Watershed School is a supportive community that cultivates intellectual inquiry, the joy of learning, creativity, respect and compassion while encouraging students to strive for personal growth and make meaningful contributions to the world around them.

A Watershed Education is built on the principle that exceptional individual growth develops out of strong teacher-student relationships within the context of a close-knit community.  Faculty concentrate on knowing each student in the school- in terms of learning style, interests, attitude toward learning, challenges, and aspirations- so they can help develop each student's full potential.  The democratic nature of our community develops skills leading to effective citizenship and fosters a healthy affection and sense of responsibility for the school- thereby increasing student openness toward learning, toward each other, and toward adults.  The attitudes fostered at Watershed School prepare our students for a lifetime of learning and for involvement in local communities and the larger world.

When you're with Watershed students you notice right away that there's a unique spark in them.  They're curious about many things and excited to learn more about them.  They enjoy their partnership with teachers in a small and lively classes that challenge them to exercise their initiative and imagination.  There is great trust and mutuality among all these learners, and teachers see themselves as learners, too.

The quality of the faculty would be the envy of any school, both in terms of academic achievement as well as richness of experience.  The support that parents and trustees give to the school is truly impressive; their involvement in all aspects of the school community is constant and energetic.

The results can be seen in the graduates: they're mature and prepared for work in higher education, and they're out there in some of the best colleges and universities.  They're also caring and well-rounded citizens of the world.  The Watershed School is the kind of educational opportunity that is very much needed in a community such as ours.  We're fortunate to have it as an option in mid-coast Maine.

- John A. Bird, educational consultant and member of the Board of Advisors


Desire to Attend

Students have to demonstrate a strong desire to come to Watershed.

For many of our students, being at our school is one of the best things that has happened to them.

We asked our students to list what they valued about their school. They were given a variety of categories — academics, school community, non-academic opportunities, etc. – to expand their range of ideas. Students were given 1st , 2nd and 3rd value votes to select their top choices from what became a very long list.

Here are their top 6 choices in order of vote values:

  • Students want to be here and students want to learn
  • Teachers have respect for students.
  • Strong, rigorous academics; knowledgeable faculty.
  • Full support for international exchange and other learning opportunities, high proportion of international students.
  • Students have a lot of say in what happens in their school.
  • Teachers and administration are open minded.