“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!” 

SB

Middle Way School Parent

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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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

DAILY AND WEEKLY HAPPENINGS AT MIDDLE WAY SCHOOL

SCENES FROM TODAY ...

TALENT + SHOW ...

Big brush calligraphy with Barbara Bash today. Just one of the things filling us with joy this week. It’s hard to even know where to start. #buddhisteducation #calligraphy #barbarabash ...

Instagram Takeover! Coming soon. Michelle Bissanti, author of the excellent Elephant Path, is on campus meeting with teachers and students. We’ll be seeing the school through her eyes for her Instagram takeover. Michelle is working for @middlewayeducation helping develop the MWE curriculum to better support teachers. ...

The dragons are in the midst of their climate change/sea level rise/climate resiliency project. Today Masumi helped demonstrate how the gravitational pull of the moon causes Earth and its water to bulge out on the side closest to the moon and the side farthest from the moon (like a squished water balloon) creating tides.

Over the course of this project, Dragons did an experiment to learn how melting land ice is contributing to sea level rise. They built their own model of coastal communities (modeled after Saugerties!) and used the models to explore the impact of high tide/low tides now and high/low tide in 50 years. They also looked at the addition of storm surge impacts with big storms and the water inundation. Then they looked at what communities are doing and applied those lessons to our models. They added sea walls, wetlands, pump stations, and solar panels and even put some houses up on stilts to reflect resilience and action.

What a cool lesson @haleakalastars. Happy new moon! Happy Friday!
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A group of Owls beading during afternoon exploration were singing a beautiful rendition of “I don’t know my name” by @gracevanderwaal. Sound on! ...

Following our teacher and staff field trip to the @rubinmuseum last week, the Dragon’s teacher Addie Rosenberg (@adiro94) was inspired by the exhibit and created this extraordinary Middle Way School mandala. The mountains reflected in the water in the center form an M and W. The animals around the edges represent all the MWS classes, and she even used the school colors. The lotus at the center represents the Buddha. What a talented artist!

Addie said, “I was inspired by the exhibit and thought our school should have its own mandala. And wanted to show my gratitude.”

The new Mandala Lab exhibit deepened our teachers understanding of our five domain structure, which underpins the education we offer. #mandala

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Winter rolls on! ...

The MWS team has been nominated for three Chronogrammies: The Middle Way School is nominated for Best Elementary School; Grace Ann Louis, Head of School, is nominated for her work as a Youth Advocate; and Amy Brown White (@abwconsulting7) our Anti-Racist consultant and facilitator of our MWS BIPOC educators group is nominated for her work as a Racial Justice Advocate/Activist.

Head over to @chronogram to vote every day until feb. 15 to support Middle Way School and our outstanding team. Chronogram.com #chronogrammies

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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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