Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Isolated, rural community 'wrapped itself around education' and found success for students

A rural, K-12 school in Maine regularly graduates all of its 15 to 20 seniors, reports Kelley Bouchard of the Portland Press Herald. Forest Hills Consolidated School, near the Quebec border, is a model for educators in the state who are looking to replicate the school's success in larger, urban districts. The graduation rate is attributed to officials and town leaders who worked together to tie academic programs more closely to student, parent and community needs, and to involve residents of all ages and interests in school and town events. The community the school serves, Jackman, has a 50 percent poverty rate, but 98 percent of the graduates since 2003 have attended post-secondary schools. (MapQuest image)

Peter Geiger, a member of the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education and a former chairman of the State Board of Education, told the Press Herald, "The community has wrapped itself around education ... They want their kids to go somewhere and be something, whether or not they come back. They want what's best for the kids because they realize that's what's best for the community. They really have thought it through." (Read more)

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