First day of school at the ABS on Islesford

It has become a tradition for parents and townspeople to gather in the schoolyard as students arrive for their first day at the  two room Ashley Bryan School. Everyone is there to wish them well, to see who the new students are, and to feel good about our special island school and its community support.

The crew from Great Cranberry arrives by boat and begins the short walk up from the dock. There are 6 students from Great Cranberry and one teacher and one aide who travel by boat every morning. This morning there were also all of the teachers for Art, Music, Phys. Ed and French. The principal was there too. It made for a solid group of educational energy surrounding the school. The inter island students were all happy to reconnect after a busy summer. All around the school yard  parents of students, and other community members  want to celebrate what a unique school  we have.

I hope these photos  evoke the anticiption that hovered in the air this morning.



There were many more friends from the community than there were students. There are 16 students in all covering every grade from K through 8 with the exception of 7th grade. It looks like it’s going to be an exciting year!IMGP6879

Teachers Lauren and Audrey asked people to exuberantly make suggestions of goals for the year and then Ashley Bryan read them out and worried that the students will have to work too hard to learn all of these things! I don’t know if you can zoom in on the list, but the suggestions are things like: Laughter, building, discovery, adventure, wonder, fun, awesomeness, cooperation and friendship.




Below, someone who couldn’t care less!


Then the kids got together for a group picture, and they insisted that all the community members get in for the second picture.

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At last the students lined up from youngest grade to oldest grade, to move into the school as they were introduced by the teachers.

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I hope everyone got the photos they wanted, else they’ll have to wait until next year to get another shot at the first day of school. Wishing a great year to all of the students and teachers at the Ashley Bryan School!



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11 responses to “First day of school at the ABS on Islesford

  1. Such a wonderful example of a village raising the children! I can feel the love and caring in those pictures, Barb. Happy new school year!


  2. Pingback: The First Day of School on an Island in Maine | Diane Ravitch's blog

  3. Robert Thurston

    Aud, I hope you realize and enjoy the impact you’re having. Keep up the good work.
    Tell Lau that I lost my phone and all the numbers and contact information.


  4. I’ve been to Maine several times, but have never gotten to the outlying Island communities around the Mount Desert Island area. This would be my “dream come true” job living in my “dream come true” place!!
    Have a great school year, and know that this veteran teacher is SO jealous of your school!!


  5. Good luck – I hope you have a wonderful year!


  6. Across the United States on an island, Friday Harbor, off the coast of Washington, is another one-room school called Stillpoint School founded by two sisters, Kate and Dori Sears, who teach a dozen students from K-6th grade. Like the lovely Ashley Bryan School on Little Cranberry Island, Stillpoint School is also a rich learning center of language, science, math and the arts nourished by community and the natural world. For photos of highlights of the 2013-2014 academic year at Stillpoint School, see this link:


  7. dolphin

    Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:
    (hat tip to Diane Ravitch). this is just too, too, cute. What a great day. It’s almost like I’m looking back in time to when I first began school…and how different things are now. Much more negativity and unrealistic goals and expectations. Less humanity. More technology.


  8. Pingback: Reading Assignment September 28th | Multiple Factors

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