Counterpane School is one of very few Montessori environments in the country that extends the Montessori philosophy from the 3 year-old to matriculation to college. Approximately 100 students and 10 teachers share in this co-worker, co-learner environment. In 1995 Counterpane School became a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, a national school reform organization founded at Brown University. Counterpane's campus is on 14 wooded acres with organic gardens, farm animals, and a profusion of wildflowers. The academic program relies on mixed ages, an interdisciplinary curriculum, and boasts a fully integrated arts program. The students reflect a wide cross-section of socio-economic backgrounds. The student body from pre-school through high school is divided into three communities of learners: Primary (3 to 6 years); Lower School (6 to 12 years); and Upper School (12 to matriculation to college)). This format ensures an environment in which each student can develop intellectually and emotionally at his or her own rate. Geography, creative writing, problem solving, Spanish, life science, and community service are integral parts of the curriculum at all levels - Montessori Primary through high school. In Upper School the curriculum is exclusively college-preparatory, and the environment closely resembles a workplace with individual contracts, group projects, team meetings, class discussions, and student/teacher appointments. Independent study, joint-enrollment with local colleges, and professional internships are incorporated as achievement, commitment, and maturity permit. Yearlong research projects and community service involvement are inherent in the program. Throughout high school, each student is assisted in evaluating and addressing his or her individual strengths and weaknesses in order to achieve college readiness both academically and emotionally. The resulting confidence, self-awareness, and genuine desire for inquiry make college a natural conclusion and confirm life as a continuous learning and growing experience. Counterpane students enjoy acceptances from colleges such as Auburn University, Berry College, Boston College, Boston University, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon University, Claremont McKenna College, College of Charleston, Colorado State, Columbia University, Cornell University, Digipen, De Paul University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Harvey Mudd College, Haverford College, Johnson & Wales, Macalester, M.I.T., New Mexico School of Mining and Technology, New York University, Penn State Univ0ersity, Savannah College of Art and Design, Sweet Briar College, Tulane University, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, the University of Mississippi, and Virginia Tech. To date all have been accepted to four-year colleges. Counterpane evaluates students through written assessments, and students do not receive grades until ninth grade. While A.P. Courses are available, participating in college classes in a college setting is preferred when readiness is demonstrated. A student may also opt for an additional year in High School if personal needs or goals dictate.