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Academics

Curriculum 2020

From its inception, this School has always risen to the challenge of “providing virtue and useful knowledge to the rising generations.” The commitment of the faculty and administration to this mission throughout the years has brought Berwick to where it is today, a respected independent school with an accomplished alumni body. 
 
Berwick’s growing national reputation now positions us to take important steps forward. To use a seemingly omnipresent phrase in educational discourse today, we are committed to educating today’s students “for their future rather than our past.” Toward that end, the Administrative team and curricular leaders on campus have been striving for systemic curricular innovation and improvement. 
 
Berwick’s Curriculum 2020 plan lays out the five areas of focus that we will pursue over the next four years.
 
1. STUDENT-DIRECTED LEARNING with a focus on knowing through doing. Individual academic departments are developing advanced topics courses with an increased emphasis on actual research, interdisciplinary connections, and grappling with real-world problems. 
 
2. SKILLS AS THE GOAL with content serving as the vehicle to achieve these goals. Four years from now, Berwick will no longer be placing an “AP” designation on our academic transcripts. AP no longer differentiates us from local public or private schools, and relinquishing the freedom to allow exceptional teachers to design Berwick’s pinnacle program is at odds with our fundamental value proposition as an independent school. 

3. SYSTEMIC INNOVATION by building on the momentum of the Berwick Innovation Center. Last year, over 200 students took advantage of opportunities to innovate through Innovation Pursuits, the Makerspace, and Innovation, Jr. BIC continues to grow as we roll out a program for students across the country to access Innovation Pursuits remotely.
 
4. COMMITMENT TO WELLNESS, CHARACTER EDUCATION, AND PUBLIC PURPOSE with the opening of the Walsh Wellness Center at Oakes House and new wellness programming. Classes including Ethics, Freshman Foundations, and The American Diet are being held in the new facility. The yoga studio is being used by the Lower School as part of their school day, and the Middle and Upper School students as part of their athletic offerings. 

5. BUILDING CROSS-CULTURAL VERSATILITY by augmenting the multicultural aspects of our program. With the hiring of Michael Buensuceso in the newly created position of Director of Cultural Competency, we will take opportunities to leverage interdisciplinary work and  student travel in the pursuit of our cultural competency goals and student preparation for a global world. 

Inspiration Commons
During the summer of 2016, the Jackson Library at Berwick Academy underwent a major transformation, as the better part of the main floor became the new Inspiration Commons. Inspiration Commons is the result of a lead gift from an anonymous donor and is intended to provide a collaborative learning space where the community can join together, share, create, innovate, and most importantly inspire each other. Specific areas within the new space includes a Fabrication Studio, Digital Design Classroom, and a central area where students and faculty brainstorm, conceptualize, collaborate, critique, exhibit, and gather together. Students from PK through grade 12 have access to the new space, which embraces the interdisciplinary and student-driven philosophy of Curriculum 2020. 

Curriculum 2020 in the Classroom

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Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy is Maine's oldest, independent Pre-K through Post Graduate private school. Our community is dynamic, offering challenging academics, competitive athletics, and creative arts programs. Members of the community operate within a context of caring and respect as we pursue our quest for "useful knowledge" as "one school with three divisions." Students and faculty are encouraged to expand their horizons by balancing academics with athletic, dramatic, and musical options.