119 Cross Point Road, Edgecomb, Maine 04556
(207) 882-9706

About CTL

The Center for Teaching and Learning is a K-8 independent demonstration school. Founded in 1990 by educator and Global Teacher Prize winner Nancie Atwell and certified by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, CTL has 501(c)(3) non-profit status, serves a population of approximately 80 students, and draws from nearly twenty towns and villages to create a loving, close-knit community of families who are committed to excellence in education. Students attend CTL from the communities of Alna, Arrowsic, Bath, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick, Damariscotta, Dresden, Edgecomb, Georgetown,  Newcastle, Richmond, Southport, Waldoboro, Westport Island, Whitefield, Wiscasset, and Woolwich.

The school is known locally and nationally for its award-winning teaching, research-based methods, outreach to teachers across the United States, relationships of trust between faculty and parents, respect for children, and program that engages students, challenges them, and prepares them for life beyond CTL.

Our graduates include nine high school valedictorians and salutatorians. They excel at Lincoln Academy and other local secondary schools, as well as Cheverus,  the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Middlesex, North Yarmouth Academy, Phillips Andover, Phillips Exeter, Putney, St. George’s, Walnut Hill, and Waynflete. CTL alums have matriculated to colleges and universities, including Amherst, Bates, Bard, Bowdoin, Carleton, Colby, Cornell, Dartmouth, George Washington University, Hamilton, Harvard, Haverford, Kenyon, McGill, Middlebury, Mount Holyoke, Pomona, RPI, Stanford, Tufts, University of Chicago, and UMO’s Honors Program.

Why are CTL Graduates So Successful?

The Basics

  • small class sizes (16-18 students, with just 8-9 in kindergarten)
  • an outstanding faculty of dedicated professionals whose every decision is based on knowledge of and love for their students
  • a bright, inviting, art-filled environment
  • a community where every child is known, accepted, and respected—where the social rule “You can’t say you can’t play” prevents bullying and exclusion
  • a full-day kindergarten program focused on helping children feel secure and competent as they learn the essentials of writing, reading, and math and bond with a teacher and classmates
  • smooth transitions between grades and teachers, thanks to a faculty that’s on the same page about methods for teaching and being with children
  • never a raised voice or standardized test
  • a student population that represents many levels of ability and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • affordable tuition that’s one-third the rate of comparable Maine independent schools, with generous tuition assistance


  • a library in every room, tens of thousands of books for students to choose among, time to read them every day, and smart, individualized instruction that results in both high proficiency and a passion for books and reading
  • a research-based math program that gives CTL graduates a head start in high school, plus an award-winning Mathcounts team
  • a five-year spiral curriculum in science and history in which all students, grades K-8, engage together as researchers of paired concepts: ancient civilizations (Egypt, Greece, Rome, medieval Europe, and the Renaissance) and systems (weather, human biology, and astronomy); making a nation and water; 19th century America and geology/paleontology; immigration and the first half of the 20th century and energy and invention; and who we are today and woods and wildlife
  • a science lab and hands-on learning in science and history: field trips, guest experts, experiments, project-based research, collaborations with regional environmental agencies and institutions, participation in the Maine Model United Nations Program, and explorations in the arts
  • daily writing workshops in which students develop their own topics, write in many genres, confer with their teachers about drafts in progress, communicate their ideas to others, and achieve recognition for writing excellence


  • an exemplary art program taught by Fletcher Boote with frequently-changing displays of children’s work
  • weekly music classes in grades K-4 taught by musician Kaity Newell; drama in grades 5-8 directed by Katy Inman; and student-led performances and productions
  • twice-weekly physical education on the field and in the gym
  • a school literary magazine
  • daily, whole-school morning meetings that create a community as children and teachers chat about current events and natural phenomena, celebrate birthdays, sing, read poems, and laugh together
  • multicultural studies and celebrations throughout the school year that recognize the diversity within CTL’s student body—and of the U.S. as a whole
  • a commitment to community service
  • kid-friendly traditions and rituals that create a love of school and a sense of belonging
  • daily recess, a well-equipped playground, and woods with a nature trail
  • outdoor classroom
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