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About Us

Berwick at a Glance

Berwick is a school community where it is cool to be smart, cool to be yourself, and cool to try.

Berwick is as exciting as it is challenging and as playful as it is hard working; a place where discovery is applauded and students are more than classmates–they're friends. Walk across the campus and you'll instantly feel it–this is more than a school. It is the convergence of three divisions, each with its own personality, together forming a community that is uniquely Berwick.

Since its inception in 1791, Berwick has educated students through a purposeful blend of academics, arts, and athletics. The curriculum is traditional in its roots yet innovative in its approach, fostering self-discipline, hard work, and healthy skill sets. Students here are encouraged to take risks, find their voice, and tap into the energy of campus life and community activities.

Mission Statement

Berwick Academy, founded in 1791, is dedicated to promoting virtue and useful knowledge among the rising generations.

List of 2 items.

  • Vision Statement

    Propelled by its aspirational mission and the courage to evolve, Berwick Academy's innovative curriculum prepares students for a rapidly changing world. A Berwick education positions students to confidently take on and adapt to the dynamic opportunities that will exist for them in the future.

    Berwick will harness its culture of innovation and continuously reflect on the ways it can challenge and support students to reach their full potential. Inspired by the high aspirations of our students, The Courage to Climb strategic plan will enhance the tenets of the Berwick curriculum, including student-directed learning; skills over content — depth over breadth; innovation; wellness, character education, and public purpose; and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI).

    To accomplish this, the strategic plan enhances student opportunities through after-school and summer programming; partnerships that provide internships and learning opportunities; and a focus on environmental stewardship. The strategic plan fortifies Berwick’s approach to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and ensures that our essential academic systems fully support this work in our curriculum. The parallel support of The Campaign for Berwick will ensure Berwick’s future durability and flexibility to thrive for the rising generations.
  • Statement of Community

    Berwick Academy is committed to building a diverse school community that ensures active and full participation, values fairness and equity, and addresses the systemic marginalization experienced by underrepresented groups. We strive to support and attract students, families, faculty, staff, and administrators whose varied backgrounds, including disability status, family composition, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status, strengthen our community. 

    Through our curriculum, co-curricular activities, and community-building efforts, students can expect to leave Berwick Academy Knowing Themselves and what makes up their identity. They will be Socially Aware, open-minded, empathetic, and willing to explore and understand others’ perspectives. We equip our students to be Civically Engaged citizens, so that they may give of themselves and actively work to redress inequity toward a more just society as Equity Minded upstanders and allies.

    “Dedicated to promoting virtue and useful knowledge” now and in the future, we must prepare students to understand, identify with, and engage in an ever-changing world.

Core Values

List of 4 items.

  • Balance

    Berwick Academy constituents participate in a quest for balance that fundamentally defines our sense of community. We exist in a spiraling cycle of discovery, self-reflection, and growth. While each community member’s individualized journey towards this value is a personal work in progress, we share a common appreciation of the tensions that exist within our definition of this ideal.
  • Stretching Through Engagement

    Berwick assumes that we all benefit from personal exploration, taking considered risks and genuinely diving into new endeavors. Community members are expected to stretch themselves in a myriad of ways.
  • A Community of Excellence

    “Community” and “Excellence” are two of the most cherished principles at Berwick Academy. Academic excellence is central to the Berwick experience, but our community of high standards expects all constituents to be in a process of striving for their personal best in all areas of school life.
  • Commitment to Integrity

    Being a member of the Berwick community requires a deeply held commitment to being a person of character and to continually refining one’s ethical understanding of the world.

Our History

The history of Berwick Academy dates back to 1791, when the citizens of Berwick, York, Kittery, Rollinsford, Portsmouth, and Wells raised 500 pounds to educate the local youth.

Incorporated by the Massachusetts Legislature and with a charter signed by Governor John Hancock for the purpose of "promoting true piety and virtue and useful knowledge among the rising generation," Berwick Academy was established to teach languages, liberal arts, and sciences.

When Maine became a state in 1820, Berwick Academy was the equivalent of a comprehensive high school and, until the 1950s, the town of South Berwick contracted with the School to educate local students. However, by 1955, the Board of Trustees reverted to a completely private status with an exclusive college preparatory program in accordance with the intent of the School's founders.

Berwick became a boarding school for boys, with a day department for girls, and continued to expand its facility by acquiring land for playing fields and tennis courts, as well as nine homes for dormitories and faculty housing. A new gymnasium and The Commons, housing a dining hall and science laboratories, were completed by the mid-1960s. Berwick experienced tremendous changes during the 1970s–adding the Middle School in 1971 and discontinuing the boarding program in 1976. With the addition of the Lower School in 1977, the transformation to a true country day school was complete.

Berwick continued to expand its facility with the dedications of the Whipple Arts Center in 1985, the Kendall Lower School in 1988, the Clement Middle School in 1994, the Athletic Center in 1997, the Jeppesen Science Center in 1999, the Jackson Library in 2002, the Walsh Wellness Center at Oakes House in 2015, and the Inspiration Commons in the Jackson Library in 2016.
The distinguished history of Berwick Academy, and the long list of students who have emerged successful from our program, will always remain the solid foundation upon which our school is founded.

Berwick Archives

The Berwick Academy Archives contains over 3,000 historical items. It is located on the second floor of the Jackson Library. Please contact the archives manager at archives@berwickacademy.org or 207.384.2164 x 2700 for more information or to make an appointment.

Berwick Academy

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 550 students, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 and Post-Graduates. Berwick students are from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and several countries. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.