BONDVILLE - The Mountain School at Winhall's recently hired Science Specialist, Marybeth Bailey, has hit the ground running with a new, comprehensive program of scientific study aligned to the school's thematic, interdisciplinary curriculum via their Collaborative Problem-Based Learning model.

The new middle school science curriculum utilizes an inquiry-based approach that gives students the opportunity to nurture their inherent curiosity while at the same time encouraging them to gain an understanding of their sense of place in the natural world, their school community, and their classroom. As they progress through middle school, students will develop their ability to think critically, analyze data, and identify the interconnectedness of all things. These skills will be acquired through studies in, but not limited to, the following: fifth and sixth grade - Earth's surface, water and the atmosphere; seventh grade - cell biology and the diversity of life; eighth grade - introductory chemistry. Additionally, each grade will take part in the exploratory component of the science curriculum that will involve investigating current topics in environmental studies. The new science curriculum is being implemented into the middle school this year, with expansion into the elementary classrooms next year.

"We've done an outstanding job getting our students to think scientifically' in all areas of the curriculum," said Daren Houck, Head of School. "This new approach in science will mesh perfectly with our philosophy and program. Eighty-five percent of our kids are at or above the state level in math, and 89 percent are at or above level in reading. I'm confident that we'll see numbers like those in science very soon."

The Mountain School at Winhall is an accredited Pre-K-8 independent community school in Bondville, Vermont. For information on the school or its programs, call Houck at 297-2662. Take a virtual tour of the school anytime at themountainschool.org.