MSSM is in a turmoil. Residential life staff are on a power trip and punitive, and are not qualified. Some of the faculty are amazing. Many are below average and also have a punitive attitude toward the students. The kids form a very supportive community, and my child loves it there for that reason. However, I would not have sent my child there if I had to do it over again.
In addition to excellent academics at a level not found in public schools, the residential environment allows students to interact and develop creative ideas outside the classroom setting. Three of my children went there. The experience shaped them for life. Two are finishing PhDs and one is undergrad.
MSSM continues to improve every year. Dorm renovations, facility improvements, better food, stronger ties to the University of Maine Presque Isle, sport options with the Maine Winter Sports Center (skiing and biathon). Selectivity of incoming students is also increasing, and their one- or two-week MSSM Summer Camp program has been a great way to introduce kids to MSSM.
A lot has changed since the last comment. We never have to wake up before 9 and classes do go after 6. Depending on what class you can have them on Sundays, but never Saturdays. You can't go to bed until after structured study, which ends at 9:30. And depending on your roommate, you may, or may not get 9 hours of sleep.
the comment below me is simply wrong....there are rarely a class that ends after 6:00 and a student may go to bed at any time they like, leaving at least 4 hours to do homework before 10:00 and then wake up at 7:00 with 8-9 hours of sleep. lab classes are the only classes that start at 7:30 and that is possibly once a week. All in all, a student's time-management skills determine how much sleep they get. If they cannot manage their time well, and do not have a good work ethic and healthy life-style, they will not succeed. Any student is perfectly capable of getting more than 9 hours of sleep a night.
I'm a recent graduate of the MSSM. It was the best experience of my life. The math and science classes are, as expected, excellent, but so are the English and humanities classes. I had the opportunity to study both French and Chinese from native speakers in my three years, as well as study psychology, anthropology, and political science. Living in a dorm makes all the students a very close knit group, and the friends you make last far beyond graduation. The parent's group is completely involved in our everyday life, even if we are hours away from home. There aren't many art classes, but the ones offered are great, and the sports offered range from martial arts to soccer. The MSSM is a valuable experience for any highly motivated student looking to do more in high school than coast.