About Clark Montessori
Clark Montessori, the nation’s first public Montessori high school, has been nationally recognized for academic excellence, and Clark’s students consistently earn high scores on state tests. Focusing on the triangle of Montessori education — students, teachers, parents — Clark works to form a strong community of adults and teenagers who respect each other.
The experiential teaching style practiced within CPS Montessori elementary schools and based on the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, continues at Clark. Dr. Montessori's experience with adolescents (as detailed in her book From Childhood to Adulthood), inspires Clark teachers as they guide students to develop their intellectual skills and become full contributors to society. The Montessori teaching method encourages students to learn by piquing their natural curiosity about the world and by providing an environment that kindles their natural drive to learn. The Montessori Triangle of education — students, teachers, and parents working together — makes Clark a strong community of adults and teenagers who respect each other.
Our school is best known for its field studies and intersessions, community service as a method for learning about the world, thematic work emphasis, seminars, and relationship building. Also, most of our students participate in our Music and Visual Arts programs.
Other important features of Clark Montessori:
- Classrooms are organized into multilevel learning communities.
- Students sign contracts requiring a commitment to learning, community involvement, and respect for others.
- Community service is required of all Clark students (36 hours per year in grades 7-8; 50 hours per year in grades 9-12).
- Intersessions occur twice a year when the regular curriculum in grades 9-12 comes to a halt. Each student selects a two-week, in-depth immersion course to take during the intersession. Examples include studying art in New York City, making a trip to Morocco, sailing and studying marine biology on a coral reef, and exploring the Appalachian Trail.
- Each senior completes a yearlong project, an in-depth study of a topic of the student’s choice. Parts of the project are due throughout the year, and long-range planning is necessary. Students present the finished projects to their classmates and community members.
Requirements for Entry
There are no academic requirements to enter Clark. Montessori experience is preferred — but not required — for entry. Students and their families are interviewed and are required to sign an agreement as part of their acceptance to the school. The Clark student body is rich with diversity in race, gender, represented neighborhoods, socio-economic status, and academic and personal qualities.