year, Intermediate guides will begin to work with them in some lessons, helping them to acclimate to the expectations of the Intermediate Program and to become accustomed to different teaching styles.

Furthermore, rising 7th years are expected to attend the Intermediate Summer Program, an experience designed to help transitioning students learn the routines of the farm, become more comfortable in the adolescent environment, and to create strong community bonds with their peers and older students.


See our Intermediates 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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