Current Events
Starting this year, The REAL School has established a food pantry to serve students and their families.  Donations are received weekly from The Good Shepherd Food Bank in partnership with The Locker Project and consists mostly of dry, non-perishable items although there will also be some fresh produce options, including some items grown in our own gardens and winter hoop house.  In conjunction with The REAL School's culinary program, students will also be able to participate in special projects where they can learn to prepare healthy meals and then take the ingredients home to prepare and share with their families.
The calendar for the 2015-2016 school year is now accessible. It can be reached here:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR FUTURE SEARCH on TUESDAY EVENING! A group of stakeholders joined in to analyze survey data gathered from students, staff, parents, sending school districts, and community partners. Our strategic planning committee is currently considering the identified trends, hopes, concerns, and other feedback as the basis for organizational goals and action plans.  Stay tuned for updates!
Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, REAL School will offer TWO separate school programs in order to provide a robust continuum of services for students with IEPs requiring specialized instruction and mental health services throughout their school days - and for students with and without disabilities who require individualized academic, social, and emotional, supports, and an authentic, project-based, hands-on approach to meeting the Maine Learning Results / Common Core Standards.  The two program models will be located in separate facilities on Mackworth Island in Falmouth. Our certified special education faculty members and clinical treatment team members will staff the Special Education REAL School program, and a separate cohort of certified teaching and support staff will provide services in the Alternative REAL School. Both programs will offer the same personalized experience, and will incorporate community-based service learning, therapeutic adventure, and a pervasive school philosophy that honors individual differences.
If you have questions about referral to either of our school programs for the 2015-2016 year, please email Martin Mackey at
The REAL School has been awarded $100,000 from NEXT GEN FOUNDATION of Maine to start an endowment that will support our Teen Aspirations Program (TAP) and our Service Learning Projects in perpetuity! THANK YOU SO MUCH, NEXT GEN, for supporting great causes across our state - and for your generous gift to REAL School!
INTERESTED IN SERVING at The REAL School? We now have AMERICORPS Positions open throughout the district! AmeriCorps Members engage our students in groundbreaking service learning and get hands-on experience in alternative and Special Education classrooms .... not to mention an education scholarship award!
For more information contact Craig Haims.
The REAL School has been highlighted by the Take a Stand for Good project for our Second Chances Project, which aims to bring education and medical aid to the underserved citizens of Dominican bateyes! There is an article about us on their home page.

 Check out this Portland Press article about this amazing, cutting-edge, revolutionary program that has changed the world for some of the brilliant young people who had a chance to shine this summer!




The REAL School welcomes our new team of STEM-focused AmeriCorps members!


The REAL School on Mackworth Island will be offering bifurcated programming beginning in the 2015-2016 school year! We will be operating two separate school programs: an alternative school for students with and without disabilities who require personalized learning plans and supports in a loving, joyful, adventure-based alternative program ... And a self-contained, special education school - featuring a similar approach and philosophy, while offering specialized instruction and clinical mental health services throughout 100% of their school day. Both REAL School programs will serve students whose needs have not been met in traditional school programs, and whose strengths have yet to be reflected in their school performance. 


  • Provide a small supportive learning community where students know that they are valued
  • Explore new possibilities and practices to assist students in reaching their individual goals
  • Honor and utilize the unique strengths that every student brings to our community
  • Provide a variety of ways for students to access and demonstrate achievement of the Common Core curriculum standards
  • Guide students in their development of post-secondary education and career goals and action plans.
  • Support the social, emotional, and behavioral health of our students through mental health treatment plans that incorporate evidence-based and emerging best practices delivered by our adventurous and caring clinicians and counselors.

The REAL School recognizes that all learners have strengths. Our approach leverages these assets and interests as catalysts for positive change and growth across social, emotional, behavioral and academic goals. While programming to impact these goals is individualized, every individual is a precious and important part of our learning community. Students here are not merely receivers of services – they are active partners in the development and care of a school culture that supports all members. Our core values of Safety, Respect, Responsibility, and Kindness are directly taught and practiced, and consistently recognized and rewarded. 

New Students and Sending Districts, please call 207-781-6207 / 207-671-8603, or email Martin Mackey

Click here to donate to the REAL School's Service Learning Program and Teen Aspirations Program!


Real School Students and Americorp Volunteers have created a fantastic movie based on Service Learning.  (please click here to view the movie)   Real School is highlighted for inspiring students in the Windham Eagle Newspaper (click here for the article) Hooray for Page Nicols and student Justice Wright, their efforts got Real School nominated and won the Maine Youth Action Network's ImpACT Award! More great news coming!