Is Middle School Scary?

the 2021-2022 AMS community sitting on the stairs smiling

I still vividly remember my first day of middle school. As the bright morning sun shone through the windows, I sat in a classroom amidst strangers.  I only recognized a couple of kids, but they sat several desks away, too far to talk to without attracting unwanted attention.  Instead I sat with my head down, […]

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Importance of Free Time for Students

students climbing on a bouldering wall

It’s a typical Monday morning at AMS. A group of students are riding skateboards on the school courtyard. Another group are climbing an apple tree and talking excitedly. One student sits on the grass reading to themselves while some other students play a board game at a picnic table. These students are not being rewarded. […]

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How to Survive Middle School Without a Phone

three middle schoolers smiling

Middle schools is a time for milestones. For many students, this will be the first time they need to change classes or use a locker combination. They will experience transitions in both their bodies and their interests. This awkward time often marks the end of their childhood friendships and the beginnings of ones that may stay with […]

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Welcome Back 2021

students walking through the garden

Even as a small child, I always found it confusing that school years start in the fall. Autumn is a time for winding down. Trees are ending their annual cycle, the garden is approaching its final harvest, the holidays and end of year is in sight.  Yet in the midst of all these endings, students, […]

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Activism in Appalachia Field Trip 2021

Every year during their 18 day field trips, the middle schoolers of Arthur Morgan School create a blog, documenting their trip. The students post pictures and write about what they did each day. They get to choose what moments they want to highlight and show off to their parents and friends at home.  The blog […]

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Real Talk on Student Led Conferences

middle schoolers looking at a portfolio

Student led conferences are quickly replacing parent teacher conferences as a way of communicating students’ academic progress. The idea is that students do most of the talking, informing their parents about their academic goals and how they think they are doing in each class.  Teachers find that student led conferences often lead to empowerment and students taking ownership over their […]

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Building School Community Partnerships Takes Work

middle schoolers working with people

Schools and their surrounding communities often share a symbiotic relationship. When a neighborhood flourishes, so does its local schools. In turn, those schools bring their community together through events and friendships amongst the students. For Arthur Morgan School, the partnership with its surrounding community runs deep. Two Halves of the Same Whole Arthur Morgan helped […]

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Life and Death Decisions Make for Effective Ways to Empower Students

middle schooler feeding turkeys

Thanksgiving week is fast approaching and that means it’s turkey season. Every year, Arthur Morgan School raises its own turkeys and processes them for our Thanksgiving feast.  In 2010 the online magazine Grist featured the school’s annual turkey harvest in an article which drew many mixed emotions. Some commenters felt teaching middle schoolers about processing turkeys was a […]

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What Type of School is Right for my Child?

middle school students studying

“What school is right for my child?” It is a common question. I’ve watched friends grapple with this question for years, but never believed it would be a question my husband and I would be asking. We started our version of this discussion when our son was about to enter eighth grade and we realized […]

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Why Failure Can Be a Good Thing

2 middle schoolers looking stressed

In seventh grade, I experienced my first real academic failure. My science teacher assigned us a large project. We had to research and present about the different organ systems of a specific animal. As an awkward seventh grader, I was not excited about this idea. Puberty and new social dynamics had hit me hard and […]

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