Conners-Emerson School – Bar Harbor, ME

Award Year 2017

Exemplary High Performing Schools

Conners-Emerson School

11 Eagle Lake Road
Bar Harbor, ME, 04609-1043

(207) 288-3631

Ms. Barbara A. Neilly M.Ed, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Bar Harbor School District

School Website

School YouTube


Student Demographics

  • Black/African American: 3%
  • White: 86%
  • Hispanic: 3%
  • Asian: 5%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • ELL: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 19%


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Kindergarten naturalists exploring their environment.

Kindergarten naturalists exploring their environment.


Conners-Emerson School (CES) is located in the town of Bar Harbor, on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine. The year-round population of 5,000 swells to 20,000 during the summer months. With an enrollment of 376 students in grades K-8, the ethnic majority is white, with 14% of our students sharing different ethnic backgrounds. We have students who are bilingual and trilingual representing a variety of countries and cultures. One in five students qualifies for free and reduced lunch status. In addition, 19% of our students receive special education services, while 14% are identified for Gifted and Talented programs.

Our school community has embraced the importance of strengthening the connection between local resources and students' learning. As a staff, we want to help our students learn from and about their community, creating engaging place-based learning in fine arts, STEM, literature and humanities. We have created strong community partnerships with many organizations and incorporated their expertise in our curriculum. Examples include, our bacteriology unit with scientists from Jackson Laboratory, our greenhouse/Food Revolution activities with students from the College of the Atlantic and our native heritage through the Abbe Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian. We value learning experiences in alternative settings, which local resources provide, allowing the school to become a model for other schools in our area.

Success looks different for all students and our staff prides itself on looking at students as individuals. Our mission is to have students leave the Conners-Emerson School, as independent learners, confident in their abilities to participate in the wider communities in which they live.