The New School

The New School Photo #1 - TNS offers ample opportunities for hands-on learning. These math students are honing their skills with a carpentry project.
The New School Photo #2 - The New School is a small, independent high school serving southern Maine and NH. Visit our website to learn about more our innovative approach and why it is unique among high schools in Maine!
The New School Photo #3 - Small, seminar-style classes at TNS ensure lively discussions where students are challenged to think critically, articulate their opinions and respect the viewpoints of others. Individualized attention is a hallmark of education at The New School, where every student receives the support needed to help develop his or her unique talents and abilities.
The New School Photo #4 - Learning at TNS frequently takes place outdoors and at nearby coastal areas. These students are studying marine biology at Strawberry Island in Kennebunk.
The New School Photo #5 - During three week "Intensives" each year, students are immersed in a wide variety of educational experiences that they help design. In 2014 a group took the school's sailboat to the coast of CT where they honed their seamanship skills, and studied marine biology and New England history.
The New School Photo #6 - One group of students recently chose to spend their three week Intensive working on an organic ranch in Kansas. In addition to taking part in all aspects of ranching they learned about the ecology of the prairie, history of the Great Plains and Native American culture.
The New School Photo #7 - Students have many opportunities to develop as artists at The New School. Watercolor, pottery, printmaking, fiber arts, sculpture and needlepoint are some of the recent course offerings in the arts.
The New School Photo #8 - Community service and environmental stewardship are woven into the fabric of TNS. This group of students traveled to Puerto Rico to plant native shrubs in an area that had been deforested.
The New School Photo #9 - Most students at TNS participate in apprenticeships and internships to help them determine their college or career trajectories. TNS partners with a wide variety of organizations and businesses to provide real world experiences, whatever the students' interests and abilities. These students are apprenticing at Seashore Trolley Museum, helping to restore antique trolleys.
The New School is a small independent high school where students take charge of their education.
Our approach builds confident, self-directed learners and a solid foundation for college and careers.
Students who thrive at The New School are often creative and enjoy active, hands-on learning.
Small class sizes, integrated courses, independent studies and opportunities for travel & adventure all yield rich learning that ignites students` talents and passions.

Top Placements

The New School places among the top 20% of private schools in Maine for:

School Overview

School TypeSchool with Special Program Emphasis
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades 9-12
Offers Post-Graduate YearYes
Year Founded2000

Student Body

Total Students20 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
Students by Grade The New School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers4 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio5:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size5 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$12,000
Tuition NotesCurrent Tuition listed on website. Some towns offer tuition through school choice.
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorDana Karukin

School Notes

  • The New School is a small independent high school where students take charge of their education. Students learn to use their voice and become engaged citizens through our teacher-led, democratic model. Our approach builds confident, self-directed learners and a solid foundation for college and careers. Students who thrive at The New School are often unusually creative and, enjoy active, hands-on learning. Small class sizes, integrated courses, independent studies and opportunities for travel & adventure all yield rich learning that ignites students` talents and passions.

Profile last updated:

Nearby Private Schools

The nearest high school to The New School is Thornton Academy (10.4 miles away)
The nearest elementary school and preschool is Cocoons (1.8 miles away)
Show me:
  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Kennebunk
    Cocoons Photo - The playground!
    Daycare / Preschool
    Grades: PK-1 | 47 students
    1.8 miles
    35 Heath Rd
    Kennebunk, ME 04043
    (207) 985-6022
    1.8 PK-1
  • Biddeford
    Grades: K-6 | 51 students
    6.9 miles
    551 Alfred Rd
    Biddeford, ME 04005
    (207) 283-3858
    6.9 K-6
  • Biddeford
    St. James School
    (Roman Catholic)
    Grades: PK-8 | 168 students
    8.7 miles
    25 Graham Street
    Biddeford, ME 04005
    (207) 282-4084
    8.7 PK-8
  • Alfred
    Grades: PK-K | 145 students
    8.8 miles
    432 Goodwins Mills Rd
    Alfred, ME 04002
    (207) 499-7754
    8.8 PK-K
  • Saco
    Grades: K-3 | 9 students
    9.8 miles
    46 Cleveland St
    Saco, ME 04072
    (603) 686-1461
    9.8 K-3

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (9 reviews)
We highly recommend The New School. Our son is a junior this school year. The New School gives each student a chance to shine. The School encourages the students to use their voices. The School allows the students to suggest topics for some of the classes. In this way, the students can study and improve on their strengths. They do this while making sure all of the expected and required courses are also taught. The school is small enough that the faculty know all the students, and they can not get lost in the crowd. The students all know each other and get along.
- Posted by
I can`t say enough good things about The New School! It is different, yes- that is what makes it so great. My daughter is in her second year and she actually looks forward to getting up and going to school. The teachers are the heart of the school, they genuinely love the students above everything else. They put together a creative curriculum that allows the kids to go to the beach for marine biology class, participate in local town meetings for climate change class, to get out into the world and learn first-hand! The students have a voice in choosing what they want to learn about. It's like a college where students are given credits and they demonstrate learning by demonstrating project work and reflecting on themselves - rather than just memorizing information/ taking tests. We are so lucky we found such an amazing learning environment for our daughter, which will encourage her to use her voice, practice critical thinking, and love the community around her. Could not ask for more!
- Posted by
I cannot recommend the new school enough!!! The Faculty, the curriculum, the inclusive environment and the ideology of community and self growth allows each student to perform at his own level.. And at the same time creates a unique environment that my son has taken and is absolutely thrilled with I cannot say enough about the school and the administration!!
- Posted by
My son, Nick, 17, is a student at The New School. The word I would use describe the kids there is "content." They all love the school. It's the combination of incredible teachers, a safe environment where there is no bullying or cliques, small classes where each students gets individualized attention, and lots of adventure and fun times. NIck is not a typically academic learner and we were worried that he would flounder and be miserable in high school. Thanks to this school he is gaining confidence, maturing and really figuring out who he is. We don't worry about him anymore, we know that by the time he graduates he''ll have a sense of direction and the skills to succeed at whatever he does. We feel incredibly lucky to have found this school.
- Posted by
The New School has been a godsend to our family. Our son was miserable as a freshman at the well-regarded public high school in our town. He felt he didn't fit into the fast-paced sports and academic scene. Every day he moaned that he didn't want to go to school. After a few weeks at The New School, he felt at home in the cozy, casual, welcoming environment. One day he had to miss school at TNS because he was sick. For the first time in his academic career, he was upset because he had to miss class. He was a recluse for years. At TNS, he's come out of his shell.
- Posted by
The New School has provided two of my children an amazing adventure in learning. They have entirely different learning styles and interests, yet both are thriving in this democratic school that is teaching them to honor their selves and their community. The core faculty and incredible community teachers provide a wide range of skills and allow for a student driven curriculum including critical thinking courses like philosophy, women's studies, and public policy. Additionally, the students have access to music, art, photography, yoga, outdoor leadership, sailing, and much more!
- Posted by
The New School is a perfect fit for our daughter. The New School has rigorous academics and fully integrates hands on learning. For example learning marine navigation with the school's sail boat was fully integrated in traditional class studies. As a sophomore our daughter is in her 2nd internship which she loves. The internship allows her to pursue her passions, learn valuable technical skills, learn workplace responsibilities and have fun. The New School is a great community of students, teachers and local community involvement.
- Posted by
The New School has been wonderful for my son. He is a motivated learner and sets strong goals for himself. The school has allowed him to reach his full potential by treating him with respect and caring about him as an individual. I love how he has the ability to take any concerns directly to his teachers. They listen and help him find solutions. He has develop leadership skills that will aide him for the rest of his life. He knows how to get a long with a diverse group of people, as the students are expected to learn to work with one another. I cannot recommend The New School enough. It is unlike any other school I know. The students learn to participate in a Democracy, what better prep is that for their future.
- Posted by
I have been an educator since 1963 and this school is the best place I have ever taught. There is excitement, creativity, challenge and just plain fun here. Students really like being here. I have been delighted that in the last 15 years every student but one has gotten into their first choice college and many have been accepted at all the schools to which they applied. Having the students recognized for their strong self direction, their social and environmental awareness and their ability to work cooperatively takes them far. Being a democratic school is pretty significant as it has taught them to negotiate, take both initiative and responsibility and problem solve.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Maine is $8,286 for elementary schools and $29,801 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Maine is 76% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).