Expanse Novice Program

In fall 2021, Expanse will offer a Novice program for students ages 8-11. The Novice program aligns philosophically and pedagogically with our middle and high school yet provides special features for younger students. Going back to school will never be the same!

Here are the benefits for your child:

  • Enhanced reading, writing, listening and storytelling skills
  • A heightened sense of empathy and community
  • Personal Branding
  • A greater appreciation of the arts
  • An ability to work in groups to solve problems
  • The opportunity to tackle projects suited to talents and needs

A Typical Day for an Expanse Novice


Students check in with each other, present their work and show appreciation


Students create stories inspired by the Five Great Lessons of Montessori: Coming of the Universe and Earth; Coming of Life; Humanity evolves; Communication and Writing; The history of Numbers


Students use discussion and debate skills to solve mathematical problems, sort through complex texts and address ethical issues.


Eat lunch, then bond with nature, share poems, go on scavenger hunts and even do culinary activities together.

Offline Learning

Pursue art projects of various forms, including drawing, sculpting, cooking and performing or writing music.

Individual and Group Projects

Participate in sessions led by guides with assistance from Expanse Middle School apprentices. Examples of projects include podcasts or graphic design, music and film studios.


Intently listen and speak, becoming more understanding individuals and gaining a sense that all students are equals in a shared experience.

Advisory Sessions

Check in with their advisors and discuss progress on attaining goals.

The day will run from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Central Time. We hope to add pods for other time zones.

What’s the application process?

1. The parent schedules a phone call.
2. Both student and parent speak with a Novice program guide.
3. Both student and parent complete a written application.
4. If we agree that Expanse is a good fit, we offer a position!

Expanse Novice Program FAQs

We’ve got reading covered! Routine close reading and discussion strengthen comprehension, self-expression and critical thought. Your child will be encouraged to read for research and inspiration.

Lessons and assignments include time offline for individual work, followed by the opportunity to report back and share work. Increasingly, Novices are asked to set, document and report back on their own learning goals and tasks.

Our guides are our most valuable asset in the effort to help young people connect within and across the Expanse community. They help Novice students build relationships across various work and interest groups so they feel connected in their educational endeavors. We are committed to creating safe spaces for personal sharing and listening.

Every student, Montessori or not, has a completely unique learning profile. For students who have not previously been in student-centered environments, or who are accustomed to traditional, authoritarian learning communities, there can be a period of adjustment. But your child will not be at a disadvantage. Our guides set learning agreements with students, helping them build meaningful and uniquely personal educational life experiences.

In addition to their deep experience with an interest in many approaches to education, Expanse Guides have inquisitive minds and playful spirits. They find joy in life and learning and share their interests, pursuits, and practices with our community.

We want young people who want to take charge of their own education and become masters of their own destiny—even if they don’t know where to start! Those we select don’t have to be the smartest or the fastest. Rather, they have to want to be part of a group and support each other’s learning.

Schedule a Call

Use the calendar below to schedule a call with a Novice program guide and get more information about it.

For more on the Novice program