The Center for Teaching and Learning is a K-8 demonstration school dedicated to the development and dissemination of authentic, rigorous and joyful methods for teaching across the curriculum.
We seek to teach and influence both a cross-section of children of mid-coastal Maine and, through an intern program, seminars, speeches and publications, classroom teachers throughout the U.S. The Center for Teaching and Learning was founded in 1990 as a non-profit demonstration school.
CTL is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, licensed by the Maine Department of Education, and has state and federal tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) corporation.
It draws students from twenty-three communities in the mid-coast region.

Quick Stats (2021-22)

  • Grades: Kindergarten-8
  • Students: 73 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $11,200
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.
Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Kindergarten-8
Year Founded

Student Body

Total Students
73 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 13%
Students by Grade
Center For Teaching & Learning Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
6 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
List of Courses Offered
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Admissions Director
Katy Inman

School Notes

  • The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is a low tuition, K-8 demonstration school serving 80 students of midcoast Maine and many thousands of students world-wide.  Founded by teacher Nancie Atwell in 1990, its mission is to develop innovative, research-based methods, share them with other educators, and demonstrate what is possible for children everywhere. CTL exists to teach students and teachers.
  • In order to be credible as a demonstration site, CTL maintains a tuition rate that`s one-third that of comparable Maine independent schools, offers generous tuition assistance, and recruits "regular" kids of diverse ability levels and socioeconomic backgrounds.  In 2015, when Nancie Atwell received the inaugural Global Teacher Prize from the Varkey Foundation, she donated the $1,000,000 award to CTL to provide assistance to students from needy families, including some who live below the federal poverty line.
  • CTL is a teacher-run school: the faculty determines policies, develops curricula, and disseminates the methods they create via publications (as of this date, a dozen professional books and many journal articles), speeches, seminars, workshops at other schools, and an intern program for visiting educators.  Hundreds of teachers hailing from 45 states and 10 countries have spent a week in CTL classrooms, learning firsthand about effective, replicable practices and taking them home to their own schools.
  • CTL and its faculty have been recognized for excellence by such organizations as the International Literacy Association, National Council of Teachers of English, MathCounts, Library of Congress, Solar Sprint Competition, Model United Nations, Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, River of Words Poetry Foundation, and New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which is CTL`s certifying institution.  The school is also accredited by the Maine Department of Education.
  • While CTL does not measure student achievement using standardized tests, most eighth graders do take the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT).  They consistently score above the 90th percentile across the disciplines and succeed at a range of public and private high schools; many become salutatorians and valedictorians, and 96% of all alums have matriculated to college.  Perhaps more importantly, CTL students grow up to become informed, engaged citizens of their communities, country, and world.
Profile last updated: 01/27/2021

School Reviews

We feel incredibly lucky to live in this area and attend CTL! Not only are class sizes quite small, but the workshop method creates time and space for every student to have quality one-on-one sessions with teachers every day. This kind of very close attention and care creates a sense of partnership and collaboration between the students, the teachers, and the parents. In this environment, students thrive! This little school is so special and I highly recommend it!
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Quick Stats (2021-22)

  • Grades: Kindergarten-8
  • Students: 73 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $11,200
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Maine is $15,216 for elementary schools and $30,795 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Maine is 75% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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