St. George Municipal School Unit (MSU) is a community school district and the heart and strength of our district is the community of St. George. We have a clear mission – to do whatever it takes to ensure that every single student thrives and, as a school-community, to give back and contribute to the Town of St. George. We focus on students’ academic growth, character development, and health/wellness. We recognize that health/wellness – which we define as students’ physical & mental health, social-emotional well-being, and food security – is a prerequisite for academic growth and character development. Finally, we believe that for a student to thrive – to demonstrate mastery and find meaning in education – they must share their learning in ways that positively impact their community.
“Growing up in rural Maine, I was fortunate enough to have attended the St. George Elementary School. I was blessed with loving teachers who became my second family. All the way from kindergarten through eighth grade, I was provided an in-depth and well-rounded education. Some of my greatest memories from my childhood stem from my time at St. George. I credit a lot of my success to St. George teachers. This school is truly an excellent facility and continues to shape young lives, in turn securing the future of the state of Maine.”
About 200 students attend kindergarten through 8 th grade at St. George School and approximately 90 St. George students in grades 9th – 12th enjoy high school choice and can attend any state approved high school. St. George is a rural community with about 3000 year-round residents and summertime population that can increase to an estimated 7000. The town has a rich history rooted in its connection to natural resources and marine heritage; the fishing industry remains one of the largest employment sectors in St. George.
St. George MSU is thriving. The community approach we have taken to public education is working. Over the past several years, our school has received a variety of awards and recognition:
- 2019: Several of our teachers (Alison England, Paul Meinersmann, and Amy Palmer) were nominated for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Kevin McCarthy Innovation Award.
- 2018: St. George School received the Maine Environmental Education Association’s (MEEA) School of the Year Award for a community-centered approach to education that provides an exemplar of what impactful and lasting environmental education can look like.
- 2017: Superintendent Mike Felton received the Maine Department of Education Commissioner’s Award for outstanding service on behalf of Maine students and citizens.
- 2016: The Middle Level Team (Ashby Bartke, Alison England, Josh McPhail, and Sonja Schmanska) received the 2016 Maine Association for Middle Level Education (MAMLE) Exemplary Practice Award.
In terms of academic growth, last school year, 60% of students in grades K-8 met their growth goals in math and reading on the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a standardized assessment. NWEA MAP provides national norms for expected student growth at each grade and performance level. These norms are based on anonymous data from 10.2 million students attending 23,000 schools in 49 states. The number of St. George School students meeting their growth goals has increased each year since we became a separate school district in 2015:
Our students continue to engage in work that stretches the imagination as to what’s possible in public education.
- As part of the Alewife Project, St. George middle level students, for the 5th consecutive year, will work with the Town Conservation Commission to study and restore the historic alewife run to the marsh. When the project began in 2015/16, students discovered that some alewives had in fact returned! However, more research needs to be done to determine why the fish have not returned in greater numbers. Students learn alongside community members and scientists and share their work in blogs and student scientific journals, through reports and videos.
- Leaps of Imagination is a nonprofit that brings local Maine mentor artists together with elementary school students and teachers. Mentor artists interweave art making experiences with environmental education and literature themes. Students present their work to families and the community at an art opening at Jackson Memorial Library.