Clark Montessori High School is nationally recognized for academic excellence and is a place where students and teachers work in communities to lead students in developing intellectual skills while learning to influence society in meaningful ways. Clark is the nation’s first public Montessori high school.
Focusing on the triangle of Montessori education — students, teachers, parents — Clark works to form a strong community of adults and teenagers who respect each other.
Clark Montessori allows students enrolled in Montessori elementary schools to continue their Montessori education through 12th grade. Maria Montessori’s vision for the adolescent included learning from the real world, achieving "valorization" of the person and contributing to the betterment of society.
In the classroom, the Montessori teaching method engages students in their learning by fostering their natural curiosity about the world and by providing an environment that guides their natural drive to learn.
- Staff and students train in mindfulness, restorative practices and peer mediation to influence core values of peace, respect, learning, hard work and community.
- Classrooms are organized into multigrade learning communities.
- Students, parents and teachers sign agreements requiring a commitment to the Montessori values of learning, community involvement, and respect for others.
- Clark's endorsed high school diploma includes several requirements:
- Earning additional math, science and social studies credits through senior year
- Completing 200 hours of community service throughout high school (plus 36 hours per year in grades 7-8)
- Completing all field studies (8 in high school)
- All seniors complete a year-long project, an in-depth study on a topic of choice. The project is phased in over the course of a year, allowing seniors to learn long-range planning skills and to connect their academic study to a hands-on project that contributes to society. Students present their final projects to the Clark community during an exhibition night prior to graduation.
- All students participate in four weeks of off-site field study each year. Students in high school continue this journey by selecting from an array of two-week intersessions that allow them to explore their passions in-depth.
- Fundraising, scholarships and work opportunities are available for families to pay for field study experiences.
- Eighth-graders travel to Andros Island, Bahamas, for a marine biology and cultural field study at a scientific field station.
- Other Intersession courses vary from year-to-year, but past offerings have included studying art in New York City, traveling to Morocco, hiking the Appalachian Trail, serving and learning from the homeless community in Cincinnati, filmmaking, local food discovery and cooking, space exploration, and others.