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July 6, 2018

Maine Girls' Academy to close doors for good July 15, NYA to help out

Tim Greenway Photography /  Maine Girls' Academy
Tim Greenway Photography / Maine Girls' Academy
The class of 2018, posing here for a group photo, will be the last graduating class of Maine Girls' Academy.

The Maine Girls' Academy's board of trustees has voted to cease operations and close the Portland private school as of July 15, citing lower enrollment and revenue.

"Over the past few years, the faculty, staff, board and families of the newly independent Maine Girls' Academy have worked tirelessly to preserve an all-girls educational option for girls in Maine, understanding the tremendous benefits realized by girls' learning and developing in this environment," according to a press release sent out Thursday afternoon.

It added: "While there continues to be demand for the unique all girls' educational and developmental experience offered by MGA, it was not sufficient to support the school going forward."

Maine Girls' Academy is a college preparatory school for grades 7-12. It opened in but was preceded by several schools going back to the 19th Century run by the Sisters of Mercy, who came to Maine from Ireland.

Their founder, Sister Catherine McAuley, committed herself to the education and advancement of women as a means to effect social change and help women discover and achieve their full potential.

The Maine Girls' Academy, while an independent, non-sectarian school, sought to embrace many of the values and traditions of the five schools that preceded it, starting with Saint Elizabeth's Academy from 1877-1909.

To ease the transition for students, North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth has agreed to accept current Maine Girls' Academy students and will recognize the Portland school's admission standards.

North Yarmouth Academy will also honor each student's current Maine Girls' Academy 2018-19 enrollment agreement and family contribution towards tuition.

Heidi Osborn, chair of the board of trustees at Maine Girls' Academy, said in the news release that "the girls and their future have always been our top priority" and that "we continue to believe that an all-girls school and learning environment is important and beneficial for girls and our communities."

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