The MSC Adolescent Program enables students to develop the learning they have begun in the elementary program through a varied and integrated curriculum. While its academic targets are consistent with a conventional middle/high school environment, individual subjects are not segregated within the schedule. Instead instructors aim to facilitate a program that integrates academic knowledge, the skills of self-expression, technical and scientific studies, and community experience. Students consequently learn through a multi-layered exposure to new experiences and information: a synthesis of academic study and practical experience across disciplines, both inside and outside the classroom. For example, a study of Florida’s flora and fauna will include the literature of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and the modern ecological writings of Bill Belleville, the study of land and plant forms that form the Floridian environment, and opportunities to study at first hand pioneer history and the conservation practices of the Ocala National Park.
The Adolescent program also addresses the student’s developmental need for a new level of independence by increasing work level, choices, and planning. It requires considerable commitment on the part of students to recognizing their skills as learners and establishing the appropriate conditions for learning. This involves an increased attention to time-management, a commitment to extending activities outside school hours, a greater self-discipline and a successful line of communication with instructors and parents. Within the school day, the students have open time to collaborate on both self-initiated and instructor-initiated projects, fostering and strengthening their skills as independent learners. They also have designated times each day where they work on pre-assigned independent projects with instructor oversight.