Islesboro Central School
We employ 11 full time staff members, 4 part time teachers, 2 administrative assistants, and 2 ed. techs.
The Islesboro Central School is a unique K-12 public school providing educational programming to approximately 85-90 students a year. The multi-age programming starts in kindergarten through grade 4 with around 25 students and with 38 students in both the middle school and the high school. The magnet program is ICS’s invitation to mainland students to join our newly renovated school. There are currently 19 magnet students in grades 5- 12 who commute by ferry every day. ICS features small class sizes which allow for individualized attention and positive working relationships with staff members.
Each student is provided full support within the academically focused curriculum. Place-based learning opportunities are embedded throughout our mathematics, arts, and science programs. Our school has a great love of the arts which is demonstrated by the class offerings of graphic arts, photography, band, chorus and private lessons. Our 1 acre garden, under the supervision of Region 8’s staff, allows horticulture classes to connect directly with our goals of sustainability through our lunch offerings. Computer laptops are a tool all middle and high school students have at their disposal to facilitate learning. There is a strong effort to make a long lasting connection between the school, the community, and the environment through classroom partnerships and activities.
ICS is vital to the life of the island community. The school is a source of music, art, sports and events for residents of all ages to enjoy. ICSl builds on the traditional values – self-reliance, civic-mindedness, neighbor-helping-neighbor, tolerance, ingenuity, conservation and stewardship – to prepare our students to be productive and confident members of the global society.
How do students become "magnet" students?
About 14 years ago, the school board developed a process where students in grades 5-12 could apply to come to school here. This process involves reviewing the grade level of entry first, as space is the first determining factor. Additional parts include a written application, record review, interview and visits to the school by parents and students. Currently the amount for tuition is $4,000 for middle school and $5,000 for high school students with an annual adjustment which reflects any increases from the school budget process.
What are your class sizes?
They range from 12 in our middle school to 8 in our freshman class. However, with some classes, it could be as small as three students.
What are your graduation requirements?
Our graduation requirement goal is that no matter where a student lands after high school, each student will have had the appropriate amount of classes to be successful anywhere. The list of classes include 4 history, 4 language arts, 3 math, 3 science, 2 foreign language, 1 technology, 2 physical education/health, and 1 humanities.
Does every graduate go on to college?
Everyone has to have a plan for their post secondary journey. For many students, that has included, for example, going to the Naval Academy, Maine Maritime, University of Southern Maine, Husson University or the Rochester School of Technology. Every senior needs to apply to a school in order to experience the process and develop the final pieces of their portfolio before graduation. We have had 5-8 graduating seniors over the past 5 years.
What do you offer for sports?
We offer co-ed varsity soccer, middle
and high school boys and girls basketball and a variety of spring inter-murals such as golf and physical fitness training. In the past few years, we have been successful in making to the Class D, MPA tournaments in soccer and basketball.
Why do students come here?
They seem to like the small environment,
the K-12 setting, the classes, and the staff interaction.
What are the challenges for ICS?
We are a small staff so we have to be very creative with offerings. We don't have a huge variety of classes but we are working hard to use our current staff differently and to use technology to broaden our scope. Our students do spend a lot of time together, and over the years, that can create its own issues. The ferry is another element that can make our way of operating very complicated at times. You just can't get there from here.