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Maple Street School was founded in 1998 by Christina Crawford and Janet Turnbull Irving as an independent school with academic excellence and joyful learning at the heart of its mission. They envisioned a school where motivated students could embrace learning, be meaningfully engage in the visual and performing arts, participate in athletics and develop individual and social responsibility.
Maple Street opened its doors in September 1998 with 37 students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 7. Founding Head of School, Nancy Holmes Calicchio, in keeping with the initial objectives, hired four full-time classroom teachers, three part-time teachers for art, music and French; an administration; and enlisted a Parent Association. In its second year, Maple Street’s enrollment grew from 37 to 63 students in Kindergarten through Grade 8, which required expansion of the campus and included leasing adjacent land and three modular classrooms. The faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, and Advisory Council grew as well to accommodate nearly doubling our enrollment. The academic year, 2000-2001, saw a further increase in the number of students to 80. This steady enrollment increase signaled Maple Street’s success, which forced the Board of Trustees to investigate options for a new campus to accommodate a total enrollment of about 110 students. The continued generosity of the larger community in supporting Maple Street’s mission resulted in a land gift of 23 acres in Manchester Village, where a new school campus opened in November, 2003.
In 2006, Fran Bisselle was hired as the second head of school, and she has transitioned Maple Street from a start-up entrepreneurial school to one cultivating long-term loyalty, holding true to our mission of excellence while maintaining a joyful learning atmosphere, where students feel known and loved. One priority continues to be a diverse student body; it is the intention of the School to remain affordable, to extend significant scholarships to worthy candidates, to attract and retain highly qualified professionals, and to provide meaningful benefits, including professional development, to all faculty and staff. Our program continues to focus on academic excellence with an enriched curriculum including language, music and arts for all, an integration of 21st century technology in all studies, environmental and experiential learning opportunities, and a foundation in civic and social responsibility. We also focus on making our building and daily practices environmentally sustainable, with the addition of solar panels on our roof and a work job program for composing and recycling. The enhancement of the School’s endowment for the building and scholarships remains a high priority for the near future, and our endowment campaign has begun.