Office of the Dean of Academics

Binaca Macdonald, Dean of Academics

Dear Member of the Class of 2017:

Congratulations on your decision to attend Bridgton Academy! On behalf of the faculty, I welcome you to a year filled with challenges and hard work. While at Bridgton, you will have the opportunity to improve your study skills and become a more efficient learner, all with the mission of enhancing your experience in college and beyond. The Bridgton Academy faculty is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals as we work with you in all areas of the school.

As a Bridgton Academy student, you will receive an Apple iPad Air that will serve as your e-reader for classes and help you to achieve success in future college level courses utilizing such technology. Your instructors will require that you bring your iPad to every class.

As a part of this information, you will find a set of course descriptions and a link ( that will bring you to our online course registration form. You will use this link to register for elective courses. Please note that this link will not go live until July 18th, one day after the Accepted and Incoming Students Event at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston. English and mathematics placements will happen once you complete the pretest on campus during the orientation/preseason week. Please read the course descriptions, follow the directions on the form to choose your elective courses, and complete the online selection form by August 1, at the latest. Certain courses have limited enrollment and will fill up early; your prompt attention to selecting your courses is in your best interest.

Let me offer some advice about course selection: colleges generally expect you to pursue courses in your postgraduate year that reflect both academic progress and challenges appropriate to your abilities. Unless you did poorly in a course in your first high school attempt, you should not sign up for a course that duplicates one that you have already taken. Every Bridgton Academy student is required to take one English and one math course. Do not feel that you must takes a course in every other discipline; some students will take two social science classes, while others will take two science classes. Typically, the more you are interested in the content of a course, the harder you will work. Although it is quite appropriate to seek the advice of your parents, former teachers, or others, it is important that you select your courses. In addition to your preferences for courses, I will review your academic record, test scores, and the letters of recommendation sent with your admission application in determining your ultimate placement.

The standard course load is four full-credit courses per semester. Students may take five full-credit courses with my permission; however, that is the exception, and it is extremely rare in the first semester. Non-credit courses (Focused Academic Coaching and SAT Prep) do not count towards the load of four full-credit classes and are taken in addition to them; the majority of our students, including those that enroll in the Focused Academic Coaching program, will take SAT Prep in addition to their standard courseloads. SAT Prep classes are offered during the fall in preparation for October, November and December administrations of the SAT. Focused Academic Coaching is taught for the entire year, and it is only open to students who have been accepted and enrolled into that specific program.

The academic year is divided into two semesters. The majority of our courses are one semester in length, although some courses do run a full-year—particularly the required math courses. In each semester, you must carry an English and a math course as part of the standard four-course load; students may, under special circumstances, elect to take two English or two math courses in a given semester. Finally, even though some semester courses are offered in both semesters, you may not repeat a course in the second semester.

College Articulation Program (CAP) courses are the most challenging and rigorous in the curriculum. Courses offered under the auspices of CAP are actual college courses that are taught at the Academy. Students pay an additional fee (which varies based upon the number of credits and the sponsoring institution) to take these courses, and if they earn a grade of C or better, they will receive college credit. In order to maintain the level of rigor appropriate for CAP courses, students will take a placement exam upon arrival on campus. Based on the outcome of those exams, students are offered entrance into the CAP courses. The Dean of Academics may allow a student an additional opportunity to gain entrance into a CAP course based upon further evaluations if the entrance exam does not meet the standards required. The Academy builds additional CAP course choices into the second semester offerings, which allows students to try a CAP course or two after acquiring the skills needed for success at the CAP level through non-CAP courses in the fall. Students should consider their first semester grades an opportunity to demonstrate readiness for CAP courses in the second semester.

Please read course descriptions carefully. If a course you wish to take seems very interesting to you, realize that it probably seems interesting to others as well, so be sure to list alternate choices. I will use your alternative course selections if: 1) your first choice is unavailable, 2) I feel that your first choice is inappropriate for your background and/or needs, or 3) the master schedule will not accommodate your selections. Please do not neglect to list alternative selections under the impression that without them you increase your chances of getting your first choice; that is not the case.

Changes to your schedule may be made during the add/drop period at the start of the each semester, so you will have time to make any necessary changes once classes start. We want you to be comfortable with your academic course selection, but remember that you are coming to Bridgton Academy to stretch yourself and to take on some new challenges.

Students should arrive with the following supplies: 4 single subject binders, 4 single subject notebooks, filler paper, pens and pencils.

So that we can best meet your academic needs, please contact your high school and ask them to send us a copy of your official transcript. Doing so will expedite your NCAA eligibility read and help us create a schedule that best meets your needs. Official transcripts should be mailed to: Mrs. Deb Dutton, Registrar, PO Box 292, North Bridgton, ME 04057.

I hope you have a lovely summer that is restful and safe. I look forward to meeting you and hearing about what you hope to accomplish while attending Bridgton Academy and how I can help you to achieve those goals.


Binaca Macdonald
Dean of Academics


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