One of the biggest questions people have about island life, is about the schools. In Casco Bay, there are four island schools. The largest school is on Peaks Island, the most populated island. The island has a 130-year-old elementary school serving 54 students from grades K-5. There is also a year-round developmental daycare facility, called the Children’s Workshop, that provides preschool, before- and after-school programs and daycare for ages 2 to 5 years. Middle and senior high-school students commute to the mainland. Chebeague’s island school is the second largest, with three classes from Pre-K to fifth grade pre-k, k-2 and 3-5), after which students commute to the mainland. Currently there are 22 students in the school, and 27 attending middle and high school off-island. The Long Island school serves Kindergarten through fifth grade and has 11 students; 21 students in higher grades commute to the Portland schools. Cliff Island has the smallest island school, at only 8 students in a true one-room schoolhouse. Great Diamond Island has several children but no school. Most of the children attend school in Portland, although this year one of the youngest island residents will be commuting to Long Island to attend kindergarten.
Raising children in an island community can be quite idyllic with the small schools and community care. Commuting on the early boat is quite a transition for the older students, but the teachers do their best to equip the children with the skills they need to thrive in larger schools on the mainland.
For more information on island schools, see the Island Institute’s website:
Call Mike Urban for more information at 239-4462.