Finding a school that cares for your child’s happiness and welfare can be a difficult process with thousands of various choices. Fortunately, John Bapst Memorial High School is one of those – with a supportive environment and a dedicated goal to make learning fun, challenging and creative.
“I love this place because it lets me be myself,” Max enthuses.
Indeed, John Bapst’s personalised approach to all their students is why Max stays motivated to learn there, right from the very start. In springtime before arriving at the school, all new students meet (via Zoom) with their counsellors to choose the schedule that best meets their needs – once they are settled in, they can visit the Counselling Department before, during or after school hours.
John Bapst’s traditional schedule includes classes lasting some 43 minutes on a rotating schedule, which are then followed by Purple and White days, with classes meeting for 75-minute periods. With a low student-faculty ratio of 11 to one, more attention can be given to help the pupils thrive.
Pair this together with their Academic Curriculum (rated the best in Northern New England) that features exciting offerings like the Distinguished Graduate Programme (individualised honours with rigorous capstone projects outside of class), and you can see why John Bapst is Maine’s top high school for five years (The Washington Post High School Academic Challenge).
In fact, their Distinguished Graduate Programme is designed to support those who have a passion and wish to pursue advanced work outside classes. Five areas are offered under this programme: Fine Arts; Global Studies; Humanities; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM); and Interdisciplinary Studies (this is for unique areas that don’t fit the other categories).
Throughout the four years, the students can create their course of study to include various related disciplines, focusing on their interest area. For example, John Bapst has ongoing field research opportunities for students in biology and physics.
With guidance and support from knowledgeable mentors from faculty, local universities, and industrial and scientific experts in all fields, students who have a passion to go further can work on a substantial personal project. Upon completion of this programme, “Distinguished Graduates” will be noted on their transcript; these students will be recognised in their Senior Year Spring as well.
At the same time, this independent school offers diverse programmes of study – Advanced Placement (AP) classes are available as well. Pupils can select from the following areas: English, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Science, Modern and Classical Languages, Health and Wellness, Fine Arts, Technology and Engineering, and Special Topics – there are many opportunities to tailor their curriculum according to personal interests.
However, John Bapst understands some students may have interests or needs too specific for them to offer an entire course on. Independent studies is an innovative solution for these pupils. For example, Lawrence (class of ‘19) expressed interest in fashion design and there was no course related to it. The school supervised and mentored him through several independent study courses so he could prepare a portfolio. His portfolio helped him gain acceptance to and successfully study at the Parsons School in Paris for fashion design. With two universities very close to campus, students can incorporate university studies into their personal programme.
Such are the lengths John Bapst will go to provide the best possible outcomes for their students. Another strength is offering a home-like environment with their six dormitories and single-family homes for the 10% of the 510 students who hail from overseas; that is why John Bapst pays careful attention to ensuring their accommodation is as comfortable as it is enriching for them.
With nine on-campus houseparents, the boarders can expect to receive truly personal attention from them. Dorm size ranges from as large as 16 to around four students in a mix of rooms: doubles, and a few singles and triples. The homestay programme is another option where students can live with local families, forming lasting friendships and enjoying a unique experience while at John Bapst.
What’s more, these accommodations are just an easy walk to the main school, the athletic centre, parks and downtown Bangor – a safe, small city in eastern Maine. In addition, the school is just located 10 minutes away from Bangor International Airport and bus stations.
It is not all hard work at John Bapst. With sports – offered in fall, winter and spring, music, arts, theatre, clubs, community service, and an ever-growing menu of weekend activities, boarders here can experience real American school life.
Those who like organized athletics can choose from more than 20 teams, basketball, golf, cross-country, competition cheering, and field hockey, to name a few. International students find spots on all the teams at John Bapst. Clubs and activities are aplenty: Amnesty International, Cyber-Defense, Model UN and Photography, among others – in particular, John Bapst is the best among the seven Robotics teams in Eastern US, and Best in Maine for Chess.
With excellent offerings all around, it is little wonder that John Bapst has produced on average five National Merit and Commended Scholars a year, and many of their students go on to esteemed universities such as Yale, Harvard and Stanford. Come and experience the best of John Bapst today.