Welcome to Middle Years (7th and 8th grade)

Students learn from an elevated curriculum that sparks curiosity and inspires them to reach their academic potential.

St. Stephen’s has been exactly what we were hoping for in a middle years program. My son has found the curriculum both challenging and fun, and he is enjoying school more than he ever has. The smaller class sizes at St. Stephen’s allow the teachers to give each child the attention they need to progress in their studies and also to develop personal skills that I feel have been overlooked at our other schools. My son is learning organization and time management, and for the first time, I’m observing that he is self-driven in his assignments and homework. The teachers challenge the students and press them to excel but are so kind and supportive. St. Stephen’s provides a physically, mentally, academically, and spiritually nurturing environment in which my 7th grader is blossoming into a well-adjusted and competent young adult. I couldn’t be happier with our experience.


Elevated Curriculum

The Montessori Middle Years program at St. Stephen’s supports the developmental needs of our students, including opportunities for self-reflection and formulating opinions. We create an environment where students feel safe as they go through the profound physical and emotional changes that are an integral part of adolescence. 

  • Math: math 7, pre-algebra, algebra (high school credit), and beyond
  • Science: life science, physics, chemistry
  • Language Arts: memoir, personal narrative, podcast, fiction, persuasive, drama, expository, nonfiction, research, poetry, creative writing, public speaking, vocabulary, grammar
  • Humanities: US history, world history, world religions, world geography
  • Personal Reflection: self-directed opportunities to engage daily in personal reflection, silent contemplation, meditation, reading for growth, journaling, gardening, and more
  • Specialist Classes: film, music, P.E., Spanish, applied STEM in the da Vinci makerspace, visual arts

Our Middle Years community serves learners 12-15 years old.

Montessori Secondary programs respond to the adolescent’s need to exhibit creativity, problem solve, take responsibility, and claim independence. Ultimately, the programs support each student in finding a place in the community and in becoming a respectful, responsible, and ethical contributor to society.

A “spiral curriculum” exposes students to many interrelated topics repeatedly over time, resulting in broad and deep knowledge. Students are academically challenged and given reasonable opportunities for pacing work to meet their needs while learning responsibility, meeting deadlines, and acquiring skills and concepts with the support and guidance of dedicated teachers.

The Montessori Secondary curriculum allows adolescents to realize they are strong, worthy, and capable of effort. When they graduate from the program, they have confidence and skills that will serve them through high school, college, and adulthood.


Math 7, Pre-algebra, Algebra (eligible for High School Credit), and beyond

In Middle Years, students embark on the journey of transitioning into abstract mathematics with a curriculum that offers Math 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and beyond. Concrete materials are no longer used to drive lessons; rather, learners develop and sharpen the habit of daily math practice to cement proficiency in new concepts. Additionally, learners are expected to acclimate to homework, quizzes, exams, midterms, and final examinations.


Life Science, Physics, Chemistry

The Natural World curriculum in Middle Years is a comprehensive, two-year journey exploring life science, physics, and chemistry. Designed around a project-oriented, lab-focused approach, the Middle Years’ science curriculum provides learners with opportunities to engage their curiosities, orient themselves around a science lab, and experience the magic of the world around them. Spanning topics like cellular biology, ecology, the human body systems, the periodic table, chemical bonding and reactions, and Newtonian physics, the learning opportunities in the Natural World are expansive.

Language Arts

Memoir, Personal Narrative, Podcast, Fiction, Persuasive, Drama, Expository, Nonfiction, Research, Poetry, Creative Writing, Public Speaking, Vocabulary, Grammar

The Montessori Language Arts Curriculum focuses on students as individuals, leading our students to become self-directed, life-long readers, writers, and communicators. The students create, edit, publish and share original writing pieces in varied genres. Students engage in reading studies independently or with peers and participate in weekly, in-depth dialogue circles.


US History, World History, World Religions, World Geography

Students engage in experiential activities in each unit within cycle themes. Students collaborate within small groups to create and present projects. The sharing, presentations, and discussions that follow allow students the benefit of frequent peer-to-peer learning. Throughout each subject, a focus on historic and contemporary social justice issues fosters students’ skills of advocacy. Students are also exposed to world religions and cultures to spark a global mindset.

Well-Rounded Learning Journey

The Montessori Middle Years curriculum is meticulously crafted to offer a comprehensive and enriching educational experience. The program includes the following distinctive opportunities that shape a well-rounded learning journey.

  • Micro Economy: Students engage in the conceptualization and operation of a business, fostering a genuine understanding of commerce and entrepreneurship.
  • High School Preparation: Students actively participate in a two-year program designed to prepare them for high school and beyond. This comprehensive preparation includes high school counseling, ISEE exam readiness, the creation and refinement of portfolios, honing essay writing skills, and engaging in interview practice. Beyond academics, students acquire crucial life skills like time management, self-motivation, and organizational strategies. In our close-knit community, students cultivate leadership and advocacy skills within a safe and supportive environment.
  • Off-Campus Learning: The Montessori Middle Years program includes day trips and overnight excursions, which are integral to building a strong community and enriching classroom learning. Emphasis is placed on providing students with direct experiences in nature, fostering a deep respect for the environment.

High School and Beyond

St. Stephen’s students successfully secure admission to leading high schools in Houston, choosing institutions that align best with their academic and personal profiles. Recent graduates have been accepted to and excel at esteemed high schools in Houston, including the following.

  • Private High Schools: Emery Weiner School, Incarnate Word Academy, St. Francis Episcopal School, St. Pius X High School, St. Thomas High School, Strake Jesuit
  • Magnet High Schools: Carnegie Vanguard High School, Energy Institute High School, Houston Academy for International Studies, HSPVA, Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions