Academic Overview

At Berthold Academy we offer Montessori-based first through twelfth grade divided into the following environments:

  • Lower Elementary (6-9 years old)

  • Upper Elementary (9-12 years old)

  • Middle School (12-15 years old)

  • Secondary (15-18 years old)

Children in the 6-18 age group are starting to realize that the world is an enormous, interesting place. They are primed to study continents, cultures, scientific concepts, and great literature. The world becomes their classroom.

The carefully developed elementary curriculum guides the child through identifying, classifying, and researching all the fascinating concepts in each chosen field of study. The areas of practical life, language, math, geometry, botany, zoology, geography, and history are all represented in the classroom, with materials that lead the child to abstraction of the fundamental concepts in each area.

Experiential Learning

Field Trips & Travel

Our sequence of travel programs brings our students to places where they can learn beyond the classroom and gain practical skills that not only build self-confidence and independence, but also allow them to learn how to navigate the world around them. 

Whole-school field trips include such activities as camping trips to the woods, sending student delegates to the Montessori Model United Nations, overnight trips to US cities, international travel, farm exploration, visits to local businesses, Kennedy Center performances, and STEM expos. 

Students participate in the creation of the travel budget, meal planning, transportation logistics, and activities agenda. We want our students to immerse themselves in each of these unique settings; to enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes, and overall diverse culture of our world.

Culinary & Interdisciplinary Food Studies

Our year-round garden has a farm-to-table emphasis, allowing us to teach concepts and skills of sustainable gardening, whole food production, meal planning, composting and more.  Our garden also supports the school's cooking program.

Weekly cooking classes on-site, using vegetables from the garden and other whole foods.  Our cooking program provides hands-on instruction, with an emphasis on healthy snacks and mindful eating.  It serves to supply our healthy snacks program and other products for our school incubator and fundraising efforts.

Our interdisciplinary food studies program ties all this together. For detailed information, see the Culinary & Food Studies section of our site.


As our garden and culinary programs have begun to grow, we have also begun outreach to local businesses in the community to learn about how they have built their businesses around sustainable local products. We are also building on student ideas to showcase work with the goal of eventually designing and selling our own products both within the school and via local distribution. Doing so will allow our program to come full circle, bringing in funds to support further culinary development.

Personal Development

Mindfulness, Yoga, & Personal Goal-Setting

Our staff is trained and implements Mindful Schools' comprehensive curriculum, including regular mindfulness sessions and conversations twice per week with integrated, naturalized mindful moments throughout the day. It is a part of our culture and consistent with Maria Montessori's philosophy. 

Yoga itself has many different definitions and interpretations. At Berthold, it is the physical yoga practices and breath practices, that enhance and support the mindfulness and intra/interpersonal growth of each of our students. 

In addition, we integrate Character Labs' areas of developmental emphasis to support students in learning organizational skills and personal goal-setting.

For more detailed information about our overall Personal Development program, see the Mindfulness & Personal Development section of our site.