World Ocean School and Proctor Academy, an independent school in Andover, New Hampshire, have joined forces to launch a new program at sea. For the past twenty-two years Proctor has hosted a program called Ocean Classroom, a ten-week term at sea aboard a tall-ship. Despite the closing of the Ocean Classroom Foundation, their former partner in this program, Proctor’s commitment to education at sea remains unchanged.
Proctor's Ocean Classroom director David Pilla comments, "While Proctor and Ocean Classroom Foundation have separated, I am truly excited about our new relationship with the World Ocean School and its educators."
This September, Proctor students will sail the schooner Roseway from Gloucester, Massachusetts to San Juan, Puerto Rico alongside phenomenal educators from both Proctor and the World Ocean School. They will study nautical history, maritime literature, marine sciences and navigational mathematics along with carrying out community service projects in the ports they visit. They will work in their watch groups. They will learn what it means to care for "ship, shipmate and self". They will face numerous challenges. And by the time they reach San Juan, they will have broadened their perspectives.
World Ocean School serves primarily underserved students. In fact over 60% of their student populations are considered socio-economically challenged. So is Roseway swerving off course with this new partnership? Absolutely not. These kinds of programs serve to support and further their mission. Not only will the revenue from this partnership fuel other programs throughout the year that struggle to pay for services, but it will connect Roseway with a school that is renowned for its commitment to experiential education for students of all backgrounds, fostering a collaborative and productive community.
“As a mission-driven organization that believes strongly in effective community-building, we are thrilled to be working with Proctor”, says Abby Kidder, President of the World Ocean School. “We have a lot to learn from them and at the same time, a lot to share from our own experience with education at sea.”
Students will board Roseway on September 22 in Gloucester, Massachusetts to begin their two-month voyage. At the completion of the expedition in San Juan, Roseway will then return to St. Croix, USVI and jump back into local programming with island schools. Stay tuned for updates to the ship’s log from students along the way.