Sweetland School



Sweetland School Mission statement:

The Mission of Sweetland School is to encourage confident, resilient and creative individuals. Honoring multiple intelligences, mentors engage students through thematic, project based opportunities while balancing direct instruction. Sweetland School inspires compassionate stewards in our world, building empathy through the arts, outdoor engagement,  free and guided play and community connections. We encourage autonomy and collaboration and support families to embrace life and learning together.

Sweetland School is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach and by educators and artists such as John Dewey, Elliot Eisner, Lily Yeh, Paulo Freire, Howard Gardner, Alfie Kohn, Sir Ken Robinson. Sweetland School aims to remain open and flexible to change and the needs of the current times and community.

"What is “learner-centered” education?

When we say “learner-centered,” we are describing a paradigm sitting opposite of the “school-centered” or conventional paradigm.

The learner-centered paradigm recognizes every learner has unique potential and understands learning happens naturally when people are supported to pursue their interests, tackle challenges, and explore aspirations within nurturing communities. It sees the aim of education as being able to cultivate young people who are self-aware, self-reflective, and socially capable learners, ready and able to advocate for themselves and their communities in their pursuits."

- Education Reimagined https://education-reimagined.org/paradigm-shift/

Sweetland School is a flexible 3 or 5 day Academic program. Engaging with the community the Sweetland School offers relevant, bold and joyful learning opportunities. Families with children in grades K-7 are invited to engage in hands on experiential learning opportunities. Plans to expand the program to 8th grade are in our future.

Small multi-age classrooms with a 6:1 student : teacher ratio offer a strong academic program integrating the Arts and experiential learning through collaborative and individualized instruction. 

We balance our days between direct instruction, student explorations and community focused projects. 


About the Mentors:

Elementary School Team K-5 offering learner centered project based interdisciplinary studies 

K-2 - Lindsay Pinchbeck and Hannah Wells / Will Foote

3-5 - Marlee Luehman and Hannah Wells / Will Foote

Visual Arts and Yoga- Nina Devenney

Arts and Arts Integration - Argy Nestor, Lindsay Pinchbeck, Marlee Luheman

Outdoors  - Will Foote

Spanish - Mariel Dowling


Middle School Team 6-8 offering learner centered, project based interdisciplinary studies 

Director of Middle School Education - Argy Nestor

6-8  Amy Gertner and Angela Nelson

Projects / Science / Engineering - Paul Cartwright

Visual Arts and Yoga- Nina Devenney 

Arts and Arts Integration - Argy Nestor, Lindsay Pinchbeck, Marlee Luheman

Outdoors - Will Foote

Spanish - Mariel Dowling

Learn more about our mentors on the teachers page. 



Enriching the program; Sweetland School invites visiting mentors to work with students in the Arts, Sciences, Cultural Studies, World Languages, Agriculture and Outdoor exploration, throughout the year.

Supporting the program; our advisory board consists of passionate and respected leaders in education and the arts who model high academic achievement. Currently on our board Argy Nestor, Clare Galloway, Malcolm Brooks and Nancy Harris Frohlich.



Sweetland supports an active formative assessment model through the documentation of learning of the student and group. A daily practice using photography and collecting the words and ideas of the children allows us to build understanding together and to support learners to reflect on thier thoughts and experiences. Teachers design relevant assessments through a veriety of ways such as games, essays, performance based relevant tasks, peer review processes, presentations and appropriate quizzes. We gather work samples and build portfolios throughout the year. Learners of all ages are supported to reflect on their learning and build an understanding of their own knowledge and learning through regular reflection and self assessment.


Family prices and scholarships available. 

  Sweetland School is currently open for inquiries K-7 (we plan to grow to 8th grade) for the 2019/2020 school year.


For more information please contact Lindsay Pinchbeck at sweettreearts@gmail.com or call 207 542 8008.



Useful Links for parents/prospective families:

Financial aid info







Sweetland School is recognized by the Department of Education as a private school providing equivalent instruction.

Maine Dept of Education Homeschooling information 


Sweetland School is thrilled to partner with the following local organizations enriching and supporting our program,


Sweet Tree Arts
Sweetland Center
4 Church St
Hope, ME 04847