Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Watershed School

Watershed School Contact Information:

32 Washington Street
Camden, ME 04843

Phone: 207 230-7341

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Watershed School offers an intellectually challenging program which encourages students to strive for personal growth and to make meaningful connections and contributions to the world around them. Established in 2003 and accredited by NEASC in 2008, Watershed School is built on the principle that strong individual growth develops out of close working relationships between students and teachers in the context of a supportive, enthusiastic community. The mission of the school is to establish a learning community that cultivates excellence, creativity, respect, and compassion. Watershed is a private, independent high school serving students in mid-coast Maine.

Our 2016 Essential Question:

How do we enhance and build on the strengths of our academic program, increase enrollment, and stay financially accessible to families in midcoast Maine? Over the last three years, our faculty has worked hard to develop and put into practice performance-based assessments built on the 12 Foundational Skills that we believe are essential for life-long learning. We want to develop these further, share with colleagues from across the country, and highlight the good work we are doing for others to see. Joining the Coalition of Essential Schools serves to affirm, inspire, and communicate to others what we are doing as a school in the broader context of educational reform in this country and around the globe.

Our Competencies and Strengths:

Project-based learning where students connect classroom experiences with real-world problems in our community. Most of our classes focus on real problems that individuals, organizations, and community groups are struggling with each in their own way. Our teachers and students nurture healthy and rewarding relationships with local and international groups to effect positive change. Examples include the Liberian Education Fund, Carbon Neutral Camden- It's Time to Act, Changing the lighting ordinance to reduce sky glow in Rockland,Maine, develop new applications of technology and design thinking to develop hydroponic systems for urban populations, and monitor local dams using arduino technology for the benefit of our local town office. These are just a few of the ways in which students engage in learning that connects the classroom with community.