Being a much smaller community than most other middle schools, Alsion Montessori Middle School students are able to easily organize and participate in several extracurricular activities throughout the school year. They often take a very hands-on approach in choosing the community projects they take on each year. Successful projects become recurring events. Students build meaningful connections with one another, as they work together towards common goals.
One exciting annual event put on by the Middle School is Market Day. For this school-wide project, students are encouraged to develop small business ideas. Booths are set up around campus, and families are invited to see what our young entrepreneurs have created. Our students’ business acumen has spawned enterprises that sell exotic foods from diverse cultures, entice with face painting and surprise with bath bombs.
Every year, just before the start of winter vacation, students come together to put on a “coffee house.” An entire evening is dedicated to a potluck-style dinner, and entertainment provided by peers. It’s a great chance for students and faculty to display their creativity—they sing, they dance—or just to tell jokes.
The Alsion campus includes a spacious garden. Students tend to it daily. Those who are truly interested in botany, the cultivation of plant life and landscaping are able to contribute even more time to the garden by joining the gardening club that meets every Friday. Contained within the garden is a chicken coop. Students assist in taking care of the livestock and harvesting organic eggs sold to the general public.
Several types of student organizations are offered at Alsion. These clubs vary per year, depending on what the students are interested in. For instance, two part-time faculty members had mentored the highly successful Art Club and Astrotech Group. The former have held exhibits in Newpark Mall in Newark; students also regularly have had their paintings, sketches and photography displayed, and sometimes for sale, at Mission Coffee on Washington Boulevard. The Astrotech Group, on the other hand, focuses on exploring astronomy and constructing model aircrafts. Sometimes, the group will take its planes to nearby parks for test drives. They have even visited a few RC conventions.
The Middle School also joins forces with the Early College High School to participate in the annual World Savvy Challenge. This is an annual event in which teams from schools around the Bay Area come together every March to discuss solutions to global crises. Because there are several mediums through which students can participate in this activity—documentary film, skit, exhibits, website design—it has been highly popular among our students.
Model United Nations
The Middle and High Schools form and field Model U.N. delegations. The students are given a certain country to represent and then break off into various organizations in which they have to represent their country. The students prepare for weeks before a conference, writing position papers and gathering data. It has been a valuable experience for the students to sharpen their communication and diplomatic skills. Model U.N. also allows Alsioners to gain real-world and up-to-date perspectives on the global society.