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The Maine Charter School Commission is one of two types of entities permitted to authorize public charter schools in Maine. The Commission can authorize up to 10 public charter schools throughout the state during the first 10 years of Maine's charter school law. Maine currently has 9 public charter schools. Click on the name of the school to go directly to the school's website.
“ACADIA” is an acronym for “A Charter Academy for Developing Independence and Achievement”. Opened for the 2016-17 school year, the school provides a rigorous, comprehensive educational program for children of the Lewiston, Auburn and surrounding areas in grades Pre-K through 4. ACADIA promotes high educational achievement through directed teaching opportunities that are entwined with extensive experiential learning opportunities. ACADIA faculty and staff support the development of the whole child as each student develops academically, socially and emotionally in a safe community that requires personal accountability and meaningful participation. It is ACADIA Academy’s intent to support individual students in developing their full potential, while teaching them the value of belonging, connectedness and contribution to the larger community.
Baxter Academy for Technology and Science (Current Charter)
Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, located in Portland, opened its doors in September 2013. The school’s students come from nearly 40 Maine school districts, spanning from Blue Hill to towns south of Kennebunk. Baxter’s curriculum is rooted in inquiry and project-based learning, and is connected across subjects. The school’s mission is to be a rigorous, college preparatory high school promoting student ownership of learning through a curriculum focused specifically on science, technology, engineering, and math. Its vision is to use a technology-rich, project-based learning approach to education at the secondary level. In 2017, Baxter Academy for Technology and Science was granted a 10-year renewal to its charter.
Cornville Regional Charter School was the first elementary public charter school in the state of Maine. Located in Cornville and Skowhegan, it opened its doors on October 1, 2012, to students in grades K-6. Currently, the school educates students in grades PreK through 10 from approximately 10 Maine school districts from St. Albans to Fairfield and points in between. In 2016, with its 5-year renewal, Cornville Regional Charter School was approved to open a PreK and a high school, both which opened in Skowhegan for the 2017-18 school year. The school’s mission is to create a safe, respectful, nurturing and active learning community where every child is given the opportunity to thrive academically, to be accepted, to celebrate accomplishments and to develop a lifetime love of learning. Its vision is to create a school where learning is built around each student so that all students become engaged learners with relevant and challenging work.
Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences (Current Charter)
Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences, located in Gray, opened its doors in September 2013. The school’s students come from 15 Maine school districts from Portland to Rumford. Fiddlehead’s curriculum is based on the Reggio Emilia learning approach (image of the child, children’s relationship and interactions within a system, role of the families, role of space, and teacher and children as partners in learning). Fiddlehead’s mission is to unfold the potential of children in a respectful, loving culture through authentic and meaningful experiences that sustain a sense of wonder, a love of learning, and embrace the interconnectedness of all things. Its vision is to provide for the foundational needs of growing children in a community where children, teachers, and families learn together in a nurturing environment. In 2017, Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences was granted a 10-year renewal to its charter.
Harpswell Coastal Academy (Current Charter)
Harpswell Coastal Academy, located in Harpswell, opened in September 2013. The school serves students from over a dozen Maine school districts from Portland to Wiscasset. Its curriculum is based on incorporating marine and natural resources, farms and forests, and sustainable entrepreneurships often through direct and ongoing partnerships with professionals in those fields. Harpswell’s mission is to offer rigorous, personalized, project-based education to mid-coast Maine students. Its vision is to use Maine’s shorelines, working waterfronts, forests, and farms as classrooms. The school’s goal is to prepare caring, creative, resilient citizen-scholars who will flourish in a rapidly changing economy. In 2017, Harpswell Coastal Academy was granted a 5-year renewal to its charter.
Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS), located in Hinckley, opened in September 2011, and was the first Maine high school to focus on the natural sciences. Currently, the school educates students from over 30 Maine school districts from Portland to Athens. Its mission is to offer a student-centered, staff-guided high school whose purpose is to inspire and engage students. MeANS welcomes a diverse range of students including those whose previous learning environment has not inspired them to fulfill their potential as learners, those who have become profoundly disconnected from their education, as well as those who have a passion for the school’s themes of agriculture, forestry and sustainability. Its vision is to encourage students to re-engage with their education, to grow as critical thinkers and problem solvers by developing habits of heart and mind that lead them to take responsibility for their own actions, as well as for the welfare of their community. In 2016 with its 5-year charter renewal, the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences was approved to open Threshold, a program for home-bound students.
Maine Arts Academy - formerly Snow Pond Arts Academy - located in Sidney, opened for the 2016-17 school year as a performing arts charter high school that integrates the power of the arts with a rigorous academic experience. Maine Arts Academy uses an arts-integrated approach that integrates the arts into all academic learning. All students have a full rigorous academic schedule as well as daily participation in performing arts and visual arts courses. Maine Arts Academy educates students from over 30 districts statewide.
Maine Connections Academy (MCA), located in South Portland, opened in September 2014 as Maine’s first virtual public charter school, and it currently educates students from over 100 school districts statewide. The school’s curriculum combines online and offline resources working with specialists to deliver comprehensive, high quality education. The school’s mission is to help each student maximize his or her potential and meet the highest performance standards through a uniquely individualized learning program in grades 7-12 for students who desire an alternative to the traditional classroom. MCA’s vision is to reach students for whom a virtual approach provides the best pathway to school success through an individualized learning program that combines the best in virtual education with close connections among students, family, teachers, and the community to promote academic and emotional success for every learner.
Maine Virtual Academy (Current Charter)
Maine Virtual Academy (MeVA), located in Augusta, opened in September 2015 as the second virtual public charter school in Maine. Currently, MeVA educates students from over 100 school districts all over the state of Maine. Its curriculum is based upon the teaching affiliated with the K-12 Inc. online program. It offers courses in Language Arts/English, Math, Science, History, Art, Health/PE and Music. The school's mission is to develop each student's full potential with learner-centered instruction, a research-based curriculum and educational tools and resources to provide a high-quality learning experience for grade 7-12 students in need of alternative educational options. MeVA's vision is to improve student learning outcomes through individualized instruction, as evidenced by student academic proficiency, student academic growth, post-secondary readiness, and the demonstration of skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and self-direction.