“Coming from a competitive school in the city, I wasn’t sure what to expect at a Buddhist school in Upstate New York, was it going to be rigorous enough? Would my child remain on par? I could not be more thrilled to see how fully my child is learning and how confident he has become. He now enjoys reading and his handwriting has improved, he’s doing mental math above his grade level. And on top of that, his genuine kindness is shining through brighter than ever. Thank  you!” 


Middle Way School Parent


Founded in 2017, The Middle Way School of the Hudson Valley is one of the first Buddhist preparatory schools for children in the West. Our mission is to empower students to take their places in the modern world. Our pedagogy and school culture draw upon foundational Buddhist teachings and traditions as well as the latest research in child development, neuroscience, and technology. MWS offers an exceptional education, creating conditions for wisdom and compassion to flourish.




We view education as a natural learning process that engages children’s innate potential and provides a way to understand the phenomenal world with grace and humor. Our students play, contemplate, engage with text and numbers, and are encouraged to use inquiry as the foundation for academic achievement. Our developmental approach to teaching and learning is highly personalized so that each student is experiences a balance of challenge and accomplishment. The aim is to tap into students’ intrinsic joy of learning while supporting their social, emotional and spiritual growth.



The Middle Way School thrives on the principle of inclusion. We actively seek to build a community that is rich with diverse cultures, races, talents, interests, learning profiles, and economic and ethnic backgrounds. MWS is a pilot school with the support of a global community of friends and foundations who wish to see us succeed. Because of their support, we are able to offer ample financial aid to meet families needs. More than $100,000 in aid was given in 2019.


I feel today’s education does not really teach freedom. If they try to teach freedom, it is just about individual rights but not about the inner freedom which comes from a deep inner sense of order. When you have this inner orderliness you can then sprawl out and breeze around in the chaotic world. Instead it sometimes seems modern education does the opposite, it makes us chaotic inside and tries to create some kind of external order.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche



Vichitapol “Ta” Pholpoke, CEO founder of Teach for Thailand, paid a special visit to the Middle Way School this week. His inspiration to launch the organization stemmed from the opportunities available to him as a result of his own privileged background in an international school setting. Ta is committed to providing access to high-quality educational experiences for all Thais.

With Middle Way Education supporting the launch of a school in Bangkok, we are pleased to be deepening our ties with the country. And we are delighted to be the lab school of this MWE model of education. Ta was able to sit in on a curriculum planning meeting with MWS teachers, iterating the latest benchmarks and standards. It is essential to have a living and breathing example of Buddhist education for children in order for this model to take shape.

May this global collaboration be a benefit to all!


@teachforthailand @middlewayedu @kyentsefoundation #buddhism #buddhisteducationforchildren #collaboration #workingtogether #globalconnections #educationalinitiative #nysais #hudsonvalleyschools

Throughout the year, Middle Way parents, caregivers, and staff members are invited to learn alongside the children. Through the school-led Dharma Committee, we collaborate to organize opportunities for families so they can interact with buddhist teachings in meaningful ways.

Families may choose to participate in a weekly meditation or attend one of many special events. Teachers, scholars, lineage holders and meditation instructors are invited to facilitate discussions on topics that align with those studied by the children—such as refuge and impermanence. There are so many modern approaches to timeless ideas—movement, visual art, performance, cooking, book club, and more. These experiences are very enriching!

THANK YOU to the Dharma Committee for the thoughtful work you do in service of the school. Thank you to the collective community of parents and caregivers for showing up with an open mind. Thank you to the children for inspiring us all to connect.


@middlewayedu @kyentsefoundation #buddhism #dharmaforamodernage #learningalongsideourchildren #wholechild #bridgingschoolandhomelife #upstateny #sangha #beyondtheclassroom #lifelonglearners #sharingideas

What a delightful day spent at the Kingston Farmers Market getting to know the farmers, makers, and community shakers in our area! Thanks to everyone who stopped by to speak with us about the Middle Way School. We offered treats and flower bouquets and connected with our neighbors. Kingston is such a vibrant city, bursting with good vibes. Many thanks to @kingstonfarmersmarket for sharing the opportunity with us! ...

Stop by the Kingston Farmers Market today and chat with us! (Sat., Aug. 12, 9am-1pm) there’s plenty of lemonade, fresh fruit, and oatmeal cookies. We’d love to answer any questions you might have about the Middle Way School. Did we mention there are cookies? ...

Curious about the Middle Way School? This weekend, we’ll be at the Kingston Farmers Market to connect with our neighbors, share experiences, and answer questions. Look for us on Sat, Aug. 12 (9 to 1). We’ll have lemonade and snacks to share along with friendly conversation. We’re looking forward to visiting with you!


#bestindependentschool #community #farmersmarket #kingstonhappenings #kingstonny #hudsonvalleyschools #progressiveeducation #hudsonvalleyprivateschools #upstateny #catskills #buddhistelementary #outdoorclassroom #saugerties #outinthefield #fieldtrip

Let’s hear it for our Head of School Grace Ann Louis!! Once again, she’s been named Best Youth Advocate by @chronogram readers across the Hudson Valley. Close to 25,000 people voted, casting over 340,000 ballots. It’s kind of a big deal—and a totally natural choice in our minds.

Grace is known for her skill in the classroom, her warm and creative leadership, and her ability to keep all the balls in the air with a cheerful smile. She has over two decades of experience in approaching Early Childhood Education from a contemplative vantage. She believes in creating the conditions for every child to encounter a confidence and true delight within themselves so that they may become lifelong learners.

We’re so glad to see her endless dedication recognized by this award! Thank you, Grace, for advocating for each child’s relationship with learning. May your compassionate influence continue to ripple outwards into the world.

#hudsonvalleyschools #chronogrammies2023 #ulstercountyschools #upstatenewyork #alternativeeducation #saugerties #compassionatekids #middleway #rethinkingeducation #woodstock #kingston #catskill #phoenica #woodstockschools #everythingisconnected #awakenedmind #letsdothistogether #curiousminds #contemplativelearning #dharma

CONGRATULATIONS to Amy Brown-White for her #chronogrammies2023 win for Best Racial Justice Advocate. As a Middle Way School Advisor, Amy leads our conversations around diversity, race, privilege, and inclusion. Guided by empathy and interconnection, she challenges our understanding of one another and hones our awareness of injustice.

In her practice, Amy helps reexamine established organizations that wish to shift their personal narrative and become more equitable. She promotes the understanding of people with threatened identities and researches those experiences to break down barriers.

We’re thrilled to see Amy Brown-White receive this honor for her ongoing work in this field. We’re grateful for her wise and generous perspective, which continually reshapes our school.

@abwconsulting7 @chronogram #hudsonvalleyschools #chronogrammies #ulstercountyschools #upstatenewyork #buddhisteducation #alternativeeducation #saugerties #compassionatekids #middleway #rethinkingeducation #everythingisconnected #awakenedmind #letsdothistogether

Incredible!! Two years in a row? Why, THANK YOU!! We’re full of appreciation for this win from 24,000+ @chronogram readers across the Hudson Valley. Thank you for declaring MWS the all-around BEST INDEPENDENT SCHOOL.

We’re simply delighted to be a part of this community.

As a model for contemplative learning in upstate NY, we’re rethinking the school experience. We feel that compassion and critical thought go hand-in-hand with academics. We pay attention to the teachings of our forested campus and we try our best to create a whole lot of fun together. We want our students to be confident, curious, and creative learners.

Interested? Reach out to speak with our Admissions Coordinator, who can answer questions, provide info about financial aid, or schedule a tour. We have just a few spots left for the 2023/24 school year and we’d love to meet you!

#hudsonvalleyschools #chronogrammies #ulstercountyschools #upstatenewyork #iheartnewyork #buddhisteducation #alternativeeducation #saugerties #outdoorlearning #compassionatekids #loveoflearning #beyondthedesk #middleway #rethinkingeducation #saugertiesSTEM #itselementarywatson #kindergarten #firstgrade #secondgrade #thirdgrade #fourthgrade #fifthgrade #sixthgrade #chronogrammies2023

With an abundance of special moments around campus this week, we are honoring the delight of being together. Today begins Gatön Week at the Middle Way School. In Tibetan, “gatön” means celebration. Whether it's a wedding, a village festival, or a party, a gatön is a happy occasion, a time to gather in your community. At MWS, Gatön Week is how we close our year—with a week of fun and engaging activities, rites of passage, moving-up ceremonies, and graduation. Let the celebrations begin!

#buddhisteducation #gatön #gatönweek #sagadawa #hudsonvalleyschools #alternativeeducation #hudsonvalleyschools #awholebunchofflowers

Last call! Order a sweatshirt, t-shirt, or tank top in family-friendly sizes and colors by the end of the day today, May 16. Proceeds go to our big plan to grow the school library. We can’t wait to see you wearing your support for our school!

Link in bio, or here:

There’s just a little time left to support the Plant Sale + Yard Sale! Lots of deals and plenty of smiles—all proceeds support the expansion of our library and art room!! Until 2pm 5/13 ...

We’re raising money to expand our library and art room. You’re invited to our 2nd Annual Plant Sale + Yard Sale—TODAY! Wild-crafted treats made by our children, treasures of the unexpected, and face-to-face friendship with our community. Can’t make it today, but want to contribute? Visit middlewayschool.org/grow

Thank you, friends!

#hudsonvalleyhappenings #yardsale #ulstercounty #saugerties #fundraiser #may13

Today! Can’t wait to see you there! ...

FRIENDS! Now you can wear your support for the Middle Way School. Choose “Radiate Boundless Love” or “Wisdom by Nature”—both available in lots of different styles and colors. All proceeds support our goal to raise $20,000 to expand our library this summer! Available for 7 DAYS ONLY, until May 16! We thank you for your kindness and generosity.

“Wear your support” link in bio, or here:

Can you recall a book from your childhood that influenced the person you are today? Have you ever traveled through the pages of a book to explore another part of the world and better understand its culture? Maybe there's a writer who opened your mind in a way you didn't even know was possible…

We believe reading empowers children to FEEL CONNECTIONS. We believe books are mighty tools to HONOR DIFFERENCES.

This summer, we’ll be expanding our school library and we could use your support. We’re enlarging the physical space and furnishing it with shelves to fill. We’re also curating and cataloging a growing collection, tailored to fit the needs of our school.

It’s a BIG project, designed to welcome students back to a new experience in the fall. We could really use your help! If you are in a position to share a donation of any size, please feel our truest gratitude.

Link in bio:

#library #hudsonvalleyschools #hudsonvalleyalternativeschools #ulstercounty #upstateschools #woodstock #saugerties #catskill #phoenicia #buddhisteducation

We have a big project ahead—to EXPAND OUR SCHOOL LIBRARY so we can better serve each child. Books serve as a vital resource for our students and staff—with dharma-specific enrichment, academic inspiration, and guided learning tools. As our small-seed collection has grown with love and attention, so have our needs. We have until June 7 to raise $20,000. Can you help? middlewayschool.org/grow ...

Happy Earth Day! With dirt on our hands and smiles on our faces, we’re so grateful for this planet that unites us. May the seeds we grow be a benefit to all.

#buddhisteducation #earthdayiseveryday #plantingseeds #aroundtheworld #growingideas

OH, JOY! The Middle Way School is a finalist for the Best Independent School in the Hudson Valley region! We're proud to have earned this superlative last year, along with Best Elementary School. Our Head of School Grace Louis was named Best Youth Advocate, and MWS Advisor Amy Brown-White was amongst the top five Racial Justice Advocates in the area.

This award generates much-appreciated attention and support for our school. Please VOTE DAILY through May 15 for the Middle Way School in the Education and Learning category. Every vote really helps. Link in bio!

@chronogram #chronogrammies #chronogrammies2023 #hudsonvalleyschools #readerschoice #supportourschool #buddhisteducation #upstateny #independentschool #thankyoufriends

Empathy and understanding are skills that benefit from practice. Last week, Middle Way advisor Amy Brown-White led an evening conversation for families around diversity and inclusion. We gathered to discuss the questions: Why are diversity and inclusion important? In what ways do dharma and inclusion intersect? How can we shift our perspective around the topic of anti-racism? @amybrownwhite has been working with MWS for three years, shaping the teaching curriculum and sharing supportive resources for families. Thank you, Amy! ...

At the Middle Way School, our goal is for each student to forge a friendship with reading.

How? Is there a single best way to help children learn to read? Many schools subscribe to a streamlined methodology, such as Whole Language, Balanced Literacy, or Phonics Based Instruction. While it’s a noble aim to serve everyone equally, it’s not always realistic.

Each child’s brain is wonderfully unique and pathways to reading are forged individually. Of course, there are fundamental components of reading instruction that need to be part of a strong literacy program. These components include: phonemic awareness (the recognition that words are made of separate sounds combined together), phonics (the integration of phonemic awareness with the printed word), vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. The Middle Way approach encompasses all of these components, tailored to the individual.

Being a small school by design allows us to know our students well and to communicate with families readily, as often as needed. We’re committed to timely and effective intervention and we also feel it’s essential to provide high-quality professional development for teachers. By working together, we provide our students with all the help they need in developing important skills and confidence—and, by all means, a sense of wonder about the world.

#literacy #reading #hudsonvalleyschools #independentschool #progressiveeducation #ulstercounty #upstateny #upstateschools

Join us for a rare, one-time screening of the remarkable film this body is so impermanent… (open to the public!)

An artistic collage of music, dance, and calligraphy, the film unites a range of meditations on the Vimalakirti Sutra, a Buddhist text from the first century CE.

Please support this special event by purchasing $10 tickets through the EVENTS link in our bio.

Children are invited to attend a simultaneous screening of Kiki’s Delivery Service, the 1989 Japanese animated classic by Hayao Miyazaki.

See you there!


Interested in enrolling? Want to learn more? Fill out this simple contact form (link below) and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Middle Way School holds regular open houses. We also can arrange individual tours. This form will automatically sign you up for important notifications regarded enrollment.

Thanks for your interest in Middle the Way School!


All major religions of the world have systems of educating children in their traditions, beliefs, rituals, and values. There are maktab and madrasas for Muslims, Catholic schools, Jewish day schools, Sunday schools, Catechism classes, all kinds of afterschool programs, camps, and specialized schools meant to teach children to become the stewards of their respective religious traditions. Buddhist education for children has, for the most part, been offered to monastic communities with grassroots initiatives few and far between. Because Buddhism is not culture bound, there are few broadly accepted holidays, festivals and customs to introduce to children. Often, the transference of the Buddhist view happens in the home. Some Buddhist parents have independently created programs for children, but there is no generally accepted content or method for teaching the dharma to children.

To bridge this gap, a team of educators and active Buddhists, inspired by the vision of Bhutanese Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche,  began exploring the possibility of creating such a model of education. It became clear that the model had to be developed in situ, in an actual school. Middle Way Education was established to spearhead this effort.

In 2017 after exploring options in Bali, Indonesia, India, and Taiwan, it was decided that the Middle Way pilot school should be located in Upstate New York. The Middle Way School opened in 2018 with 17 students in West Saugerties. In 2020 we enrolled 55 students in 6 classes.

The Hudson Valley is an ideal location for our pilot school. The welcoming and independent mindset in this area, along with supportive communities like Zen Mountain Monastery, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, Omega Institute,  and other centers of study and practice, makes this a fertile ground for a new model of education to come into being.

We hire and enroll without discriminating against any identifying factor which may include race, age, national or ethnic origin,  religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic background. We will make accessibility accommodations for individuals with disabilities to the fullest extent possible. As an institution and as individuals we recognize that we have the responsibility to actively change the power differences that perpetuate biases against historically underrepresented groups. Our inclusion efforts are a dynamic process. We welcome your experience and invite your input on how our school community can continue to evolve.

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