Check Out These Testimonials From Parents and Alumni:

AMS enables profound, positive change

Ken & Kim, Raleigh, NC

“Our daughter recently completed her first year at AMS, and we could not be more pleased. This school develops 7th, 8th and 9th graders from all backgrounds how to deeply understand themselves, and each other. The relationships that exist between students and staff are genuine, and life-changing. During visits over the school year we witnessed a happy, caring, engaged group of young teenagers actively learning about the world around them. We can’t imagine a better staff, nor a better learning environment!”

A model for holistic middle school education

Noah & Amy, Saluda, NC

“Our daughter has attended AMS for two years and we could not be happier with the outcomes we’ve observed, not just academically, but in her development as a student of the world and how it works (or doesn’t) . When we applied for admission, our deepest desire for our daughter was to take discovery of her self to the next level, to hone her capacity to learn, to live in community, and to shine her light brightly into adolescence and adulthood. On all counts, our expectations have been exceeded. During these critical middle school years, AMS excels at fortifying its students with the tools to navigate the complexities of adolescence with the help of talented mentors in the areas of academic and social development. They provide what every child on this earth desperately needs, caring adults who can listen, help process feelings, and encourage opportunities for growth. The unique learning environment at AMS has allowed our daughter to deepen understanding of both content and connections to the real world. I have been impressed over and over again by the depth of knowledge AMS students have on pretty much any subject they’ve studied and their ability to engage in thoughtful, genuinely curious conversations. These will be lifelong learners. Part of the mission of AMS is to teach students how to live in “a community that honors simplicity, respect, responsibility and thoughtful consideration.” If our daughter can continue to carry those values and skills into high school and beyond, every second and every penny spent will have been worth it.”

A school that fosters the whole person

Cedar – alumni and parent, Burnsville, NC

“As a former student and parent of two students, I love this school dearly. AMS creates an environment where children can grow into teenagers with a strong value system. The expectation that they take part in work projects (in the kitchen, chopping wood, cleaning out that back shed) teaches them that they can contribute to the community. Through All School Meeting they learn that their ideas are important to shaping the community. Through backpacking trips they learn that they are capable of more than they thought. The kids are given wonderful support from a generous staff body. The staff have become very important mentors for my girls. The classes have been interesting and diverse and shaped their love of learning. AMS shows that school can be so much more than what one usually finds.

A wonderful place for middle schoolers to grow up

Jonathan, Parent of 2 students, Burnsville, NC

“I am the parent of 2 kids who attended AMS. It is such a beautiful place for these tweens to grow and find who they want to be. The small class size makes it feel very family-like. The kids are encouraged to figure out who they are without pressure to be any one way. My kids both developed confidence in a way that was astounding.”

AMS is changing my daughter’s life.

Tommy, North Carolina

“My daughter is currently a student at AMS. I could not imagine a school which better prepares young people for today’s world. Rather than a myopic focus on academics and college prep, AMS focuses on the holistic development of the student as a citizen and a human. Given the high rates of depression and anxiety at many of our country’s most elite colleges, I think it is not a bad thing to re-think our educational priorities when it comes to adolescents and teens. At AMS, the outdoor program, school chores and work projects provide real-world experience, the seminar-style academic classes focus on critical thinking and writing skills way above standard middle school grade-level, integrating learning into real-world context; most importantly, the consensus decision making process at the school gives students the opportunity to understand how to navigate the complexity of distributed power, and their own individual relationship to a community. AMS may sometimes carry the label of “progressive” or experimental, but its methods are backed up by a lot of new research that I have come across on effective educational approaches for adolescents. Full disclosure that there is no one stellar sports or theater program, for example — however crafts and visual arts are particularly impressive. But parents looking for such a single focused program might want to look elsewhere. The strength of the school really lies in the holistic experience and the education it provides young people on being a human in this world.”