Kieve-Wavus Education Launches First-of-its-Kind Bridge Year for Early Teens

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Ground-breaking student-directed, project-based experiential boarding school positions rising ninth-grade students for success in high school and beyond.

Kieve-Wavus [pronounced Kee-āve'-Wah-vus] Education opens enrollment for a premiere co-ed residential program serving students between eighth and ninth grade. The Bridge Year, a first-of-its-kind project-based boarding school, creates an environment that prepares graduating eighth graders to maximize their success in high school, set the stage for college or university, and lay the foundation for lifelong personal success.

Historically, it has been high school graduates who use a gap year to prepare themselves for the rigors of academia by finding their focus in real-world experience. Kieve-Wavus Education recognizes that preparing for success in education earlier, at an even more formative time of life, has additional benefits.

The transition from eighth to ninth grade provides a natural gap in which students can develop future focus and good habits in their schoolwork and as members of society. According to Shoshona Zuboff, the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (retired), “The Bridge Year can provide a gateway to high school that is critical to the long-term success and well-being of many young people. Student-driven, project-based learning can be a life-changing experience. When this is combined with personal instruction, exposure to digital learning tools, and an active learning community, students can develop the capability for joyous and self-directed learning both in high school and for the rest of their lives.”

Director of Studies, Thomas Steele-Maley says, “The Bridge Year is designed to empower adolescents as peers and with their mentor-teachers 24/7 in real-world environments rich with opportunities for intellectual, social, personal, and physical growth. With a student–faculty ratio of 6:1, The Bridge Year helps students explore their interests in depth so they discover life interests and more specifically focus essential skills vital to college prep work.”

Learning at the Bridge Year is student driven and project based. Students build understanding and knowledge by developing in-depth research projects relevant to their goals and interests. With the support of skilled and caring faculty, equally engaged peers, and an impressive slate of community partners, students’ work will be both academically rigorous and relevant to their interests and passions.

Director of Admissions and Secondary School Placement, Lisa Steele-Maley notes, “The Bridge Year is designed for students of parents who are concerned not only with what their child will become in life but, perhaps more importantly, who they will become.”

Director of Education and Operations, Charlie Richardson adds, “The early-teen period of a young person’s life is particularly challenging, as they manage essential changes to body, psyche, and social influences all at once. Cultivating character and independent thought through this foundational development will have a significant impact on lifelong academic achievement and personal fulfillment. The Bridge Year places rising ninth-grade students in a supportive environment where they can pursue interests through autonomous learning with the guidance and wisdom of their resident instructors and peers.”

The Kieve campus on Damariscotta Lake in Mid-Coast Maine is home to the Bridge Year. Its waterfront dormitory and project spaces are wired for full access to the latest global technology while the world-class facilities and partnerships at Kieve provide access to deep local exploration of the Damariscotta Lake region and the entire state.

Enrollment is now open for the fall 2014 to spring 2015 school year.

To learn more about The Bridge Year, visit

ABOUT KIEVE-WAVUS EDUCATION: Kieve-Wavus Education empowers people to contribute positively to society by promoting the values of kindness, respect for others, and environmental stewardship through year-round experiential programs, camps for youth and adults, and guidance from inspirational role models. To learn more about Kieve-Wavus Education, visit


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Russ Williams
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