At AMS, we encourage a climate of intellectual curiosity inside and out of the classroom, encouraging students to see connections between their studies and the world around them. Our active and experiential approach to learning teaches self-motivated curiosity and discipline, laying the foundations for a life of inquiry and creative problem solving. Hands-on academic classes allow students to explore how the material they are learning relates to the world. Small classes (6-10 students) enable teachers to focus on individual needs and allow for frequent class discussion and debate.
Though our classes teach basic skills, we believe that teaching the core subjects of mathematics, language arts, social studies, and science involves more than just an accumulation of facts and techniques. To truly educate children is to inspire them to ask questions about the world. Human beings have a natural sense of wonder, and once we have learned to ask questions, we want to acquire the tools with which to answer them. At AMS, our students become independent lifelong learners.
Each academic unit, students take math, language arts and two electives, as well as one in-depth course of their choice. Students are offered a selection of classes to choose from, and while the specific material of the courses is different each unit, the larger concepts usually fall within the categories of science, social studies, art, and internships. A student who participates in all three years of our program will graduate with a wide knowledge base in these subject areas.
Our goal is that each student will come to understand his/her own learning style and will develop skills to deal with learning challenges. Because we realize that students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, we can usually offer individualized education for those requiring tutoring in the core subjects.
In keeping with our philosophy that education is a process and not a product, neither core subject classes nor electives are graded. Instead, students and parents receive detailed evaluations of the student's work several times a year. Teachers are able to evaluate and encourage each student with reference to specific interests, problems, and goals.
Every student has an academic advisor who works with him/her throughout the year. Advisors meet with students weekly or bi-weekly to help students stay on track with schoolwork, address challenges to learning as they arise, facilitate communication between students, teachers, and parents, and to help students prepare their best work to present at academic open houses. Advisors also make sure each student's academic choices throughout their time at AMS provide a well-rounded curriculum.