The teenage years are a complicated and confusing time, and traditional schools don’t provide the level of social and emotional support that adolescents need to thrive.

There are four ways Montessori middle school prepares students for success:

1. Students develop critical thinking and executive functioning skills.
While there is no standard Montessori middle school curriculum, Alcuin Montessori in Oak Park incorporates traditional Montessori philosophy and current “best practices,” placing a strong emphasis on independent, project-based, and student-driven work.

Alcuin’s Middle School Director Roxy Krawczyk explains, “Students apply high-level critical thinking across all areas of the curriculum. Classes consist of formal lectures, interactive presentations, student-led research, group projects, and more. Students manage daily and weekly homework, take formal assessments and receive quarterly grades in preparation for high school. With our individualized support, they cultivate the executive functioning skills needed for future success.”

2. They are socially and emotionally supported.
Adolescence is a time of rapid change, and teens need consistent, compassionate mentors to guide them in their development. Alcuin teachers are fully committed to coaching students through this sometimes complicated time, facilitating appropriate and effective communication and problem-solving skills in both one-on-one and group interactions. They support students in balancing school and home lives and form close partnerships with parents to ensure that each student’s needs are met.

3. The classroom extends far beyond the walls.
Montessori middle schools offer a wealth of opportunities beyond the classroom. Alcuin students learn about and from all areas of life (not just textbooks), discuss current events, participate in internships, and volunteer. They take weekly trips throughout Chicagoland and two annual extended trips where they camp at an organic farm and immerse themselves in culture at Washington, D.C./New York or Costa Rica.

4. Students are fully prepared for high school.
Montessori middle schools carefully design their curriculum to meet or exceed state standards and align with the benchmark outcomes of local public schools, ensuring a smooth transition into high school. Alcuin’s comprehensive theme-based curriculum includes mathematics, science, social studies, literature, writing, Spanish, art, theater, physical education and more.

With a clear understanding of the emotional, social, and academic needs of teenagers, Montessori middle schools like Alcuin’s are specifically designed to guide and nurture students, setting them up for success in life.

Alcuin Montessori School in Oak Park, now in its 58th year serving Oak Park, the western suburbs, and Chicago, is hosting open enrollment for children ages 0-14, with a new Middle School campus opening in Fall 2019 to meet increased community demand. For questions, insights from Alcuin alumni, students, or parents, or for a guided tour, contact Alejandra Valera, Director of Admissions, at or 708-366-1882, and visit

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