ORONO- One high school got a preview of who might be running through the halls next year.
Orono High School hosted its annual Step-Up Day for current eighth graders from different towns around Bangor.
This Step-Up Day was for students who live in a district without a public high school.
The town and district pay tuition to send them to the non-religious school of their choice.
Orono High School Principal Reg Ruhlin said the reason for this Step-Up program or town tuitioning is because of the state’s demographics. He said that while the state’s aging population has increased, the student population has declined.
So, Ruhlin said, town tuitioning ends up being a win-win for students and schools.
“They really get to go and visit and get a taste of the options that are out there, and so for the eighth graders, that’s one of the big benefits. Then for us, we rely and we hope that these students provide a diverse student population for us,” said the principal.
Other Orono High School faculty members said that the energy in the environment and the strong culture is what convinces prospective students to choose their school.
“We have big school offerings that match any school in the area but we’re a small really tight knit community, where there is a lot of pride in our school, tremendously positive student school climate and culture,” Ruhlin said. .