Middle School

Beyond the Classroom

Dr. Maria Montessori

"Children acquire knowledge through experience in the environment."

Internships: Dynamic Real World Experiences

Each year students engage in a week long internship. To prepare for this individualized learning experience students develop their own resumes. 7th level students are placed in internships by the teachers and 8th level students are expected to find their own internship position. In the past, 7th graders have had internships at Natures Nursery, The Toledo Museum of Art, The Lake Erie Center, The Challenger Learning Center and The Toledo Metroparks.

Eighth level students can be found interning in government offices; working for the Toledo Mud Hens; assisting in doctors’ offices, architectural firms, veterinary clinics, newspapers, hospitals, retail businesses; or volunteering in shelters for the homeless.

Several recent internships have developed into long-term relationships as students prove their worth. Students begin to think about their career interests, and as they discover their ability to make a difference in the world, they become more self-confident and independent.

Off-campus Learning

Off-campus learning opportunities are an essential part of West Side’s Montessori Middle School curriculum. Students fundraise and plan these adventures themselves.

List of 4 items.

  • Ace Adventure, West Virginia

    Team building, developing self-esteem and openness to new experiences and connecting with nature while rafting, climbing, rappelling, zip lining, hiking and swimming.
  • Inland Seas Schoolship, Michigan

    Hiking, canoeing, participating in team-building activities, and learning about dune and lake ecology. Learning about water quality and lake ecology aboard the Inland Seas Schoolship in Suttons Bay. Building and launching remotely operated vehicles from Discovery Pier.
  • Sound to Sea, North Carolina’s Outer Banks

    Exploring ecological communities of the sound, saltwater marsh, freshwater pond, maritime forest and the beach. This multidisciplinary, hands-on experience allows students to practically apply aspects of our math and science curriculum to real-world research.
  • Washington DC

    Eighth level students travel to our nation’s capital to explore the museums and historical sites that the D.C. area has to offer. Students are responsible for planning the itinerary, budgeting for meals, and navigating the city’s metro and bus lines. By allowing the students to take charge of their adventure it becomes an authentic travel experience and allows them to develop important practical life skills. This tradition is a meaningful bonding experience for our 8th level students as they prepare to leave their West Side family and embark upon their high school careers.

Organizational & Economic Experiences

The mission of the Business Committee is to encourage students to become comfortable with, interested in, and excited about economics and finance so that they can function knowledgeably in their personal lives, professionally and as responsible citizens.

Business Committee allows students to learn basic economic concepts through planning and operating a middle school business. Throughout the school year the committee will engage in various endeavors including sales, fundraising, and charitable giving. Students are always welcome to initiate new businesses and projects. We encourage student initiative and participation in the planning and operation of the life of the school community.

Service Learning Experiences

The Erdkinder experience is rooted in experiences outside of the classroom. Each week, WSM's 7th and 8th-level students volunteer with community organizations that support West Side's mission to promote mutual respect and social responsibility, such as SAME Cafe and the University Church Community Garden.

Middle School students are also given the opportunity to foster relationships with younger students by volunteering in the Little House and Children’s House classrooms. The younger children love to interact with the Middle Schoolers and our students enjoy the nostalgia of spending time with former teachers and interacting with the Montessori materials of their younger days.

Practical & Culinary Experiences

Throughout the school year and often as part of their culture studies, Middle School students are responsible for meal planning and budgeting, shopping, preparation and serving of the food to fellow classmates and faculty. Parents are welcome to volunteer to help students and guide them in the preparation of meals that are cultural or family favorites.

Students utilize practical math skills to budget and purchase food. They are able to hone their culinary skills with the help of teachers or parents volunteers. During these meals, students mingle with teachers and West Side staff eating, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company.

Experiences like these are an example of the deep sense of community here at WSM. Classmates are not just your peers, they are your oldest and most cherished friends. Teachers are trusted mentors who attend your hockey games and dance recitals. They will be there when you need help with your high school math problems or research papers and welcome you back to visit with open arms.

The safe, nurturing and familial experience of a McMaster Middle school education cannot be matched.

After School Programs

Power of the Pen is an interscholastic writing program for young writers in the state of Ohio. Participants meet weekly after school to prepare for a tournament series that culminates with a state championship held during the month of May. This program is ideal for Middle School students who have an interest in creative writing and a desire to improve their expressive writing skills. Participating in Power of the Pen facilitates enhanced communication skills and allows the language arts teacher to help students develop a creative voice that is uniquely their own.