News Post

Thornton Academy Named Apple Distinguished School
Thornton Academy Named Apple Distinguished School

Saco, Maine—November 29, 2016

Thornton Academy is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2016-2018 for its integrative approach to technology through a one-to-one iPad Initiative. Launched in the fall of 2014 to equip students and staff with the tools necessary for success in a 21st century learning environment, the initiative strategically aligns Professional Development and curriculum goals. Now in our third year of deployment, all students in grades 8 through 12 are issued an iPad mini, while all students in grades 6 and 7 are issued an 11-inch MacBook Air. Faculty members are issued iPad devices and 13-inch MacBook laptops. The devices allow for engaged learning that is tailored to best fit the needs of our students.

The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments.

Senator Angus S. King, Jr., who first proposed a one-to-one technology program through The Maine Learning Technology Initiative in 2000 as Governor of Maine, said, “It’s really fantastic the way you’ve realized the vision of the one-to-one program and have taken it beyond hardware by integrating into the classroom. That was the dream. That was the vision. I always tried to communicate [that] this isn’t a hardware project; it’s a learning project. You’ve really taken that idea and realized it in very special ways, and that’s why you’ve been recognized by Apple. I still think there are lots of things we can do to improve and build on the potential that technology gives us in our classrooms and you’re leading the way in Maine.”

Thornton Academy Headmaster Mr. Rene Menard said, “Thornton Academy is honored to be recognized as an educational leader in technology. The Thornton Academy Board of Trustees has made a significant commitment to STEM education. We are proud of the science, math, and engineering opportunities at Thornton Academy that allow qualified students to skip a year of college and enter UMAINE's Engineering program with sophomore status. Today's recognition of Thornton Academy's innovation and leadership in the use of technology affirms our commitment to an integrated and comprehensive STEM program that will best prepare students for college and the workforce.”

Deputy Commissioner for the Maine Department of Education William H. Beardsley congratulated Thornton Academy on its technology integration, noting, “Thornton Academy’s focus on academic achievement and preparing students for the future is commendable and is beneficial not only for your students, but for the entire state of Maine.”

The selection of Thornton Academy as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment. From boat building projects in engineering courses where designs to come to life, to interactive history lessons that that assess student learning in real time, technology integration has elevated the level of authentic learning experiences in our community. State-of-the-art STEM and New Media facilities, combined with a robust mentoring and Professional Development program for faculty members, ensure our commitment to continued excellence in innovative curriculum design. Thornton Academy’s Multi-Touch book provides anecdotes that illustrate highlights of the program. The newest version (updated 10/18/16) is available here or by searching the iBooks Store for Thornton Academy.

Founded in 1811, Thornton Academy is an independent school in Saco, Maine, that develops 6-12th grade learners who are respectful, responsible, compassionate, and invested. We serve the communities of Saco, Arundel, and Dayton through public contract and welcome private pay students from throughout the U.S. and from 35 countries around the globe. The Thornton Academy experience prepares students for a changing world. 

Press Contact: Ms. Emma Deans, Communications Associate (207) 602-4449

School Liaison: Mrs. Amanda Doyle, Technology Integration Specialist (207) 602-4444