Message From the Head of School

Since the 1930s, Midland students have lived their education.  What does this mean?  It means that learning goes beyond the four walls of a classroom.  In fact, some Midland classrooms don’t even have four walls!

Midland students design and install our solar system arrays; we grow over half of the school food in our organic garden and cattle graze on the ranch to provide beef; faculty and their families eat family style with students 6 nights a week; each afternoon a few students light fires to heat water for our afternoon showers; and everyone helps clean, wash dishes, and do the real work that makes a small community thrive.

We know that emphasizing the small community and the importance of each individual’s contribution to it, allows each of us to grow more.  We know that the best Midland students stretch and challenge themselves to extraordinary levels of leadership and scholarship.  We know that academics are our first priority but not our only priority. We know that our students are grounded in the practical and can do things – solve a difficult math problem, write a cogent essay, chop fire wood, grow food, do the laundry, repair a broken gutter. We know that young adults need a clear framework of increasing responsibility and freedoms to develop their decision making skills.

We educate one young adult at a time, on a small and personal scale.  We ask a lot of our students in a supportive and highly personalized environment.  Seniors lead the Jobs Program, which is more than teaching ninth graders how to push a broom.  They learn and develop a sense of accountability and responsibility to others as they practice their very real leadership and communication skills.

Don’t take my word for it.  Come see for yourself what students, parents and alumni of Midland School know to be true: that living our education is the start of a life well lived.

Christopher Barnes
Head of School


“Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”
 John Dewey (1859-1952)



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