At Compass Montessori School, our Farm School program incorporates the core elements of Dr. Montessori’s suggested Erdkinder model: growing, producing, and exchanging. We have a Farm occupation responsible for planting, caring for, and harvesting food from the land and caring for the animals. In place of a residential program, we have a Community and Kitchen occupation. Its charge is to transform, prepare, and process food from the farm, host school lunch, host guests to the school, and prepare for special events. We also have a Store occupation that sets up, designs, runs the Store, and sells items grown and produced by both the Farm and Community and Kitchen. The three occupations and the Makerspace form an interdependent Micro-Economy - each dependent on the other.
Dr. Montessori speaks to the importance of adolescents spending time away from their families during this critical period. While we cannot develop a boarding component, we endeavor to provide our students with multiple opportunities to experience elements essential to residential life throughout the school year. We have a long history of spending extended periods of time off-campus, and overnight.
Plan of Study & Work
At Compass, the Plan of Study and Work focuses on instruction in history, science, math, geometry, language arts, civics, and “self-expressions.”
The Plan of Study and Work is structured around the Farm School’s micro-economy. Our 145 students each spend a year in one of three communities: the Farm, the Community and Kitchen, and the Store. Within these communities, psychic work stems from the work of the occupations. The real work and projects students design for their academic skills are relevant to their goals. Each student's cohort has a guide focusing, respectively, on Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies/Science. The guides provide students with the structure of the occupation with which they can explore these disciplines and ensure a daily work time when students can work on projects not directly tied to the occupation, such as core math concepts, creative writing, and humanities projects. The Makerspace serves as a prepared environment for students to imagine, design, and create projects in support of their academic or occupation work. Students also have four hour-blocks set aside four times a week for self-expressions unity. During this time, service for the community, outside of the classroom walls, comes with great potential. The children have a strong sense of justice and right and wrong. This is the time when they take ownership of their school environment and community. They also utilize their grace and courtesy lessons daily and call each other out on bad manners and inappropriate behavior, if the right lessons are instilled in the students.