The founder and head of this school is a true visionary. He understands the ways in which traditional education doesn't serve students and has designed a school that brings out the best in teachers and students alike.
Meridian students are challenged to do some very difficult tasks, from building a marine robot, participating in a class performance of The Tempest, writing original poetry, difficult science experiments, to writing their major Junior research projects. They learn to try, improve, occasionally fail and start over.
Community service is an integral part of the curriculum. In humanities and social science classes, there is a focus on recognizing, understanding, and embracing differences. The teachers model compassion, caring, and empathy in all their interactions.
My son has attended Meridian since 6th grade. He is now in high school. The school has been everything we hoped for. The curriculum is sophisticated, cross-disciplinary, and challenging, but presented in a way that is always engaging and doesn't leave anyone behind. At the same time, there are lots of opportunities to explore further and dig deeply into an area of interest. The classes are small, so the teachers really know when a student is having trouble or when a push will get someone motivated to do more. Students do a lot of writing, in a variety of forms, and learn to revise their work. The math and science are very hands-on, and so difficult concepts are meaningful and really stick. I have no doubt that Meridian has prepared my son very well for college.
Meridian Academy has transformed our son into an engaged student passionate about ideas and eager to go to school each day. For our particular kid, this is nothing short of a miracle. The integrated curriculum and emphasis on applied learning has made what is happening in the classroom genuinely meaningful to him, and his relationship with his teachers has also made a tremendous difference. They have gone way out of their way to meet him where he is and bring him into the deep end of complex ideas and analytic thinking.
During our son's Junior year research project, his adviser spent literally hours and hours facilitating - especially because our student had no prior experience with shooting or editing a film. Our student was supported in such a way that he was able to produce both an extremely thorough and sophisticated research paper and highly successful film project. Kudos to his adviser for finding and nurturing the "intellectual" in our son.
There is a complete lack of "make work" home work. Assignments complement in class instruction, are challenging, and genuinely useful. Meridian teachers also make themselves very available after school to assist students struggling with a particular topic or assignment.