At Meridian, our teachers don’t deliver lessons to be memorized. Here, learning is alive and led by students, who ask questions and drive the instructional time. Students work in small groups on projects that are connected to real life, not just theories on paper. Most assessments are project-based and hands-on.

Meridian has an inquiry-based and student-centered instruction model. Our curriculum is aligned to the Common Core, which are nationwide standards in mathematics and English language arts (ELA). These standards are uniform in order to set high expectations for each student and teacher throughout the educational system.

To translate knowledge and skills described in the standards into clear, specific guidance for teachers, Meridian has developed curriculum frameworks and maps that guide instruction. Our teachers build on these standards with innovative and age- appropriate lessons and projects that stimulate our students’ creativity and problem-solving skills.

Above all, our students are immersed in language. Their classrooms are joyous, text-rich environments with student work displayed, word walls, and classroom library centers. For grades PreK–8, classroom libraries strive to have leveled books, Caldecott and Newberry award-winning literature, multiple genres, and reference materials.


What is inquiry-based learning?

This model is a form of active instruction which involves posing a question that engage students and helps them form their own understanding of the lesson.

What is student-centered instruction?

This refers to various classroom activities that address their distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds. They empower children to take charge of their learning, show off what they know, and explain the skills being taught in their own words. This model promotes a sense of pride and accomplishment in our students.


Personalization first

Core to our mission is that each student, regardless of his or her academic level, finds joy in learning. Our model allows students more one-on-one time with instructors than a traditional structure. Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms have a lead teacher and access to an apprentice teacher, who provide extra support and monitor progress. Our classrooms in grades 1–6 practice an inclusive model with substantial co-teaching with Student Support teams (SPED and ELL teachers).

Tracking academic progress is crucial to ensure our students are on and above grade level. We conduct regular assessment benchmarking using TS Gold in Pre-K and MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in grades K-8. These tools adapt to each student’s skill level in a particular area. The data helps our teachers measure individualized student progress and growth. K–8 students are also given unit assessments to assess mastery of standards taught throughout the year in math, English Language Arts (ELA), and science.

Near the end of the school year, grades 3–8 participate in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. The PARCC test measures students’ critical thinking, problem solving skills and progress toward the college and career-ready academic standards recently adopted by DC and other states. These standards are an effort to better prepare our children for the next steps in their education and in life and to bolster a competitive and thriving state economy.

Read on for more on our specific programs for our pre-school, elementary, and middle school students. 

 
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A message from the Head of School:

Dear Families and Community Members,

Welcome to our current and prospective families! Meridian is a special place to be, and I am confident that you will feel like family from the moment you step foot inside our school.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I joined the Meridian team in July 2019 as Head of School. I am a native of East Chicago, Indiana, and the oldest of six children. My five younger siblings had the pleasure of being my first students around the dinner table as I helped them through their homework. I continued to explore my love of teaching at the University of Chicago, where I majored in mathematics and education policy. After moving to DC after college, I served as a mathematics and engineering teacher, instructional coach, and principal in Prince George's County, Maryland. Most recently, I was principal of Benjamin D. Foulois Creative and Performing Arts Academy, a nationally-recognized K-8 magnet program for the arts in Suitland, MD. I earned my Master of Arts in Teaching from American University in DC and am currently working on my PhD in Education Policy Studies at the University of Maryland. I currently live in Greenbelt, MD with my wife, my son, and my two furry companions, Puddles and Wrigley. I look forward to working alongside you, our students, and the entire Meridian team to ensure outstanding academic and socioemotional outcomes for each and every one of our children.

Meridian is a loving, joyful place for our students to learn, explore, and grow. If you are already part of the Meridian family, I am looking forward to working alongside you, your students, and our staff. If you’re considering joining the Meridian family, I hope to get to know you and your student and welcome the opportunity to show you what Meridian has to offer. It’s a new day at Meridian and I’m excited to partner with you for your child’s success!

Educationally,

Matthew McCrea, Head of School mmccrea@meridian-dc.org


Online programs used in the classroom and at home

i-Ready
Used during K–8 "Owl Hour" (intervention/remediation block) for practicing Math and ELA skills, the program provides targeted practice to a student at his or her instructional level. This structure makes it easy for each child to practice the material he or she needs to fill gaps in learning, keep up with the class, and even advance in topic areas of interest.

Learning A-Z
An extensive collection of leveled reading resources. With more than 2,000 books at 29 levels of reading difficulty to choose from, to easily put developmentally appropriate content into each student's hands. This program also includes corresponding resources to enhance instruction and strengthen students' reading skills, such as guided lesson plans, worksheets, assessments, and much more.

NWEA MAP
Used in the Fall, Winter, and Spring to assess student skills in mathematics and reading. Teachers use NWEA MAP to develop instructional plans for classes. Often used in conjunction with companion program MAP Skills, a skills mastery and progress monitoring assessment that helps teachers drill down to the specific skills each student needs to learn. Teachers see exactly what struggling students are missing and advanced students are ready to take on—then adjust instruction in the moment and monitor student progress.

Technology-focused Creative Arts classes also use a variety of online programs like TypingClub and Code Monkey to learn age appropriate keyboarding and coding skills.