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North Haven Community School seeks magnet students for unique high school experience

Posted April 11, 2019

Maine’s smallest K-12 public school, located on a Penobscot Bay island, is seeking high school magnet students for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

North Haven Community School, which has a total enrollment of approximately 61 students K-12, hosted three magnet students during the 2018 - 2019 school year, and hopes to add more.

Magnet students are currently housed together with a “dorm parent” in a school rental home and return to their families on the weekends.

“We strive to offer magnet students a home-like environment in our magnet school house with caring adults responsible for our students, their logistics, meals and program,” former school board chair and North Haven Community School alumna Hannah Pingree said.

North Haven Community School offers unique opportunities for hands-on learning and rigorous academics. Students can participate in wilderness expeditions, personalized research projects, whale skeleton rearticulation, carpentry, small engine repair, visual and performing arts classes and extracurriculars, 3D printing, work studies, and the Eastern Maine Skippers Program; as well as more traditional academic offerings. NHCS students can also participate in a variety of varsity sports, including cross country, track and field, rowing and basketball.

“In a tiny school students have both the freedom to follow their own interests and passions and they receive personal attention in pursuing passions and getting extra help, when needed. Kids are required to take on leadership roles, to do public speaking, and to make presentations which are essential for the life after high school,” Pingree said.

“The classes are small groups which makes it easier for me to learn,” said Irene Prescott, a tenth grade magnet student at North Haven Community School.

Her mother, Sarah Gibson, agreed.

“NHCS offers a unique, hands-on, experiential learning experience. We witnessed Irene blossom in this caring and supported environment. She travels independently, joined the basketball team, and has become more comfortable expressing her view and speaking in public,” she said. “We are happy to have found a school community which is a partnership: our daughter can flourish and be all she can be while contributing to help an island school flourish and be all that it can be.”

Tuition for magnet students includes room and board, and the total cost is below the state tuition amount, Pingree said. Students receive free ferry tickets.

For more information about North Haven Community School’s magnet program, visit or email