At Menlo, we believe that learning is not just about achieving good grades; it is about the joys
of the life of the mind, about being engaged in learning, and about taking the initiative to pursue
a passion or interest. High levels of both nurturance and challenge allow students to take increasing
responsibility for themselves as independent learners. We want students to be involved in and excited
about their learning. We want them to walk into our classrooms asking, “What are we going to
The Middle School promotes a supportive atmosphere and lively
classroom discussion. Active exploration and open debate are encouraged. Interdisciplinary units and
problem-based activities let students stretch themselves in developmentally appropriate ways. Sixth graders undertake a yearlong, multidisciplinary look at nutrition and food production through community service, science and humanities.
Seventh graders develop global, local and personal solutions
in a problem-based unit. The “Decades Project” turns Eighth graders
into historians of a specific ten-year period in the United States.
Many Upper School classes are hands-on and discussion based, with ample opportunity for students to shape their own course of study. Innovative experiences include the Biotech, Engineering and Applied Science Research courses. In Knight School, students and teachers pursue, in depth and with no grade requirement, an area of interest outside the regular curriculum. This ever-growing emphasis on independent learning culminates with Senior Projects, as students plan and pursue a passion or interest during a four-week period.