If you are considering the intimate environment of a Montessori Middle School for your child, we have limited openings for both 7th and 8th Grade. Come with your middle school-aged child to our Middle School Open House, where you will be able to tour our new building, meet our Middle School Guide, Jessica Mohn-Johnsen, and hear from our students and Montessori middle school alumni.

Interested families are also welcome to directly contact the school to speak with the Head of School at 218.464.5570.

Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Time: 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Location: Many Rivers Montessori, 110 West Redwing Street, Duluth

To learn more about our Middle School Guide, Jessica Mohn-Johnson, please click here to visit our People page.

Above: What happens when a group of strangers is thrown together into a room and expected go to school with each other for a year? These MRM Middle Schoolers, and their teacher, share their candid thoughts in the above video.

the Many Rivers Montessori Vision:

What if, here in Duluth, your middle school student attended a school where:

  • Students are engaged and challenged, where they are truly excited about learning?

  • Students steadily grow into their full and authentic selves, supported by a caring school community?

  • This school community is well integrated within our unique local community?

  • The curriculum regularly calls upon the students to explore national and global perspectives on issues?

The Middle School at Many Rivers Montessori is just such a school. Building on Many Rivers’ existing program, the Middle School provides a high-quality, authentic Montessori educational environment. This Montessori environment supports students in reaching their full potential through independence, academic preparation and social-emotional development. We invite you to come and observe our school in action!


Above: Students share four very different reasons for choosing to come to the MRM Middle School in the above video.

The Middle School Years

In writing about the middle school years, Maria Montessori called for students to engage in both hands-on and intellectual work. This would allow students to understand, “by practical experience, that these two kinds [of work] complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence.”

This recognition of the value of intellectual as well as hands-on work lies at the heart of the MRM Middle School. Along with the school’s core academic program, students have broad-based opportunities for both school service and community service, interactions with the natural world, entrepreneurship, and other meaningful community involvement.


Intellectual Work: Academics

Through extended work times that support individualization, collaboration, and interdisciplinary study students gain the necessary academic foundation required for success in high school in the following areas:

  • Mathematics

  • Literature and Writing

  • History and Geography

  • Life Science, Earth Science and Physical Science

  • Foreign Language

  • Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving Skills

  • Art & Music

Above: MRM Middle School students discuss their favorite subject or project so far this year.

Hands-On Work: Entrepreneurship & Service

Montessori middle school programs incorporate service programs such as working in a soup kitchen, farming as a community venture, and apprenticeships or mentorships in the workplace. These activities meet the adolescent need for meaning in school through an age-appropriate advancement of the “goings-out” of the Elementary years. Hands-on activities generally have a particular emphasis on economic enterprise. Examples may include:

  • Running an actual business, known as a “microeconomy” in the Montessori literature

  • A week-long mentorship experience in a local business

  • Community Service

  • School Service

Above: Introducing Confluence, the MRM Middle School's pottery business.

Personal Growth

MRM’s Middle School program is grounded in the Montessori value of supporting the growth and development of the whole child. Supportive and respectful social relationships, fostered through the development of skills such as those below, lie at the heart of a learning environment that will enable each student to thrive.

  • Resilience

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Interpersonal Communication Skills

  • Public Speaking

  • Community Awareness


The World as Campus

We are exploring partnerships with a variety of community arts, education and social service organizations in the Twin Ports. These partnerships will provide our students with meaningful service learning and volunteer opportunities in our community, as well as new avenues for artistic and creative expression.

Our fall Middle School Retreat and extended Spring Studies Trip are well-designed outings that are integrated into the curriculum. These trips support personal development and foster a deep connection to the natural world. The MRM Elementary program provides a variety of Minnesota experiences. With the Middle School, we will set our sights broader, and the students themselves are the major planners for the spring trip. Here are our recent Middle School trips:

16-17 Fall: History & Nature in Cook County, MN
Spring: Chicago, International Montessori Environmental Summit in Ohio, Michigan’s UP

17-18 Fall: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Spring: Badlands, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Black Hills

18-19 Fall: Concordia Language Villages
Spring: TBD



The school year is organized into five six-week cycles, each of which has a theme such as “connections” or “explorations.”  The first four weeks of each cycle are heavily focussed on academics. The fifth week is devoted to assessment and project presentations. The sixth week is known as an “intensive.” It entails being out in the community for internships, community service, and other initiatives, and merges the academic learning of the first part of the cycle with the kind of real world experience that is vital for this age group.


Co-Curricular and Extracurricular Options

During the adolescent years, engaging after-school opportunities become increasingly important to students. Our after-school program is based on the interests of the student body. We partner with local organizations as appropriate, and emphasize exposure instead of specialization. Recent offerings include:

  • Running & Fitness Club

  • Red Cross Babysitter Training

  • Bowling

  • Knitting Club


Please contact the school at 218.464.5570 to find out more.


More Videos

1. Why a Montessori Middle School in Duluth? Our Head of School Mark Niedermier explains the rationale behind the MRM Middle School in this short 2.5-minute video:


2. Montessori Middle School alumna Maddie Keeler, who is Lester Primary's Guide, reflects on how Montessori Middle School solidified her self-confidence, and shares her hopes for our middle schoolers.


3. MRM's founding Middle School Guide, Jessica Mohn-Johnsen, and her students discuss whether the MRM Middle School would be a good fit for you:



The Mission of Many Rivers Montessori

Many Rivers Montessori is a learning environment that fosters independent, academically prepared, and socially responsible citizens who will be lifelong learners and problem solvers. We provide an ideal learning environment that focuses on the whole child during each stage of development from toddlerhood through adolescence — the benefits of which last a lifetime.


Nondiscrimination Statement as to Students

Many Rivers Montessori values diversity in every aspect of the school community. It is the policy of MRM not to discriminate in violation of the law on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability in the administration of its admissions policies, educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic programs and other school-related programs.