GSA has a lot of flaws. I sent my first child here, and after the first semester took her out because I could see that there was a lot of bullying by the students, as well as the adults. My child wasn't feeling challenged in any of the classes. The high school seems to make money over a good education, all they seem to care about is asking for money. The the new head master seemed to care only about money. I'm sorry, but this school has a lot of things that need to be changed, starting with stepping up the learning program. My other three kids have since have attended other high schools in the area. Do yourself and your child a huge favor and send them to a high school in the surrounding area.
I am a former student (graduated last year) and I absolutely loved GSA! It was a fantastic environment and the teachers did a fantastic job. The math department and social studies department were phenomenal! Of course there were things that needed to be improved (funding for women's sports in one) but even in the four years that I was there many things were changing and still are! But if you are not a driven, independent student, this may not be the best place for you. They lack special needs support, but we are in a small area with little funding. Overall my experience was fantastic! And I got great scholarships and I'm going to an excellent college!
All four of my children have attended this school. All have been top performers athletically and academically and were rewarded with excellent college and scholarship opportunities. While GSA faces financial and physical plant challenges, these are being addressed. The most significant quality I see at GSA is the strong, supportive school/local community and unique setting. We have been very satisfied with our overall experience.
I am a parent of student that went to GSA, but transferred three years ago. I would just like to say, that I expected better of this school. I had heard positive things about the school. But my daughter was treated terribly by some of the office administration. . But all in all, this school has some serious issues if you dig deeper in. Not a positive environment at all! As for the academics, I was very impressed by the english and art program. There is much work needed if this school wants to progress. Many people agree with me as well. Thank you.
I was a student here for a while, and I did enjoy it. But this past winter I was bullied out of the school not only by the students, but by office administration themselves. I do not recommend this school by any means. Though some of the teachers are wonderful, the environment is extremely harsh. I say send your child to Ellsworth, or MDI. Not GSA!
My daughter attended GSA for all four years and overall had a first rate education. She applied to 8 colleges and got into 7, including her first choice. Most of her teachers were smart, caring, dedicated people. The schools is small (300+ students) and open to all students in the surrounding community. It also has a small residential program that attracts mostly international students. As a results, GSA has a wonderful "real world" feel to it. The school's facilities are not top-notch, but they are making improvements every year. Bottom line: this school is a gem! If you live in one of the surrounding towns, you pay no tuition: by law, Maine towns without public high schools must pay tuition for their resident students. But even if you live where you must pay tuition, it's a bargain. We could have sent our daughter to a private "prep" school. I'm glad we did not.
I have taught at GSA since 2003. It's an exceptionally good school: student-centered and mission-driven. The students are great. The school "looks like" the surrounding community because all local students can attend at no cost. The administration supports its teachers.
This school was an immense disappointment to me. The environment as a whole had such negative energy. Thought, I do applaud some of the teachers for such great teaching. But overall, I do not recommend this school. GSA has been going downhill rapidly, and is still continuing. I hope this helped.
Academic programs: first rate. A little weak in the math department, but very good hard sciences, English, computer science, and social sciences. In addition to a thriving sports program, the school also very successful music, art, drama, and extracuriculars.