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, but 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 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

    By 2020, Berwick Academy will become a nationally recognized coeducational day school. We seek this recognition for the unique qualities of the Berwick experience. Excellence at Berwick will continue to be attained by local Seacoast day students who stretch and engage in ways that catalyze achievement of their individual potential in all areas of school life. Berwick will be further distinguished in its peer group through its synergistic relationship with the values and priorities of Seacoast families, which include quality of life, balance, perspective, and authenticity.

    This combination of national excellence and Seacoast values will result in Berwick being pursued by educators from across the nation and by prospective Seacoast students and families. Berwick Academy’s culture and first-rate facilities will be known as a reason for families to relocate to our area. Our graduates will be equipped to thrive at the finest and most diverse colleges and universities in the country, but they will be grounded by the core values of our community.

    We will bring this vision to fruition by engaging the talent and resourcefulness of our exceptional students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and parent community. Together we will improve all aspects of the school with particular focus on enhancing our programs and bolstering financial durability. We will know that our vision has been realized when enrollment selectivity has increased substantially, net endowment has improved significantly, and other private day school educators routinely seek our input on teaching, finance, diversity, program, and campus development.
  • Statement of Community

    Berwick Academy affirms its commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming community that celebrates the unique qualities of every individual while encouraging active engagement in a diverse world. We strive to support and attract students, faculty, staff, and administrators whose varied backgrounds, including race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, family composition, physical difference, and socioeconomic status strengthen our community. Through our curriculum, extracurricular activities, and community building efforts, we prepare students to become leaders who challenge preconceptions, value difference, and catalyze divergent ideas to realize Berwick’s mission of “promoting virtue and useful knowledge.”

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.

Fast Facts

List of 9 items.

  • 1791

    Established
  • 80

    Acre Campus
  • 25

    Bus Stops in MA, ME, NH
  • 75

    Completed student IPs last year
  • 604

    Total Enrollment
  • 85

    Communities represented
  • 1

    Just over one hour north of Boston
  • 8:1

    Student-Teacher Ratio
  • 40%

    Approximate percentage of students receiving financial aid

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.

The oldest educational institution in Maine, the 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 Academy'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-sixties. Then Berwick experienced tremendous changes during the seventies - 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 Facility 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 2nd 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, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. 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. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.