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Upper School Academic Center


Explore beautiful questions. Choose your path. → Connect with community. → Leave no trace.


The new Academic Center is the heart of the Upper School. Opened in January 2016, the Academic Center houses the Avery Barras Library, the Technology Center, Academic Support, an Archive Room, and varied spaces for teaching and learning. As expressed in the guiding statements above, the Academic Center supports MKA students in their journey toward becoming independent and autonomous learners.


Designed with flexible spaces to adapt to varied teaching and learning needs, the Academic Center encourages students to explore, design their own personalized learning experiences, engage in meaningful collaboration with those around them–and do all of this in a mindful way. These spaces include:

Collaborative Studies
Three Collaborative Studies are outfitted with screens and flexible seating for students to work together in small groups.

Quiet Study
Outfitted with study carrels, comfortable seats, and white noise, Quiet Study provides an ideal setting for students seeking silence to focus on their work.

Idea Lab
A flexible classroom designed to help teachers innovate and experiment with learning environments, the Idea Lab allows teachers and students to shift the furniture and space to suit learning goals.

Teaming Room
A collaborative meeting and brainstorming space, the Teaming Room provides a dedicated space for teachers to work with other teachers.

General Seating
Abundant, flexible seating, both at tables and in comfortable armchairs, fills the large communal spaces and abuts the book collection. Students utilize this area for a variety of different needs, such as working as a whole class on a research project, sitting by the fire reading during a free period, holding an impromptu meeting with a teacher, or attending an evening lecture series.

Green Roof
The Academic Center’s green roof provides an interactive, outdoor learning space. Classes can utilize the green roof for observation, reflection, experimentation, and other hands-on experiences.

An outdoor amphitheater adjoins the Academic Center and provides a stage setting for students and teachers to utilize for everything from Poetry Club readings to Improv class exercises to impromptu English class scene studies.