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

Advisor

ABOUT

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.

 

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ACADEMICS

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.

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ADMISSIONS

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.

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DAILY AND WEEKLY HAPPENINGS AT MIDDLE WAY SCHOOL

On this GivingTuesday we offer the Middle Way School meal chant -- a tiny morsel of what’s being generated at the school.

Earth, rain, sun and air
Thank you for this food we share
Farmers, friends, and family
Thanks to those who made it be
Mouth, nose, ears, and eyes
Enjoy this meal and realize...
This life is good, and so are we
May all be happy, strong, and free

Our lunch ritual at Middle Way School is loosely based on ōryōki, a Zen monastic eating meditation that places an emphasis on service, generosity, and appreciation.

Today is GivingTuesday and we have so much to celebrate: 77 thriving students, our brand new building that brings us up to 8 classrooms, an incredible staff of over 20 teachers and administrators, our upcoming expansion into 6th grade, and our year of safe in-person learning during a global pandemic.

Middle Way School is also a research center, documenting our curriculum and creating materials (like our meal chant!) to benefit other schools worldwide. Please support us in continuing to create a progressive education for children based on the breadth and depth of Buddhist wisdom. Make a tax-deductible gift today by following the link in our bio.

Thank you!

#givingtuesday #middlewayschool #middlewayeducation #buddhisteducationforchildren
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Dear friends - Next Tuesday, November 30, is Giving Tuesday. On this global day of generosity, we ask you to support progressive Buddhist education for children by making a tax-deductible gift to the Middle Way School. There are many reasons to be grateful that Middle Way School has managed to remain open—and even grow and flourish—in the face of an ongoing pandemic. We also face many challenges, like securing furniture and other materials for a sixth grade class in 2022-2023. Every donation helps, no matter the size. To give, go to middlewayschool.org, or send a check to 268 W. Saugerties Road, Saugerties, NY 12477. Thank you! ...

Thank you Sunflower Market! We are so grateful to you and all your generous patrons for rounding up at the register. We were selected as one of the businesses of the month and recently received a generous check. It will help our little school so much. The 10 year olds in our Owl class made this giant card for you and we will drop it off soon. @sunflowernaturalfoods #generosity ...

Work is play. Happy Friday. 🍁 ...

Hot off the presses, we are seeking candidates for 3 new positions. Are you a Spanish Language Instructor? Or could you be a Preschool Support Teacher? Or maybe you know a great Health and Safety Coordinator? If any of these pique your interest, visit https://middlewayschool.org/about-us/careers/ to learn more, or send an email to careers@middlewayschool.org. ...

We are big on reading and also adorable kittens who excel at architectural design. You can be adorable *and* highly skilled! We aim to meet or exceed common core standards when it comes to reading levels at Middle Way. #kittenpower ...

May we be safe, may we be kind, may we be joyful, may we be awake. ...

We’re hiring! The Middle Way School is seeking a part time childcare provider who can support our aftercare program, serving up to 7 students ages 3-10. The ideal candidate has a Bachelor’s degree OR a minimum of three years relevant work experience, and elementary and/or early childhood teaching experience. They love children and have a creative approach to cultivating a safe and fun environment. We would prefer that they have an interest in the Middle Way model of education. They must be available Monday-Friday from 3:00-5:30pm. The position starts immediately and runs through the school year (June 8th). Interested? Please send an email with your resume to careers@middlewayschool.org. ...

Nature journals. Nature is one of our most esteemed teachers-brilliant, reliable, nurturing, wise, surprising, poetic, and always present. ...

Happy autumnal equinox. May we find the middle way. Being in the balance doesn’t mean being ambivalent or wishy washy, it means expanding to hold a more expansive, moon’s eye view. ...

A beautiful and sensitive book to read today, 9/11. “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers” by Mordicai Gerstein about local artist Philippe Petit. #philippepetit #twintowers #booksforkids #impermanence. ...

Seeing what's happening in Afghanistan, we remember back to a time before the Taliban was in control of the country and the stunning Buddhas of Bamyan presided over the desert and the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha flourished. The Buddhas were destroyed in 2001. We honor the work that so many people have done to restore this important piece of Buddhist, Afghan, and world history. We pray for the peace and dignity of the people of Afghanistan and we invite all of you, as part of our community, to do the same. ...

Oh so good to be back on campus with this extradordinary bunch of dedicated and delightful educators. All the familiar faces are back for another year, plus two new amazing humans. We’ll be introducing them all in the coming weeks. ...

Celebrating an unprecedented year with a commitment to compassion. Presided over by Ven John Perks. June 17, 2021 ...

Interested?

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!

ORIGINS

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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