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Since its founding in 1811, Thornton Academy has been a center of inspiration, innovation, and community in Saco, Maine. We prepare students for a changing world through our curriculum, facilities, extra-curricular opportunities, and student support. Students are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones, to try courses that challenge and intrigue them, and to take deep dives into subjects that spark curiosity. Engagement continues after-school, through many clubs, activities, community service, and athletics.

Thornton Academy ignites a passion for discovery with a flexible and comprehensive academic program. Students can shape their future with more than 200 courses in 8 different academic departments, including 24 AP classes and more than 40 honors classes. Explore our curriculum with our Program of Studies to experience the incredible world of learning at Thornton Academy.

School Type:
  • Boarding School
State: Maine
City: Saco
Affiliation: Non-Religious
Grades Accepted:
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
School Size: 1,700
Average Class Size: 15
Student Body:
  • Co-ed
Program Duration:
  • Fall Semester
  • Full Academic Year
  • Multiple Years
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
  • Yes
Dresscode: No Dress Code Required
Price: $$$
Graduation Allowed:
  • Yes
  • Yes - After 1 Year
Graduation After 1 Year:
  • Yes
AP Classes:
  • Yes
AP Classes Offered:
  • Art
  • English
  • Foreign Language
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

28 AP courses are offered.
Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Chinese Language and Culture, Computer Science A, Computer Science Principles, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, European History, French Language and Culture, Government and Politics (US), Human Geography, Latin, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Music Theory, Physics 1: Algebra-Based, Physics 2: Algebra-Based, Physics C, Psychology, Spanish Language and Culture, Statistics, Studio Art 2-D Drawing, Studio Art 2-D Design, Studio Art 3-D Design, US History

College Prep/Honors Classes:
  • Yes

Thornton Academy offers 42 Honors Classes

IB Program:
  • No
  • Yes

Thornton Academy's STEM facilities are at the apex of technology with the recent establishment of an engineering laboratory on campus where students pursue inquiry-based design skills in a hands-on environment. A $2 million STEM Center opened in 2015, including four modern laboratory classrooms, four brand-new mathematics classrooms, and a renovated engineering and robotics lab.

Foreign Languages:
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Latin
  • Spanish
  • Yes
Graduation Rate: 100%
College Acceptance Rate: 99%
University Acceptances:

Partial list: American University, Bates College, Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Boston University, Bowdoin College, Brown University, Colby College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Johns Hopkins, University Maine, College of Art, MIT, Northeastern University, Parsons School of Design, Providence College, University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Michigan, Wellesley College

Our size! Thornton Academy is the largest private school in the region, students have their choice of 200 courses, 50 after-school clubs, and 24 sports teams. Our courses are in-depth and cover many unique subject areas like film production, special effects, web design, marine biology, psychology, etc. Our campus is designed like a small university, and students become well-prepared to live independently and succeed at the university level.
Close to Boston, walking distance to train

Boys Sports:
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Swim
  • Dive
  • Lacrosse
  • Golf
  • Cross Country
  • Track
  • Wrestling
  • Tennis
  • Cheerleading
  • Indoor Track
  • Hockey
Girls Sports:
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Swim
  • Dive
  • Lacrosse
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Golf
  • Cross Country
  • Track
  • Wrestling
  • Tennis
  • Cheerleading
  • Field Hockey
  • Indoor Track

Thornton Academy has a rich and storied history of athletic excellence. Throughout our history, Thornton Academy athletic teams have won more than 50 state championships, including championships in 2018 in Boys Lacrosse and Boys Outdoor Track.

Top 1% of high schools for athletics (Niche). 51 state championships in the past 5 years: 39 individual and 12 team.

Football, tennis, golf, swimming, lacrosse, ice hockey and volleyball teams consistently place top in the state or region.

Arts Offerings:

Dance, Performance and Repertory: Dance Company, Piano Lab, Guitar Fundamentals, Songwriting, Music Theory, American Music History, AP Music Theory, Concert Choir , Chamber Singers, Treble Choir, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, Orchestra, Acting, Visual Arts, Art History: 19th-21st Century, Illustration, Printmaking, Photography, Pottery, Sculpture, Honors Drawing, Honors Painting, Honors Fine Art Portfolio, AP Studio Art

Students stretch themselves with courses in Visual Art, Dance, Music, and Theater. Each year students earn top scores in AP Visual Art and Music Theory, and teachers dedicate themselves to preparing students for the most selective art and music colleges in the country.

Extra Curricular

With over 40 clubs and activities, there is something for everyone on campus.
Examples are:
Cycling Club, Equestrian Club, Outdoor Adventure Club, Ski Club, Environmental Club, Animal Rights Group, Gay Straight Transgender Alliance, Math Team, Robotics Team, Astronomy Club, Art Club, Photography Club, Fashion Design Club

Community Information
City Population: 19,485
Weather: Warm summers and cold Winters.
Nearby Cities: Portland, ME is 15 minutes away and Boston, MA is 90 minutes from Saco.
Nearest Airport: Portland International Jetport (PWM) is 15 miles away and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is 102 miles from Saco.
Local Attractions:

Lighthouses, lobsters and surf crashing on the rocky Maine seacoast. TripAdvisor named Portland one of the Top 10 Destinations, based on positive feedback and interest shown by their well-traveled community.

438 Main Street, Saco, ME, USA, Maine, USA 04072