On a crisp New England morning, John Bapst students wake up early in 35 area towns and in their residence halls to get ready for the school day. Some take a bus to school; others provide their own transportation. Boarding students simply walk up the street to the main building at 100 Broadway.
By 7:15 the school is already busy. Sekera Auditorium fills with friends coming back together, and the Music Wing comes alive with the sounds of classical music, jazz, and rock and roll. In quieter areas like the library and classrooms, students work together or with teachers on a challenging homework problem or on the draft of an essay.
At eight o’clock classes begin. On most days the school follows a traditional schedule, with classes 43 minutes in length on a rotating schedule. Five days of traditional 43-minute classes — called B-A-P-S-T days — are followed by Purple and White days, with classes meeting for 75-minute periods. Lunch arrives in the late morning. Day students bring a lunch to school or buy sandwiches, pizza, salads, and other choices. For boarders, meal costs are included in tuition.
On most days, three academic periods follow lunch. Classes end at 1:50, and day students who ride a bus to school depart. Many students stay at school to take advantage of Academic Assistance (teachers are available daily for extra help both before and after school), music and drama rehearsals, clubs, and other activities. Students are encouraged to participate in after-school clubs and activities and to play a sport. The school’s extensive athletic offerings occupy much of the afternoon as students and coaches spread out across Sawyer Arena (ice hockey), Husson University (football, baseball), UMaine-Orono (soccer), the Cross Center (basketball), and other Bangor-area fields and gyms for practices and games.
Day students and homestay students return home for dinner, while boarding students and houseparents have dinner starting at 6 p.m., creating a comfortable home-away-from home environment. Following time to unwind, it’s time for the important learning that takes place for students in the evening. In all subjects, homework is meaningful, not routine.
In the residence halls, Evening Study is on every student’s agenda beginning at 7. Study break begins at 8:30 — a time to relax with friends or stay in shape playing basketball or using the school’s exercise equipment.
By eleven o’clock, boarding students are expected to settle into their rooms. Playing an important role in helping students to manage their time efficiently and reach their goals, houseparents monitor the hours boarding students keep. Houseparents also act as student advisors. In the school’s six small dorms, there are nine houseparents for the 50 students in residence.