Our Approach

A Collaborative Approach to Learning

At Maine Coast Semester, we encourage students to take charge of their education. We cultivate both individual and collaborative approaches to learning. And we believe in the power of students and teachers living and learning together in a dynamic small community. The semester experience is designed for students who want to take their studies to the next level: all classes are taught at the Honors or AP level, and students are expected to work independently without a learning specialist on site. 

During their semester, students engage deeply with the world around them through their studies, meaningful work, and outdoor experiences. They spend at least four hours a week doing field work along the Maine coast for science class. In Art and the Natural World and in Environmental Issues classes, they make use of Chewonki’s saltwater peninsula and sites throughout Maine. Their math problems may include modeling tidal changes in our own Montsweag Bay. In English, they explore how words can capture the relationship between people, nature, and place–a relationship they’re forging right here. Real-world, hands-on experiences complement the traditional components of every class.

Our Vision:

We choose to approach rigorous academics, physical work, and everyday living with responsibility and joy. Whether engaging in a spirited classroom discussion, harvesting tomatoes for our table or planning Saturday night’s activities, we live each day deliberately with an eye toward connecting the individual to a larger community. Our students leave Chewonki with strengthened ownership for their education, an awareness of their place in nature, and an understanding that they can make a positive difference in their world.

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