MSSM students reconnect with home during fall break

7 years ago

LIMESTONE, Maine — The Maine School of Science and Mathematics completed its first four-day weekend at the end of September.  

A unique feature of the residential magnet school is its break schedule, when students can return home and spend time with their families, friends and even their pets. Due to the ages of the students and the school’s location, these breaks allow everyone to stay connected to friends and family. Some students take the opportunity to visit their sending schools and talk with teachers, guidance counselors and friends about life at MSSM.

During the months of September, October and March, MSSM students board buses on a Friday or Saturday and return to their homes for a much-needed break. They return on the evening of the following Monday or Tuesday and start school the next day. During the months of November, February and April, there are full-week breaks to return home and catch up with family and friends.

MSSM staff say the best part of these breaks is when middle school representatives request a current MSSM student to share their experiences about life at a boarding school with their students.

Anna Loeb, a ninth-grader from Dedham, addressed a class of 23 at the Dedham School. She said, “I received quite a few questions about our policies such as curfews, leaving campus, cell phones, workload and schedules. I was able to answer all questions and add some additional information.

“I brought 10 pamphlets and by the end of our discussion, I ran out of pamphlets and had students arguing over who got the last one. What an experience,” Loeb added.

George Johnson, a junior from Kennebunkport, said, “Extended breaks are a great chance to get in touch with old friends. Sometimes I go back to my sending school and we compare classes and life in general. They always have questions about MSSM, especially living in a dorm.”

“The extended weekends are a little slice of heaven,” said Tom Gilley, father of a senior from Steep Falls and president of the Parents’ Association. “It gives us a chance to reconnect and hear about what our child has been experiencing at school in greater detail than we could with a phone call. Since we have not seen each other for a few weeks the interactions and conversations are more intense and we are truly present for each other as we now appreciate that time together is precious.”