Help Support Sweetser's Mission in Maine

The Schools at Sweetser

The Schools at Sweetser (Sweetser School in Belfast and the Eslie J. Parquette School in Saco) offer an exceptional special education experience for youth, ages 5 to 20, that assists them in overcoming both behavioral and learning impairments. Teacher instruction and educational materials are presented at a level that is developmentally appropriate for peers of similar social, emotional, and academic ability. Working with parents and multidisciplinary teams, teachers develop behavioral and academic goals and objectives which are measured quarterly. The goal of these special purpose private schools is to help students gain the skills they need in order to return to a public school setting.

The 2018-2019 school-year calendar 


More information for clients and families.

Information for Clients and Families


The goal of The School at Sweetser is to return students to a community-based, educational, vocational, or work placement.


The philosophy of The School at Sweetser is to provide a comprehensive psychoeducational program based on individual needs, created and supported by families. We strive to employ all means, methods, and technologies available to assist students in their successful integration back into the community.

We believe that

Each child is entitled to an educational program appropriately tailored to his/her needs. Flexibility and individualized programs are necessary as no two students present with the same needs, issues, or developmental achievements. Programs must change to meet the on-going needs of students.

Learning occurs in an environment where curiosity is encouraged, creativity is nurtured, and individuality is accepted. By fostering a safe learning environment, we encourage children to accept challenges, take risks, and test their creative abilities. Once basic needs for safety are met, the child is free to focus on skill development and academic demands.

We believe that all students have individual rights and opinions. We attempt to foster an environment based on mutual respect and recognize that our students may have differing value systems. We respect these rights to the extent that they do not interfere with he rights of others and are within the bounds of societies legal code.

Our goal is to raise competencies that allow students to benefit from less restrictive educational opportunities. Encouraging students to participate in the psychoeducational process promotes a sense of ownership and responsibility, qualities that help students successfully transition to a public school setting.

The re-integration of Sweetser students into the community depends on the strengthening of their academic abilities and the rebuilding of their self-esteem and coping skills. These goals are accomplished through year-round academic and social opportunities that are designed to provide both realistic challenges and opportunities for success. Only when they feel successful will students develop a sense of competence and self-esteem.

Growth and change are most likely to occur in the context of human relationships. Teachers, clinicians, and support staff are important role models who promote caring, respect, and life-long learning for others through their actions, words, and attitudes. To this end, staff strives to achieve optimum professional growth.

What Our Clients Are Saying

My two weeks at Sweetser went by all too quickly. I was even more at home this summer and look forward to returning next year. I'd love to stay longer next summer. It all depends on what's going on around here. I don't hesitate to tell anyone when I share my experience at the crisis unit, that...

Full Story | More Stories of Excellence

MySweetser Client Portal - Log In
| FAQs

Executive Address: 2 Pendleton Drive Saco, Maine          Mailing Address: 50 Moody Street Saco, Maine 04072-0892          Phone: 1-800-434-3000                           Copyright © 2019  Sweetser