AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Nearly 400 students will attend five charter schools in Maine this fall in the second year since charter schools were authorized by the Legislature.

Three new charter schools will open their doors when classes get underway this week, joining two others that first opened last fall.

The new schools are Harpswell Coastal Academy in Harpswell, Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences in Gray, and Baxter Academy for Technology and Science in Portland. Cornville Regional Charter School in Cornville and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Fairfield are opening for their second year.

A total of 392 students are enrolled in the schools, ranging from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The largest, Baxter Academy, has 135 students enrolled. Fiddlehead School is the smallest, with 42 students.

Maine is the 40th state to allow charter schools, Roger Brainerd, executive director of the Maine Association for Charter Schools, said in a statement. Charter schools are public schools that operate independently of local school districts, offering alternative school choices for students.

"We continue to see success stories form the East Coast to the West Coast, and we are proud that Maine can now contribute to the stories of our students' success through public charter schools," he said.