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Catherine McAuley High School

Private | 9-12 | 185 students

We are best known for all girls college-prep.

 
 

Living in Portland

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $204,100. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $990.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

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19 reviews of this school


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Posted June 12, 2013

I love McAuley. The small class sizes and rigorous standards are perfect for me, and they can be adjusted to fit just about everybody. It's not just a community feeling, we're a family. There are no cliques or stereotypes, and everyone is wonderfully mature without being strict or boring. The teachers treat you as if you're their own daughter. Sports and extracurriculars are wonderful, the Drama program has been one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you, McAuley.
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 5, 2012

Our daughter is obtaining an exceptional prep-school education in a kind although challenging environment. Extraordinary, talented, motivated, and devoted teachers and staff who model compassion and excellence. The community is diverse, international, and surprisingly ecumenical. McAuley has extremely academically rigorous classes (Honors/AP) and also offers CP and levels appropriate for a diverse group. McAuley has traditions, a competitive sports program, and many club opportunities. The guidance team is excellent and has a reputation for college planning which is stellar. We are so grateful to McAuley!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 16, 2011

This was my first year going to school here, and I thought that it was wonderful. It was a lot better than I had imagined. The studies and the work are hard, but the teachers are all friendly and willing to help you. I loved all of my teachers this year. Many people would be put off bythe fact that there arent any boys, but honestly, you don't even notice it. I love this school and am very much looking forward to my next three years here.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 16, 2011

Our oldest daughter graduated from McAuley having had an outstanding experience with teachers and peers. Our youngest will begin at McAuley in the fall and has been exited to do so since she was six! The over-arching theme at the school is familial and supportive. Friendships crossed groups and interests.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 16, 2011

The Catherine McAuley experience is unique in Maine. It is academically rigorous, but there is respect for all students - even those who are not at the top of the academic heap. The participation rate is amazing...virtually every student is involved - really involved, not just piling up junk to look good on the college app- in multiple activities. Nearly everyone participates in at least one sport, and 4 are offered each season. Additionally, the drama program, 'We the People' and Poetry Out Loud winner abound. Community service is a big deal, and my daughter was changed by it, the Ethical Leadership course and her participation in several youth leadership programs. I can't say enough good things about McAuley, it is like a big family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2011

Being a Senior this year at McAuley I cannot say enough about what the school has done for me. I have developed my character throughout my years spent at McAuley. The teachers and staff are extremely focused on the subjects they teach and their students. Willing to help and spend anytime you need with them outside of class allowed me to excel in my classes. I will also emphasize how much the school have driven me above my limits, always pushing me to take harder courses which have rewarded me. About to graduate, I feel extremely well prepared for college next year!
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 4, 2008

I am a former McAuley student from '03-'05 and despite many of the stellar reviews from parents, I would not recommend this school. I made many wonderful friends at McAuley, but the overall atmosphere was overbearing and stifling. I found the academics to be rigorous but devoid of content. I learned to work hard at meaningless tasks for meaningless reward, and learned painfully. McAuley puts more effort into maintaining an image than in living up to it. The individual is only valued if that person fits into the mold of a 'proper' young woman. Those who don't are discouraged, discredited and even put down. In some karmic way, I sure McAuley was good for my character. I just wish I could have learned these lessons in a less depressing way.
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 24, 2008

To begin with, McAuley was not my school of choice, but my mom told me I had to go because she believed in the whole single-sex education ideal, and also my sister had gone there before me. I remember dreading Freshman orientation, but I loved it. I had the time of my life and I met my best friend that day. The girls at McAuley while I was there were amazing. They were always supportive of eachother in good times and in bad. I never really experienced the whole 'clique question' because I was friendly with everyone in my class. In middle school I was kind of shy and scared because I had switched schools halfway through 7th grade, but that persona disappeared at McAuley. I find myself able to connect to others easily, and McAuley definitely prepared me for college in countless ways. I loved this school and the sisters!
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 24, 2007

Our oldest daughter, now a sophomore in college, is studying nursing. The education she received at mcauley allowed her to be a chemistry tutor and to be on honor roll. She not only received a stellar education, but she became a confident young woman, able to be herself in a time where we have lost focus on the importance of this issue. Our second daughter, is a sophomore, and is very successful at mcauley. She is a leader on the field, in the classroom and on the stage. She is celebrated for all of her acheivements. The faculty is caring and wants each student to be successful, it is a college prep school, the academics are vigorous.At mcauley young women are leaders because they have to....They are the student body president, the captain of the debate team, the editor of the school paper, the lead in the school play...It's where girls belong...
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 6, 2007

After putting our two eldest girls through CMHS, this year we have elected to send our youngest daughter to Cheverus for high school. I, as a parent, feel that CMHS did little to step out side the relm of 'traditional' and 'by route' education (the three R's so to speak). Little, or no emphasis was placed on technological education, and the variety of studies were lacking. Also, I found the depth of study of the material somewhat less than what I expected of college-prep level course work. It seemed that the excessive time focused on religious studies could be better spent by exploring academics in greater depth. This could be improved by hiring more experienced educators who endorse a more rigorous academic approach, and be willing to compensate them financially. Also, the students are excessively clique-ie.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 16, 2007

McAuley provides an atmosphere that isn't replicated in any other high school, middle school, or college setting that I have experienced. The friends you make are remarkable, the freedom to be yourself is incomparable, and the encouragement that you receive to succeed is constant. Involvement in sports and activities as well as academic honors such as the National Honor Society are admired and worked for, not downplayed as they can be in other schools. McAuley provides it's girls with a safe, warm, and educational enviroment that I wouldn't have traded for anything.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted May 26, 2007

As both a parent and teacher, I have grave concerns about the quality of education at CMHS. Students are quite diverse, but the lack of special education resources means that the most needy students are enrolled in college-prep courses, which slows progress there significantly. A decade of shrinking enrollment speaks for itself, but it has exacerbated McAuley's problems by creating a funding deficit that supports abysmally low teacher salaries and that drives repeatedly poor decisions by the administration. My opinion is that the school cannot be sustained for long under its current leadership.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted November 25, 2006

I am sorry to say that by far, McAuley High School was one of the worst choices I ever made. The cliques can get so out of hand,the uniforms are terribly un comfortable, and the roman-catholic religous role plays a large part in lessons and other activities.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 25, 2006

I'm graduating from McAuley this year, and I'll miss it dearly. I've made so many great friends, my teachers are out of this world, I even have a Calc. teacher who comes in at 6:30 am to give students extra help! McAuley has given me the opportunity and support to become the person I want to be, and head off to college confident in my abilities both academically and socially. I wouldn't change this experience for the world.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 26, 2005

McAuley is the best school i've ever been to. When i was a student there, i was the only foreign student they had at that time. I thought i'd feel left out, not accepted and everything. But the girls there made me feel so welcomed and accepted. Students there were so friendly, they don't care where i came from, how i look and dress, or how different i am from them. My grades improved a lot. The teachers were always available to answer questions before and after school. I've got an honor roll for the first time ever. I'm so proud when filling college applications that i am a former McAuley student. http://www.mcauleyhs.org
—Submitted by a former student


Posted February 14, 2005

Being a student from McAuley, I feel strong in my subjects and confident in my work. Not every school is perfect, but the downside of McAuley is being surrounded by so many mean, fake, selfish, and materialistic girls all the time. McAuley would be an absolute terrific school if all the students there wanted to learn and do well in their studies. It's a small atmosphere, which is good for learning, but complicated in the social aspect because of the cliques.
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 11, 2004

McAuley helped my daughter succeed in the world. With a McAuley education, you can get anywhere!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 23, 2004

McAuley is by far the most superior school in the Greater Portland area. Not only is the education top-notch, but emphasis is on making each student the most well-rounded, civic-minded, loving, giving person she can be. Our experience here has been inspirational and terrific!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 23, 2004

McAuley is great because there are so many people watching you and making sure you do well. With the 97% college acceptance rate it's hard to fail. The downside though is that all the teachers get on your case if you are in any way out of uniform. You even get a detention for it!
—Submitted by a student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 97% 94%
Asian 1% N/A
Black 1% 2%
Hispanic 1% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Two or more races 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

College readiness and student pathways

Colleges most students attend after graduation Fordham University, New York
Loyola University, Maryland
Boston College, Massachusetts
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Class A State Champions - Basketball (2011)
  • Class B Regional Champions - One-Act Play Festival (2011)
  • National Merit Awards - 5 (2010)

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Margaret Downing
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • All girls
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Roman catholic
Associations
  • NCEA
Fax number
  • (207) 797-3804

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
  • Independent Study
  • Virtual school
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • Computer
  • Gym
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of Portland
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
  • Uniforms
School leaders can update this information here.

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What does it cost?

Financial aid offered
Yes.

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Fordham University, New York
Loyola University, Maryland
Boston College, Massachusetts
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
College presentations or information sessions
SAT/ACT prep classes
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

631 Stevens Ave
Portland, ME 04103
Website: Click here
Phone: (207) 797-3802

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