History of the School
Maine Ocean School opened its doors in 2018 as a public, magnet, high school that was created for students who wanted to pursue ocean careers. The mission was to provide a theme-based high school education focused on Maine's maritime connection with an emphasis on leadership, work ethic, and the transferable skills associated with careers involving the ocean.
The school took a different approach to learning that, at the time, was lacking in most public systems: a hands-on, minds-on curriculum that would immerse students in the topics they were interested in: marine science, marine engineering, marine transportation and marine management.
To actively engage and challenge its students. Our graduates were valued for their strong work ethic, knowledge, experience, and leadership capabilities.
Maine Ocean School
P.O. Box 10, Searsport, Maine 04974
Legislation Hurdles:Early in 2015the school was established as The Maine School for Marine Science, Technology, Transportation and Engineering. It was established by PL 353 under MRSA Chapter 312-A Article 8231. Under 8232. INTENT; FUNDING: "The school is established as a public, residential school located in the Town of Searsport..."
Governor Paul LePage authorized the first Board of Trustees that fall. Board member experience involved a wide range of expertise: captains with commercial, recreational and educational training, naval engineers, marine scientists, educators, retired school superintendents, town representatives, and marine patrol. Thus started an intensive 2-year process to create the nuts and bolts needed to start a school. Hundreds of volunteers and thousands of hours were spent making the idea of Maine Ocean School a reality.
In February of 2017, The Plan for the Maine School for Marine Science, Technology, Transportation and Engineering was submitted to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and accepted. At the Governor's request, without the participation of the school, the legislation was amended on July 12th 2017 to apply the charter school formula to provide funding to open Maine Ocean School's doors in Fall of 2018.
The summer of 2018, Maine Ocean School conducted their first week long summer camp. On September 4th 2018 it opened in the Duncan House of the Penobscot Marine Museum with two teachers and twelve students. RSU #20 provided a classroom and lunch services.
In 2021 the legislature required us to transition to a part time program model after the 22-23 school year. This program plan led to all but one student in the 22-23 school year to transfer to other schools.
From the time of opening until December 31st 2022, Maine Ocean School worked with 31 students, 10 of which graduated and went off to pursue higher education.
Maine Ocean School students traveled far and wide within state to take part in the curriculum: Islesboro, Waldoboro, Hampden, Belfast, Searsport, Stockton Spring, Bucksport, and Portland. After COVID, we provided a hybrid curriculum which allowed us to work with students who lived on boats or were in different states throughout the U.S.!
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What We Believed In