Where are you located?
Meridian Micro Farm headquarters are in the Mt Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati, OH.
Your school doesn’t look like school. Why not?
We don’t believe the factory model of schooling is appropriate for the education of students in the 21st century and beyond (a large and growing number of scientists, teachers, technologists and others agree). According to Albert Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Are you a homeschool cooperative? A charter or private school?
Meridian Micro Farm is a student-run micro business, learning lab and 21st century Erdkinder. Students may register as homeschoolers or enroll as an extension to other classes and programs.
How are you different from other Montessori schools?
Most Montessori schools operate from a single perspective. They follow the Montessori establishment and one another. We believe an integrative approach to learning is the one most appropriate for a dynamic world and the children and young adults in it. Guided by decades of experience within a variety of educational settings and supported by a wide network of specialists, we are happy to pave our own way.
What about tests and grades?
Rather than testing, we use careful, methodical observation as means of assessment. Unlike standardized testing, this method is rooted in science. We utilize technology in a meaningful way to track student interests, goals and progress, and to facilitate progress reporting and parent communication.
How will students make friends in a class so small?
Our classes are intentionally small so that young adults can develop meaningful relationships within an invested learning community. While small class sizes aren’t the only tool necessary for meaningful learning, substantial research has shown it significantly reduces violent behavior and bullying, as well as feelings of isolation and depression rampant in US high schools. Additionally, our small size enables us to maintain flexibility, creativity and authentic autonomy, marking an unparalleled return on investment for the families we serve.
Don’t middle- and high-schoolers need several hours of schooling five days a week and rigorous academic work to prepare for college?
When invited to examine a typical school day in a typical school, you might discover students spend only 20 to 30 percent of the day engaged in meaningful learning. Classroom management and test preparation consume a great deal of time in many public and private schools. Further, US middle and high schools are no longer preparing students for the 21st century in which we live. Extensive studies have demonstrated that students are graduating woefully unprepared, lacking both practical and critical thinking skills, as well as self-ownership and discipline. We encourage students to simultaneously enroll in College Credit Plus, trade school or other classes not in an effort to prepare for what’s ahead, but to actively engage in meaningful work as full and valuable members of society and in their passage to full adulthood.
Isn’t this a radical new approach to the typical high school experience?
No. An examination of the history of schooling in America will reveal that at one time not that long ago, students were educated in single, multi-age schoolhouses only up to the point when that schooling could no longer serve a real-life application. Additionally, one can look at previous non-traditional options such as Metro Chicago, “the school without walls,” for examples of highly successful experiments that may have failed to become a blueprint for systemic change but were nonetheless highly successful. The factory model we have known for the last century has been considered the standard to follow, but it no longer facilitates the meaningful learning that the 21st century demands and that young adults desire.
What kind of parent participation do you expect?
We view your adolescent’s education as a collaborative effort; thus, parent participation is encouraged and expected. We ask parents to bring snack on a rotating basis and occasionally assist with other duties such as planning field trips. Additionally, we hope parents will join us for classroom celebrations and parent education events. It is our mission to be a model for learning which supports parental and student empowerment and encourages the strengthening of the family system, where all learning begins.
How much is tuition?
Please contact us for current information regarding tuition and fees. Please also inquire about financial aid offerings; the availability of financial aid depends on number of students enrolled and financial aid already allotted at the time of inquiry.
Do you follow the public school calendar?
We begin our regular school year shortly after Labor Day and end classes just before Memorial Day. Typically, all public school holidays are observed.
Do you offer a summer program?
Our inaugural class will begin micro farm planning in Spring 2022. Additional summer opportunities will follow, as not unlike all other real-world work, this project requires year-round responsibility and planning.