Middle School Program - Ages 12-15
New River Gorge Learning Cooperative (NRGLC) is a Montessori-based learning center whose mission is to educate the minds, hearts and bodies of our students in a challenging, vibrant experiential learning community.
We proudly partnered with West Virginia University and Grow Wise Institute to design our unique interdisciplinary experience-based Middle School Program, debuting fall of 2018.
Our program integrates permaculture, mindfulness and social justice into an immersive educational experience suitable for any learner. Our pedagogy inspires a love of learning and an appreciation for hard work, curiosity, creativity and compassion. In addition to meeting or exceeding West Virginia state standards, our curriculum is designed to address the need for responsibility and independence during this adolescent plane of development.
We aim to integrate the principles of permaculture into every aspect of learning and interacting -- to learn to be mindful of the ramifications of our decisions, to be thoughtful in our designs, to be thorough in our education. Our vision is to teach students to be stewards of the land, and to shift away from being consumers and learn to become producers- not just of food, but producers of ideas, of acts of kindness; producers of commerce and of community.
Our vision of social justice is one which begins with the self: loving yourself, treating yourself well, learning to stand up for your fair share- and spirals upward, developing into a sense of compassion for all living beings and a belief that all lives have value as a part of an interconnected system.
Our students will develop mindfulness practices to support their emotional, physical, and educational needs during a life period of great internal change. Our practice of mindfulness- of being aware of our emotions, of our surroundings, and the living beings in the world around us- will be integrated into daily lessons in a way that holistically develops well-rounded thinkers and workers.
Life & Earth Sciences
We integrate life and earth sciences with a strong foundation of biology, geology, and global ecological responsibility, practiced daily with permaculture site work and our Garden projects.
Our technology objectives range from learning research skills to WVU student- teacher led lessons on the hard skills of carpentry, electrical work, small engine repair, and soldering. Engineering is woven into our math and science curriculum to create memorable experiences for reflection and retention.
Engineering skills are developed through the identification, prioritization, planning, and in doing the physical work involved to design solutions to solve problems.
Visual & performing arts
Visual and performing arts instruction is integrated into math, permaculture, and other projects constantly, giving our learners much more than the typical 2 classes per week.
We utilize the Singapore Math curriculum, which exceeds WV state standards in every meaningful way, with functional math skills practiced with numerous hands on projects year-round.
Our curriculum is built around Capstone Projects designed to meet learning objectives through experiential education.
Capstone Projects are large-scale undertakings which require the combination of multiple Learning Objectives. Capstone projects will be unveiled periodically and the NRGLC community will then be invited to be a part of the process.