We inspire and guide children to love learning, to love one another, and to love the world around them.

Middle School at MSNV

Seventh and Eighth Grade at MSNV

“It is very important to consider the relationship between child, the teachers, and the environment. The teachers must have the greatest respect for the young personality, realizing that in the soul of the adolescent great values are hidden, and that in the minds of these boys and girls lies all our hope for future progress. The intimate vocation of man is the secret of the adolescent. If social progress is realized through the succession of generations then these children,as they grow up, will become more highly developed than their adult learners.” (Maria Montessori, Communications 2011/1-2, p. 83)

Middle School At a Glance

List of 4 items.

  • Location

    Hillbrook Campus, 6820 Pacific Lane, Annandale, VA
  • Grades

    Serves students in 7th-8th grades.
  • Tuition

    $26,250.00 (SY24-25)
  • Time

    8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Program Features

List of 5 items.

  • Advisory Program

    The MSNV Middle School advisory program matches a small group of learners with a faculty advisor for the purpose of fostering both autonomy and belonging. Advisors offer mini-lessons in special topics relevant to both academic and social-emotional needs. Advisory is intended to be a special comfort zone where learners can raise concerns and work through challenges in a small group setting.
  • Internship Week

    Each student, with the help of his/her advisor, selects a place of business/organization to work at for one week. By going out to a place of work outside of MSNV students are able to experience what adult work is like. The goal of this week is to allow students to explore areas of work/study they find interesting.
  • Microeconomy & Financial Literacy

    Maria Montessori thought it essential for adolescents to learn the skills necessary to become productive members of society, working to achieve economic independence and contribute to the greater good of all. Her vision was of adolescents working independently, producing goods and selling them in order to develop a first hand understanding. The study of microeconomy and financial literacy in the MSNV Middle School takes the form of a classroom business in which the adolescents will be active participants. They develop product ideas, make business plans, learn how to perform various roles within the business and manage a separate banking account. Earnings from the class business will be reinvested or can be used for other student-led projects. Students gain hands-on experience and understanding of meeting deadlines, dealing with customers and other stakeholders, and problem solving issues as they arise. The specific business will vary as it is student-driven, and may coincide with school-wide needs and interest.
  • Stewardship

    The Stewardship program is based upon the idea that Middle School students will be prepared to enter society as a contributing member. Stewardship opportunities provide a unique opportunity to learn how a social organization works and to do meaningful work that contributes to the community. In every occupation, there is division of labor, cooperation, decision making, problem solving, and negotiation. Student managers practice leadership skills.
  • Field Trips, Going-Outs, and Meaningful Travel

    MSNV students have the opportunity to experience our whole world through a variety of learning experiences outside the classroom. Some of their trips support topics discussed in the classroom while others are student planned and interest based.

A Middle School Program

MSNV offers a rigorous Middle School program focused on academic growth, emotional development, and independence. These three areas are interwoven into every aspect of the program’s carefully crafted curriculum. 

Students are given the opportunity to explore their interests while simultaneously learning what they need to know in order to progress and be successful in high school, college, and beyond. During this pivotal time of adolescence, they are developing the skills necessary to be a leader, a good teammate, and a cooperative member of a community. 

MSNV’s Middle School provides students the time, space, and guidance to discover who they are in this world so that they can move forward independently with confidence.

The Curriculum: The Plan of Study & Work

List of 7 items.

  • Mathematics 

    During our two-year program, students work at their own pace to cover topics in the Virginia Standards of Learning and achieve their goals within the curriculum. The math program provides opportunities to refine key mathematical skills, improve as a problem solver, and to learn and apply pre-algebraic, algebraic, and geometric concepts.  Whenever possible, lessons also incorporate interdisciplinary projects. As students progress through the introductory lessons, they have the opportunity to advance into Algebra I and Geometry.
  • MSNV Middle School Humanities Program

    The Humanities curriculum for MSNV Middle School encompasses the study of subjects that define our humanity: language arts and literature, philosophy, geography, history, politics, civics, economics, visual arts, and performing arts. Through the integrated study of these subjects, learners are exposed to the story of humans from the time of hunter-gatherers to the modern world. As learners examine the creation of human culture throughout time, they are able to think critically about the past and work toward constructing their own selves for the future.

    Social Studies Component
    In seventh grade, the social studies course takes a thematic approach to concepts in Virginia and United States history, always with the goal of establishing global context and making connections to current events. Units explore American values, American immigrant experiences, the power of American protest, and the definition of American heroism.

    In eighth grade, the social studies course explores economic and political philosophies throughout history. The focus is on how human beings strive to create systems with the aim of satisfying their basic physical and spiritual needs. This includes a study of civics, and learners develop an understanding of the rights, duties, and opportunities of local, national, and global citizenship. 

    English Language Arts Component
    In seventh and eighth grade, the English Language Arts course includes vocabulary enrichment, applied grammar practice, Socratic seminar, oral presentation skill practice, poetry studies, short story studies, and novel studies. Learners continue to refine and expand upon the skills first presented in the Elementary program; however, the Middle School program emphasizes that writing, in various modes, can be an avenue of self-exploration and expression.

    Socratic Seminar
    Learners in seventh and eighth grade conduct close reading and annotation of texts representing various literary genres. For the adolescent, this practice, along with that of discussing the text with their peers, is a way to reflect on the big ideas of humanity. Developmentally appropriate texts – often thematically related to social studies units – are curated for their ability to inspire thought and conversation about values, ethics, societal expectations, and a variety of human experiences. Literature studies include opportunities to regularly reflect on a text via both Literature Circles and Socratic Seminar. The seminar format also provides opportunities for students to learn skills of conversation: clarity of speech and thought, use of textual support, courteous debate, thoughtful response, and active listening.

  • Science

    The goals of MSNV’s science curriculum are to learn about the natural world, to examine how we know what we know, and to develop an appreciation of the role of science in human history. We strive to help students view the world through a scientific lens; for them to question what they observe, have skills to serve their curiosity, and be able to draw conclusions from acquired data. The science curriculum includes Life Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Science topics. In the 7th year, students explore cells and systems, chemical reactions and matter, matter cycling and photosynthesis, and ecosystem dynamics. In the 8th year, students explore forces, Earth in space, genetics, and natural selection and common ancestry.
  • World Language

    In Middle School students are immersed in Spanish lessons two times a week with a growing emphasis on listening, reading, speaking and writing. Students participate in various lessons on Spanish cultures and current events around the world.
  • Human Development and Well Being

    Students explore various health related topics under the guidance of Middle School staff and other community health professionals. MSNV’s curriculum is an extension of the OWL program initiated in the Upper Elementary Program. Health topics include, but are not limited to healthy eating and nutrition, online safety, and emotional well being.
  • Physical Expression

    Movement of the body, for health and for expression, is key throughout the adolescent years. Through Physical Expression (PE) students develop their ability to meet challenges, come to appreciate new activities, and acquire new skills. The PE program offers a diverse range of activities where students will have the opportunity to enhance self-confidence, and develop a lifelong appreciation for active lifestyles. Through kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, archery, bowling, and free choice activities, students develop physical competence, teamwork, and personal responsibility. This component of our curriculum celebrates the diversity of physical activities and encourages students to engage in activities that resonate with their interests.

    In addition, Middle School students have the opportunity to participate in MSNV Sports through the ABC League for 5th through 8th grade students. There are a variety of options throughout the year.

  • Creative Self-Expression

    In this component of our curriculum we aim to nurture students' artistic abilities, self-expression, and creativity through a dynamic blend of puppetry, musical exploration, various visual arts, and other artistic expressions that students show interest in. The curriculum encourages students to engage in hands-on activities, collaborate with peers, and develop a deep appreciation for the arts while developing essential life skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Students have the opportunity to gather on their own, to create and present, at their leisure, their own forms of personal expression.


List of 3 members.

  • Mrs. MK Carlson 

    Middle School Teacher
  • Tara Kneale 

    Middle School Teacher
  • Amanda Waldron 

    Middle School Teacher