News

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March 2014 - Meridian Grows Into a New Home in Jamaica Plain

Meridian's New Home

Meridian's new home base in Boston at the corner of Marmion Road and Montebello Street in Jamaica Plain

Meridian began its life in 2005 with two teachers and ten students in three rooms in a basement. Thanks to the effectiveness of our project-based, interdisciplinary approach and the joy that our community takes in learning and working together, we have grown steadily. After seven gratifying years of expansion in our current space in Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Meridian was clearly in need of a larger building that could support our student body and provide distinctive spaces for our different courses.

Meridian has signed a 10-year lease and is moving into a school building in Jamaica Plain that meets all of the goals that we established when we began our search:

  • Larger classrooms to better support student research.
  • More meeting spaces and nooks for collaborative efforts.
  • Dedicated work spaces where students can set up long-term science, art, and individual research projects.
  • Outdoor space on the school grounds and nearby for our physical education classes and free time.
  • A T-accessible home base that is close to the cultural, historical, and natural resources of Boston that we use regularly.
  • Proximity to other schools and community organizations with which we can partner.
  • Specialized space for our growing music program.

Our new home (see map below), only two miles from our current site, is a three-story, former Catholic school in Jamaica Plain. The classrooms are double the size of our current ones, and our overall space is three times as large. The faculty is already eagerly rethinking some of our work to better take advantage of the flexibility that these new spaces and new neighborhood partnerships will provide us.

Meridian's growth is due to the enthusiasm of so many students, parents, teachers, trustees, and friends of the school. Our new building will provide the opportunity for long-term planning, investment in our classrooms, and for our student body to reach our planned size of nearly 100 students. That we have reached this moment as we head into our 10th year is particularly fitting.
We look forward to welcoming all of our friends, new and old, to our new home.

MeridianMap

May 2011 - To University and Beyond

Meridian is doing the kind of work with students that college professors look for.
- Deborah Wright, Director of Admission, Connecticut College

Meridian's seniors are our first students to apply to college and their applications have been met with a resounding "Yes!" This response was a yes to the complex, intellectual projects that our students carry out, to the sophisticated literature that they read, to clear and engaging writing in myriad forms, to problems posed, and to problems solved. The yes has been to their creative efforts in studio and performing arts and to original research in all disciplines. The yes was for learners who know how to take initiative, to self-assess and improve their efforts, to work collaboratively, and to work with persistence. Most importantly, our seniors were welcomed by the colleges because of their pioneering spirit and leadership, their commitment to community, and the genuine passion that they bring to their learning.

True to the type of education that they value, Meridian's seniors have sought out colleges known for strong student-professor interactions. Here are their choices:

  • Janasha Goffigan-Holmes - College of the Atlantic. Janasha is heading to the Maine coast to study Marine Biology, Psychology, and Feminism.

  • William Gurner - Bard College. Willie will be exploring Environmental Science, Art, Literature, and Biology.

  • Matthew Haber - Boston University, School of Theatre. Matthew was named a University Scholar and will be studying Theatre Design and Production.

  • Sadie Jacobson - Connecticut College. Sadie is looking forward to studying English and Theatre.

  • Jesse Nicholas - Boston College. Jesse is going to investigate mathematics and history.

  • Sydney Steeves - The Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Sydney plans to focus on painting and creative writing.

Since Meridian's founding, I have been asked how our graduates would get into colleges without a traditionally graded transcript. Likewise, I have heard from people who thought that our interdisciplinary and project-based curriculum was great, but would make college admissions difficult. What our seniors have shown is that in the absence of grades, colleges will take the time to read about a student's academic achievements and come away with a more vivid and detailed appreciation for the work that Meridian students do. The seniors' essays, research abstracts, and the school's descriptions were far more persuasive evidence of preparation for college than a grade point average. It has been truly gratifying to hear how much colleges value the engagement, the skills, and the ability to make connections that are the hallmark of Meridian learners.

Congratulations to this wonderful group of students who have blazed the way for us these past six years. We look forward to hearing of their further adventures.