A North Haven Community School Program for High School Students offered in partnership with Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership.

  • Inter-disciplinary experiential program

  • Live and learn on an island

  • Emphasis on environmental science, civic engagement, and the arts

  • A Maine public school magnet program

  • Apply now for the 2023-2024 Cohort

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North Haven Community School (NHCS), a fully accredited New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) K- 12 public school, in partnership with the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, is offering a unique, year-long marine/environmental studies and community leadership program for high school students called the Offshore Year Program.

Offshore students are integrated into the school and community, living in a five-bedroom house in the North Haven village with a house parent and supervisory support of the Offshore Year Coordinator, participating in all aspects of the school and community.

The Offshore curriculum uses experiential and project-based methods to teach marine studies, the social and economic impact of climate change on coastal communities, aquaculture, and effective community leadership. The Offshore experience will cultivate confidence, self-reliance, and ignite individual passions. We expect Offshore students to find their voice, take a very active role in their learning, and master the acquisition of specific skills independently.

Offshore students will receive full academic credit for successful completion of their courses. Each visiting student will be assigned a faculty and community advisor, and teamed with a North Haven host student or family to support their entire experience.

Students will also gain hands-on experiences in our state-of-the-art projects building that includes a variety of digital and manual tools to build boats, design electronic sensors. Students will apply those skills to larger school projects, during community service, and through internships in the community.

Our School and Community

With small classes led by passionate educators, students at our school can truly create and receive a personalized and individualized education. NHCS teachers encourage students to find their academic passions through coursework, experiential learning, music, art, vocational projects, gardening, and the annual Fall Field Study Expedition.

North Haven is a welcoming community on an offshore Maine island with just 350 year-round residents and a beautiful coastal landscape. North Haven Community School is the smallest K–12 public school in Maine with an enrollment of around 50 students and a student-teacher ratio of approximately 5:1.

NHCS is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. We are housed in a state-of-the-art educational environment—built in 2008—supporting individual student’s interests and development with ample facilities and resources that include an auxiliary timber-frame "makerspace" for hands-on projects, a science lab, 3D printers, a greenhouse and gardens, an art studio, and a music room. The community also has a modern theater that NHCS uses for plays and performances.

Additional financial and logistical support is also provided for arts integration, project-based learning, community theater, and off-island expeditions. Students and staff also have access to auxiliary classrooms like the North Haven Historical Society.

Our academic focus provides high-quality, place-based, experiential learning for our students in which their education is connected to the real world beyond our school walls. Students at NHCS present their learning to an authentic audience and for a real purpose. As a place rich with fishing and farming, we are able to use marine studies, agricultural education, and various types of sustainability studies—everything from fishing stocks to housing—to make learning locally relevant.

In addition, NHCS uses a deep-dive approach to learning through our all-school Knowledge Fair, expeditions, exchange programs, custom and mentored independent study, and artist-in-residence programs. High school students engage in our community through work-study and community service opportunities at businesses and nonprofits, including working at local boatyards and farms, with island elders, and at our local preschool.