Adolescent 1 Key Experiences

Adolescent 1 (grades 7 & 8) Key Experiences

Three key experiences define the GRS Adolescent 1 level.  Each has its own unique focus but work together to create opportunities for growth and development appropriate to the age level and strengthen the community to create a safe and cohesive environment for academic learning.

Fall Odyssey - 7 days/6 nights

The focus of the Fall Odyssey is to build community and to integrate Montessori academics into the trip experience.  Science, Ecology, Mathematics, History, Literature, Art and Music will all be part of this cross-curricular trip experience.  During this experience,  50-55 students with 4-5 faculty chaperones travel on two different buses to visit historic and environmentally significant sites.

Along the way, students cook, eat and camp together.  With different bus and tent partners each day, students form close relationships with each other and their teachers.  Each year is a different Odyssey.  This year,  east to Michigan, stopping at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Greenfield Village, The Henry Ford Museum, and Mackinaw Island in Michigan as well as other sites along the way.  They will then be able to compare the effects of the Industrial Period on this part of Michigan with that of its effect on Minneapolis. Next year, students will head west to South Dakota to focus on westward expansion, Native American history and culture and ecology. With time in the Badlands and surrounding environs, students will have opportunities to study geology, history and the art of this area.   These trips become an odyssey as they depend upon student leadership, community building, overcoming challenges, and intense academic studies.

Radio Clip from WCUP, on the Upper Penninsula, Fall 2011

January Term (J-term) - the month of January

January is spent learning lines and stage moves, but also about all aspects of mounting a theatrical performance.  Mary Gantenbein (Teacher, and Actress) leads the charge on this amazing experience.  All students participate in this activity which includes; theater history, playwright history, memorization of lines as well as the technical aspects of theater such as costuming, set design and building and props.  Students also continue the study of math and have the opportunity to do some reading and writing.

Bike Trip – 4 days/3 nights

Established as a tradition the first year of  the school, the bike trip presents a physical challenge with a community focus to students and staff alike.  The spring bike trip takes place during the last week of school  to celebrate the Adolescent 1 community by camping, biking, living together and learning more about self-reliance, independence and responsibility.  The Bike Trip will be partially funded from Junior High activities conducted during the school year. The route is different each year, but students ride approximately 100 miles on 4 biking days.

Parent/Guardian Orientation

Before each experience, all parents/guardians are invited to an orientation so they know what to expect.  At that time, A1 faculty review the itinerary, expectations and safety information.  The Fall Orientation week also includes an all school picnic to which the student and their families are invited.  This encourages students and their families to make connections with each other starting at the beginning of the year.