Our Towns, Our School
Here, we share information about our request for the supplemental tuition. We hope you find this information helpful. Please contact Head of School Tim Seeley at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Click for information about the value of GSA to our students and our community
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GSA's Tuition Request: What your money enables us to do for our students and communities
Most of George Stevens Academy’s local students—and the bulk of our revenue (73% in 2022, an average of 71% over the last three years)—come from seven towns: Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot, Sedgwick, and Surry. We are grateful for the trust that has been placed in us to educate the children of our communities, and for the faith and support given us by the voters in each town, who have approved our request for supplemental tuition each of the last two years. This additional tuition is necessary because the average cost to educate a high school student in Hancock County far exceeds the state set tuition. In 2021 for example, the actual average cost in the county was $20,233, while the state-set tuition (that taxpayers must pay) was $11,951. The supplemental tuition that voters have approved for GSA, coupled with our own fundraising, enables us to close that gap and to continue to provide the wide-ranging programming and support our students need and their families desire, and to serve all the students in our towns. Going forward, the amount of our request will not grow, but will remain $1,700, and so any increases over tuition for the 2022-23 school year will come solely from the Maine Department of Education.
We are careful stewards of the public money we receive, and, as noted above, our cost per student to taxpayers is thousands of dollars below that of other local high schools, even taking into account the supplemental tuition. We provide value to our families and our tuitioning towns by offering everything local public high schools do, and more. Some examples include a wide-ranging selection of electives, including Steel Band, Outdoor leadership, Digital Storytelling, Civics, Ocean Studies (for students interested in marine careers), on-campus wood and metal shops and vocational courses open to every student, Marine Ecology Research, Architectural Design, and Music Recording and Production. We have a nationally known and celebrated music program, and we foster connections for our students to our local and larger communities through such programs as Arts Fest (connecting GSA students with the local fine and performing arts community) and our Independent Study and Internship Program, which every junior and senior participates in, and where they work with a mentor to explore a career or personal interest. Our four-year graduation rate (93.2%) is the highest in the county (87.9%) and beats the Maine public school average as well (86.1%).
In order to foster good communication with the citizens of our towns, we enthusiastically worked together with town representatives to create the Budget Review and Advisory Committee, whose mission is to review and give input on our budget each year. It is now in the midst of its work for this year. Additionally, our Board of Trustees has three special meetings a year that are open to the public, and key financial documents are posted here on our website.
We deeply appreciate the productive collaboration taking place with our local towns. We know there is more work yet to be done, and we look forward it. It is through this shared effort that we will be able maintain and improve the high-quality secondary education right here on the peninsula that our students deserve. — Tim Seeley, Head of School, August 25, 2022