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King Middle School  is one of three public middle schools in the city of  Portland, Maine. Our school has a rigorous curriculum that promotes a high level of student engagement through real-world learning. 

We are dedicated to the idea that we can create a school where all kids succeed at a high level. We serve one of the most racially, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhoods in the state of Maine. In our student body of approximately 480 students, more than 20 languages are spoken, with students coming from 30 countries.

Outward Bound and EL Education

King has had a long association with Outward Bound and EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning). The EL Education model emphasizes high levels of student engagement and achievement. At King, students are in the driver’s seat of their own education. We became an EL Education school in 1992. King was one of the first ten EL schools and is the only original EL school still operating with the EL model. 

Cornerstone of a King Education:




At King, students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. In order for students to take risks and challenge themselves to grow every day, teachers must know and understand each student’s challenges and strengths. Students at King are often asked to leave their comfort zone and take on challenges by choice.

At King, we model, teach, and assess habits that strengthen students’ positive character traits. Development of the character traits of Respect, Responsibility, and Perseverance is a cornerstone of a King education. These Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) are assessed separately from academics. We also teach and reinforce Habits of Character, which are common school-wide expectations.

We guide students in developing an academic mindset to support them to take academic risks and to grow, and we incorporate the mindset statements into all aspects of the learning experience at King. Students reflect and set goals connected to each mindset. The academic mindsets we have adopted are: 

  • I can succeed at this
  • My ability and confidence grow with my effort
  • This work has value to me
  • I belong to this academic community

Mission and Vision

To awaken our students to the possibilities around them, as leaders in their own learning. To instill a sense of wonder and personal agency that can only be achieved through the exploration of real-world challenges and their potential solutions. To accept students as they are, and in so doing, encourage them to discover their best selves.