Growing a new campus

Posted on Wednesday May 11, 2011

Dear Friends,

This year, Wayfinder Schools is preparing to graduate its largest class in our 38 year history.  In May and June, we will graduate 24 students from our Passages and Residential programs. This success comes on the heels of two straight years of 100% graduation rates, as well as in ensuring students have developed post-graduation plans.  Last year, 96% of our students were offered employment immediately upon graduation, and 42% were accepted at their college of choice. 

As our programs continue to grow, we have also been exploring a new opportunity that will allow us to further expand our programs in southern regions of the state.  In December of 2010 we signed a Letter of Intent with Opportunity Farm for Boys and Girls, in New Gloucester, ME, to explore a merger of the two organizations.  Upon successful completion of the merger process, Wayfinder Schools will implement its nine-month Residential Program, and its Passages Program for teen parents, in New Gloucester, while continuing to operate both our Camden campus, and our satellite Passages Program in Washington County.

The State of Maine, like others, has a significant number of dropouts a year—students who have not found success in traditional school settings.  Conservative estimates place the national drop-out rate at over 20%; many believe rates in Maine, and elsewhere, are considerably higher.  Thus, we are extremely excited about the prospect of reaching more students than ever before, and helping them to reach their graduation goals.

Our focus on individualized, strengths based education; our focus on relational education and social justice, and our fully integrated curriculum and use of restorative justice practices- are keeping Wayfinder Schools on the cutting edge of alternative education and helping to increase high school graduation rates in Maine. 

Throughout this merger process, we have had the privilege working with an outstanding group of people who are invested in and committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for Maine youth.  We are slated to complete the merger this summer, and to begin operating our programs at Opportunity Farm this fall.  Our new entity, Wayfinder Schools, will continue to provide the excellent academic, life and parenting skills education that have made us so successful over the past 38 years.

We will continue to keep you informed of our growth, and of the merger process, through direct mail, press releases, and our web-site.  This is an exciting time for Wayfinder Schools, and we look forward to sharing our success with you. 



Dorothy Foote, Ph.D.