November 16, 2012

Baxter Academy for Technology and Science approved as charter school

The Baxter Academy for Technology and Science received approval Friday to open in Portland next fall as Maine's third charter school.

By Edward D. Murphy
Staff Writer

PORTLAND  – The Baxter Academy for Technology and Science received approval Friday to open next fall as Maine's third charter school.

The Maine Charter School Commission said Baxter Academy will become the first public charter school focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

While the school expects to emphasize the sciences, it will also offer other courses typically offered by high schools, such as social studies and English, said John Jaques, the school's executive director. He said it will also offer Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language.

Jaques said the classes will feature "technology-rich project-based learning."

The school, which will be based at 54 York St., will begin accepting applications on Jan. 1 for students to be 9th and 10th graders when the doors open on Sept. 3, 2013.

The school hopes to enroll at least 150 students for the first year and will add another grade level for each of the two years following the first year to create a four-grade high school.

In charter schools, the "dollars follow the child," meaning the money for each student's education that would have gone to their local school will instead go to the charter school, which will accept students from throughout the state. The schools are also expected to do fund-raising to augment the tax dollars.

Under Maine's charter school law, the commission can authorize up to 10 public charter schools over the next decade.


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