What Makes a Teacher Great?
Was your favorite teacher a "by the book" type?
Did they drag out a textbook to answer questions and lecture?
Your favorite teacher was the one that put away the textbook.
You left the classroom feeling energized and empowered.
Your favorite teacher didn’t talk at you.
They made you a part of something.
Great teachers respect and challenge you.
SPMA recruits GREAT teachers. Teachers that encourage, inspire, and turn problems into problem-solving opportunities. And that's just the beginning of what we have to offer your family.
Social & Academic Environment
Sea Pines Montessori Academy's Middle School serves children 12-15 years of age, through the 8th grade.
The SPMA Middle School Program is a safe and social community with a challenging academic curriculum.
We are a community. A community that believes children should ask questions. An academic community with support for both individual and collaborative learning. More importantly, we are a social community that honors the personalities, talents, and strengths of each student.
Research shows that Montessori middle-school aged students handle social situations better than their traditionally schooled peers.
Sports, arts, music, and volunteering play an important part in student life.
We Don't Teach to the Tests
We reach beyond them.
Testing skills are critical for future school success. We embrace the challenge of preparing students for testing in high school, college, and beyond. SPMA teachers continually work with students to develop and advance their test-taking abilities throughout the school year.
Students love learning at SPMA... and it shows.
A fully accredited school with highly qualified teachers and credits that transfer, SPMA students consistently rank in the top 5% of students nationwide.
79% of our Middle School graduates enter high school performing, on average, at or above 11th grade level on almost every standardized testing achievement test.
What Our Families Are Saying
Students say the social and academic structure of SPMA helped them in high school, college, and beyond.
Socially, it was our hope that the environment at SPMA would allow our daughters to delay encounters and issues that are typical of Middle School today elsewhere, allowing them to mature in a safe setting. This paid off incredibly well as they entered Hilton Head High. The surprise that they felt in situations that seemed normal to their counterparts from other schools made them appreciate the fact that they had this time at SPMA. Academically, our girls were prepared for the work. The biggest adjustment was in having many teachers, classes, and understanding their style. It was easy for them to talk to their teachers and work through any issues, which I believe came from their experience at Montessori as well.
We are pleased with our decision to keep our daughters at SPMA through 8th grade.
The Future of Education Has Been Around For Over a Century
Experts agree, today's traditional schools are not meeting the needs of teenagers. Here's why our educational model works.
Meet the Middle School Teachers
Great teachers makes all the difference.
SPMA teachers are dedicated to helping your child grow, socially and academically. Teachers and staff are highly qualified, accredited, and experienced. From scientists to artists, we have your child's interests covered.
True to the Montessori educational approach, the Middle School Program offers a multi-age classroom setting that encourages collaborative learning and instruction. Hands-on experiments ensure students truly understand math and science concepts. Teachers are accredited, qualified, and work with students one-on-one and in group settings.
Credits transfer when your child enters high school, often with honors.
Click on a tab for detailed curriculum information.
- Language arts
Our curriculum comes from Columbia Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project which stresses how literacy and writing skills connect. Reading and writing projects create young people who are “life-long, confident readers and writers who display agency and independence in their future endeavors.”
Teens continue with an advanced math curriculum using a combination of Montessori materials, nationally recognized textbook series (Larson Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and II, and Geometry for STEM careers), and independent projects. Through project-based learning, students apply foundational skills to real-world problems ranging from architecture to space flight, from computer science to engineering, and from finance to art. The Algebra I,
Through project-based learning, students apply foundational skills to real-world problems ranging from architecture to space flight, from computer science to engineering, and from finance to art.
The Algebra I, II, and Geometry course credits transfer to a student’s high school transcript with honors class weight on the grade.
The science curriculum has been developed by Dr. Baird through the lens of her professional life as research scientist.
Inquiry-based methods are used to explore major scientific questions in physics, chemistry, biology, and geology.
Teens work in small groups, individually, or as a class to develop relevant experiments to answer the question at hand. The data are collected, analyzed, and then discussed to extrapolate a conclusion.
Students present their findings in multiple modes: oral presentations, formal research papers, and two- and three-dimensional models.
Our science, social studies, and language arts curricula are based on primary source materials, not textbooks.
Students become technologically literate through the use of Google Chromebooks (one per student), and the Google Education Suite for paperless assignments and unique classroom collaborations.
Through the integration of media arts with our Art Teacher, Kalen Wolfe, students present their research in many ways – movies, songs, slide decks, murals, dioramas, and more.
In addition, students can choose to learn to program in RobotC language with Lego robotics and Java using Alice 3, both from Carnegie Mellon University.
- Social studies
- how students learn
In conjunction with our science curriculum, teens study social studies thematically, not linearly in
Thematic studies include the Revolutions, Exploration, Government Structure, Economic Systems, and Balance of War and Peace. Each theme includes local, state, national, and international components. By studying history topically, students understand the characteristics and reasons behind important movements and eras, not just the facts about the events and who participated.
Students also learn multiple historical perspectives in their unfiltered research of primary source materials, unlike traditional school use of textbooks for historical narratives.
Montessori middle school students always learn concepts through real-world situations or contexts. Angeline Lillard, the foremost modern Montessori researcher, says, “Montessori education…capitalizes on unique individual interest. Children pursue learning that is of personal interest to them—not in a manner that excludes large swaths of curriculum, but in a manner consistent with how we know the very best learning takes place.”
SPMA offers a variety of electives within the school day and outside of school to address the diverse interests of our curious students. All students participate in art and music classes weekly. Art classes cover media art, drawing, painting, engineering, photography, and more. Music instruction covers music theory, percussion, voice, and composition. Students also do independent study in areas like French, robotics, computer programming, and media arts.
Middle school students can participate in local and regional cross-country practice and meets, volleyball, and other sports with enough interest. SPMA Middle School has daily physical education with student-led games and activities. We utilize our green space, court, nearby Sea Pines Forest Preserve, and beach access for constant outdoors experiences.
While we do not have traditional sports teams that are found in larger schools, our students excel at team sports. M.S. graduates have gone to university with sports scholarships. Our small community is social and safe, with access to team sports just right down the road.
Music, Art, & Sports
Middle School students participate in daily and weekly curriculum enrichment. Your child's extracurriculars are tailored to their needs and interests:
- Suzuki Violin and/or Piano
- Daily Fitness
Students who enjoy sports have access to a wide variety of programs. Ask us for more information about sports during your campus tour.
Sea Pines Montessori Academy provides a safe, social, and academic environment where middle schooler students can thrive.
Financial aid is readily available to qualifying families. Contact us, and let's work together to find the right school environment for your child. All inquiries are held in the strictest confidence.
Families Choose SPMA
...SPMA set him [Phillip] on a positive course to thrive in a public high school. He has repeatedly expressed gratitude at the myriad ways in which SPMA prepared him well...