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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Baxter Academy?

Baxter Academy is a public charter STEM school in Portland, Maine. Its curriculum is rooted in inquiry and project-based learning and is connected across subjects. Baxter opened in fall 2013 with a learning community of 320 students from more than 66 Maine towns. Its teacher to student ratio is 1:16.

Where is Baxter Academy?

Baxter Academy is located in downtown Portland at 54 York Street.

Who is Baxter Academy?

Who are the students who thrive at Baxter? Baxter students are innovative and ethical. They are curious and motivated. They are willing to take risks, to fail, and to reflect in order to learn. They are inclusive of others. They take personal responsibility but are geared towards collaboration. They are musicians and photographers, martial artists and dancers, quarterbacks and video gamers. They love reading. Or taking apart cars and putting them back together. They collect LPs or books or trains. They may dream of being a doctor, a video game developer, a sustainability expert, a craftsman, an engineer, a designer, a climatologist, a cancer researcher, a wildlife photographer, or a ____________.

What’s the faculty like?

Baxter faculty are innovative and ethical. They are curious and motivated. They are willing to take risks, to fail, and to reflect in order to learn. They are inclusive of others. They take personal responsibility but are geared towards collaboration. As a group, they have taught all over the United States and Ukraine and China. Together, they speak many languages and play many musical instruments. Some are from Maine. Some are from away. One has built robots on US military contracts and another has built kayaks from cedar strips. One has a degree in particle physics but also experiments with photographic techniques from the Civil War. One teaches chemistry and writes murder mysteries. Every one of them is attentive, responsive, and caring. And they are still learning. Every day.

What about the administration?

Baxter’s administrative staff are innovative and ethical. They are curious and motivated... You see where we’re going with this: We think it’s important that the adults in the school share the same wonderful traits as the students. The school’s executive director, Carl Stasio, brings wisdom and nearly three decades of leadership experience in Maine education. Head of School Michele LaForge brims over with creativity in designing the school around its unique mission—and she is nurturing and tough-minded, too.

What’s different about Baxter Academy?

Baxter Academy offers a well-rounded education with an emphasis on deeply engaging students in hands-on study of science, technology, engineering, and math. Baxter has a robust and lively humanities department, as well as Mandarin language taught by a native speaker. Electives in 2013-14 have included music ensemble, photography, CAD, JAVA, furniture building, creative writing, journalism, and graphic design. Students engage in projects of their own choosing, as well as school-wide explorations that knit together the disciplines. On Fridays, the students work on FLEX FRIDAY group projects of their design and implementation. Each project has a faculty advisor. This year, some of those include an underwater robot, a canoe, a mural, a radio station, high-speed photography, video games, a green roof for the school, and mobility footgear for a virtual-reality platform. Inquiry leads the learning at Baxter. Students think for themselves. They analyze. They innovate. Busy work doesn’t happen here, but everyone is always busy with meaningful, exciting work.

Can my child attend Baxter Academy?

If your child is a Maine resident rising into the ninth tenth, or eleventh grade, he or she is eligible to enroll at Baxter.

How do I enroll my student?

We've streamlined the application process to one webpage: APPLY HERE!

I have a question that's not on this list?

Please feel free to visit our contact page