Island Middle to High School Transition Program

Social and emotional support for students and their families as they prepare to leave their island school to attend school on the mainland.

M2HSTP evolved from Maine Seacoast Mission’s annual Middle School Retreat which began in 2003. Most island students must leave their families and the island to attend high school. Only three of Maine’s 15 unbridged islands have K-12 schools. The remaining islands have one or two room schoolhouses that offer grades K-8.

Island students are accustomed to only a few other students in school. Often, the only student in their grade practically receiving individual instruction from the same teacher, year-after-year. Attending high school is daunting enough for any adolescent. It’s even more significant when the student comes from such a unique experience.

They must leave their family to board on the mainland or commute 2-3 hours each day. M2HSTP offers support to island students and families during the middle school years to help ease the anxiety experienced as they prepare to attend school on the mainland. Though part of Student Pathways, it’s offered through Maine Seacoast Mission’s Island Outreach program.

What is it?

Social and emotional support for students and their families as they prepare to leave their island school to attend school on the mainland.

Who it Serves

Students in 6th-8th grade and their families from Islesford, Great Cranberry Island, Frenchboro, Swan’s Island, Isle au Haut, Matinicus, Monhegan, and Cliff Island

Program Elements

  • Monthly meetings during the school year
  • Annual three-day retreat which takes place over the MLK holiday weekend each January
  • Collaboration with families
  • Collaboration with island schools, mainland schools, and community organizations who also support island students

Where is it?

  • Monthly meetings take place on the students’ individual islands
  • The annual retreat rotates between Bar Harbor, Belfast, and Camden

When it Begins

October of each academic year.