Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of the school's name?

The word meridian was chosen because it captured two aspects of schooling that were important to the founding families and teachers. A meridian is a great circle about the globe symbolizing both inclusiveness and the making of connections. Meridian is also defined as a pinnacle of achievement. In the spirit of these definitions, Meridian Academy is a community of learners striving for excellence in their exploration of the world.

What is the school's structure?

Meridian comprises grades 6 through 12 and will ultimately grow to be nearly 100 students. Most classes are organized by divisions consisting of two adjacent grades. Students benefit from this larger and more diverse academic peer group, as they have the opportunity to both lead and look up to their classmates. Students take two core interdisciplinary courses, Humanities and Mathematics, Science and Technology, along with a class in World Languages. Our student-teacher ratio is 5:1.

What are the benefits of a small school?

Meridian is a small school because students need the attention, guidance, and safe environment to practice adult responsibilities and freedoms:

  • Students in small classes can do rigorous independent work. They are provided with the individualized support needed to establish goals, weigh complex options, learn from their own mistakes, and move forward thoughtfully.
  • Teachers of small classes know their students well. They can gauge when students need more challenge, support, independence, or clarity. They can also provide stronger and more personalized resources than those typically available in larger schools.
  • As a small community, we have the flexibility to plan especially exciting and creative activities. Our schedule can be shifted to accommodate longer blocks, trips off campus, guest visits, collaborative teaching, and interdisciplinary learning.

Being small does present challenges as well. As they get older, teenagers often want to be exposed to a larger peer group. Meridian works to build a larger social environment through Community Group projects, Model UN Conferences, and regional competitions.

How are students prepared for college?

Please see our College Preparation page.

How are traditional and progressive goals balanced?

The current national focus on testing ignores the fact that some of the most rigorous and exciting academic efforts cannot be completed in the space of an exam. Our projects require time to create, reflect, and revise. They also require students to master many of the skills that are the focus of standardized tests, but Meridian students learn them in an especially rich and memorable context. For example, a group of students building a set for a play will use ideas from physics and geometry, but they will also grapple with real world complications. These meaningful challenges help them appreciate both the theory and practice of the disciplines.

What are Meridian's academic affiliations?

Meridian is approved by both the Brookline School Committee and the Boston School Committee. Meridian is also a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools. Once the school has reached its full size, we will complete the year-long accreditation process of self-study and outside review with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.