To define Montana Academy’s primary scholastic goal, our academic faculty push past mere content mastery, and look to scholastic maturity, i.e., the grown-up, deft, balanced approach to learning and to schools and teachers, which makes for academic success in any school.
We agree that academic maturity is the central goal for Montana Academy’s school. We believe that young people become truly effective students only if they grow up emotionally, cognitively and ethically, and only if they are able to integrate these aspects of personality into vigorous participation in the classroom. To produce competent adults requires an education that balances student’s participation in formal academics, the fine arts and in music, in athletics, and in the society of other human beings. Academic achievement is linked, in the broadest sense, to character development. While Montana Academy strives for mastery of course content, we also foster academic maturity, so that our graduates can perform with distinction in any demanding college, and will go on learning for themselves for the rest of their lives.
“Learning in school is a teenager’s most important job.”
For this reason the classroom becomes a laboratory that reveals emotional and interpersonal problems and provides a gauge for adolescent maturity. A student’s prognosis after leaving Montana Academy depends, in large part, upon scholastic competence, but we also know that a student’s academic performance relates to a function of psychological maturity.
Montana Academy’s academic ambitions are not limited to a mastery of course content. We foster the development of mature students, who are curious, excited about learning, skilled at scholastic tasks, and ready to learn and perform well in demanding schools and colleges. To help students achieve this academic competence, the school offers a challenging college-preparatory curriculum, intimate classes and expert teachers who welcome close relationships with students.
Academic faculty are well-integrated into the clinical program. Clinical teams support the school’s discipline, but teachers also support and participate in the clinical program as academic advisors to each team. Teachers meet frequently as a team and have a clear clinical grasp of each student’s emotional struggles.
“Montana Academy teachers teach not just what —but also how to learn.”
They weave reading, writing and study strategies into classroom subject content. In a challenging but nurturing environment, both students who have already excelled and students who have had to struggle, can rise to their academic potential.
Academic subjects are organized into four twelve week blocks, or semesters. Montana Academy’s block system is so flexible that we are able to enroll new students at any entry-point during the year. In each block, students enroll in three academic subjects and one study-hall staffed by a teacher who helps students with assignments. This block system helps fallen-behind students to catch up in credits and allows already-successful students to deepen their academic experience with choices from a diverse curriculum.
Montana Academy values balance—with time set aside for intensive classroom participation, but also time for reading and individual study, writing, athletics, and conversation. Students attend classes all morning, and there is a fifth period, after lunch and group, for projects, executive function coaching, clan or academic assignments
Montana Academy is accredited (as a high school and as a therapeutic program) by Cognia and the National Independent Private School Association (NIPSA).