School News

Our Upper Elementary Programs

At this level in a student’s education, he or she has developed a strong fluency in the target language that now needs to be maintained. Students move between two main classrooms: the target language classroom where instruction is provided in the target language and their English-based classroom where instruction is provided in English. However, the English class in the Upper Elementary program now includes much more emphasis on content such as science, mathematics, and literacy rather than an exclusive focus on language arts as is the case in Lower Elementary.  Students also now add their third language for two hours a week. Physical education, music and art are important components of the program as well, delivered through classes once a week from a specialist in the particular area.

Students continue to be attracted to understanding their place in the universe, to understanding connections between ideas, and are thinking even more abstractly.  In addition, they have a greater focus on peer interactions so more work is completed in teams and small groups as they do research or complete projects.  The Five Great Lessons introduced in the Lower Elementary program continue to provide a framework for deeper exploration and research that changes as students’ interests change.  The spiral nature of the curriculum continues to allow students to revisit areas where they may not be as strong and accelerate in areas where they have a passion.

Student-led Learning

Building on the skills the students have practiced with guidance and support from their teachers in the Lower Elementary program, they are now ready to truly take the lead in their own learning.  They are fully capable of pursuing their interests, identifying what resources they need to feed their thirst for knowledge, and creating an end product that shares their knowledge with others.

Key Markers of the Upper Elementary Environment


Student Competence
Students at this age have had 6 years of practice becoming independent and autonomous.  They have developed an amazing repertoire of skills, abilities and knowledge.   They show amazing competence, confidence, and motivation to feed their desire to know.

Extensive Variety of Resources 
Because of the Montessori approach of teaching through materials that reflect the real-world, branching out at each level with more and more external everyday sources of information,  students are comfortable exploring texts in any subject area, finding local subject matter experts to assist them, or using the Internet to reach across the globe to resources available in either English or their target language.

Teacher as Guide and Inspiration
The buzz of activity in the Upper Elementary classroom is based on student activity and the teacher is even less apparent when you walk into the classroom.  Students come to their teacher for guidance on where to find a resource or for additional explanation on a topic they don’t understand.  The teacher is the observer and guide who asks probing questions, assists students in filling gaps in knowledge, and coaches them through their projects.

Connecting to the World in Meaningful Ways 
While true at other levels, the teacher’s ability to pique students’ interest and present topics or ideas as departure points for new learning plays a very important role in expanding our students’ connections to the broader world and the issues it presents.  Students’ need to connect to others and to make an impact beyond their classroom and their family begins to emerge at this age.  With all of the preparation they have had, they are able to make a real impact on society.

Program Options

Immersion Languages 

  • French (ages 9-12)
  • Spanish (ages 9-12)
  • Future: Mandarin Chinese

Length of Day 

  • Regular Day 8:10 – 3:00
  • Early Drop Off is available from 7:45 – 8:15.
  • Our afterschool program is available 3:00 – 5:30.
  • Enrichment options are also available throughout the year after school.  Offerings for this school year include subjects such as Engineering with LEGOs, Rainbow Loom, Creative Writing, Yoga, and others.

Absolutely love this school. Our daughter is in her 4th year at IMS & we will keep her there as long as possible. The teachers & staff are incredibly dedicated & it is a wonderful & close-knit community to be a part of.