“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!”
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.
DAILY AND WEEKLY HAPPENINGS AT MIDDLE WAY SCHOOL
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.
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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.