The Meeting School (TMS) is a co-ed boarding school for grades 9-12 based on the practices and principals of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). It is located in Rindge, New Hampshire, USA on a working organic farm with 142 acres of field and forest.

TMS prepares caring for farm animals. Students are engaged, at a highly empowered level, in community decision making.

Philosophy and Purpose Edit

The Meeting School exists to give young people and adults the opportunity to live and learn in a community based on the principles and practices of the Religious Society of Friends.

We are called to seek and to live with divine guidance both individually and collectively.

The community provides secondary education for those who undertake to live joyfully with intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual integrity.

We depend on each person to accept responsibility for his or her own growth, and to participate fully in the life of the community. We acknowledge and nurture the unique worth and insight of each person in our daily living, learning and decision making.

We emphasize simplicity, honesty, mutual trust and respect, the dignity of physical labor, care for each other and the earth and the peaceful response to conflict.

In all we do at TMS and in the wider world we strive to exemplify a deep sense of compassion and justice.

History of the school Edit

In 1955 a group of Quaker educators found a shared concern, envisioning a school that would educate the whole person, where Quakerism could be a way of life, and where students could become inner directed rather than outer directed. Consulting with other Quaker groups throughout 1956 and ’57, and traveling through Europe and the United States to become familiar with innovative schools and colleges, three families came together in Rindge, and began their experiment. George Bliss, with his wife Helen, had taught at the Westtown Quaker boarding school, and was then executive secretary of the New England office of the American Friends Service Committee. Joel Hayden, with his wife Ruth, had been a professor at Antioch College in Ohio, while Robert Hindmarsh, with his wife Thera, was an agronomist who advised farmers in Deerfield, Massachusetts. They settled on two converted farmsteads, land that had been farmed since 1771, and opened their doors to students in the fall of 1957.

Academic program Edit

The TMS school year includes three trimesters of classes, with the Intersession block falling between the Winter and Spring terms.

The Meeting School does not use grades, but a pass/fail system of credit with detailed written evaluations.

TMS classes are organized around the traditional academic subjects of math, writing and literature, social studies and history, sciences, and the arts. Within these subjects, however, teachers and students work together to approach learning in ways that are creative, relevant, authentic, and hands-on.

Classes, which meet in faculty living rooms, range from 3 to 12 students, with most classes falling around 5-7 students. Class meetings are informal with opportunities for all voices to be heard. Projects and choices give students the chance to take ownership of the subjects they study. Teachers are committed to flexibility around different learning styles, paces and goals. Teachers and students value the chance to make personal connections and relationships a part of learning.

TMS classes also include electives based heavily around the necessary work of the farm, or around outdoor skills and experiences. Some students use class blocks for mentorships with faculty who specialize in farm work, cooking, or repair work.

The curriculum also emphasizes social justice applications. Peace Studies is a required course. Self-exploration and healthy life skills are also a focus; all students must take Health and Sexuality. All students are encouraged to learn to speak Spanish.

Farm program Edit

The Meeting School farm is a cornerstone of the experiential learning at the school. Based on the principles of ecological stewardship and sustainable living, working and living on the farm offers an avenue to educate young people about land care and food production.

Working with animals and the land, and growing and raising much of the actual food that is eaten, is an unrelentingly honest and authentic experience. Students learn very practical skills, work as team members, and enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of their labor.

External links Edit

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