The Peninsula K-8 School in coastal Maine is another fascinating case of rural school improvement. A product of multiple district’s consolidating, this new school opened in 2009; about 2/3 of its students qualify for free and reduced price lunch (FRL).
Among other strategies, it has a common reading and math curriculum K-8, organizes teachers into collaborate work groups, and has a “watch” list for any student performing in the bottom half, who first get individual tutoring, then small group tutoring, and then extended day and summer school extra help. Results are especially impressive for the FRL students.
Etna-Dixmont PK-8 School served 256 students in grades PK-8 during the 2013-2014 school year. The school is located in a mid-Maine rural community that has experienced economic decline as mills, a tannery and a large MBNA calling center exited the area over the past decade.
As a result, the unemployment and poverty rates are high. Sixty-eight percent of students qualify for free or reduced priced lunch, a number that has been on the rise in recent years, even though school enrollments have held steady.
Despite these conditions, student performance has improved dramatically in several subject areas and multiple grade levels. This case tells how Etna-Dixmont made these impressive performance gains.
Most cases of schools that dramatically improve student performance profile urban or suburban schools. Central Aroostook Jr High School is located in rural, northern Maine, up close to the Canadian border. What the school has done is fascinating, and reflects the strategy for improvement that is embedded in the firm’s Evidence-Based adequacy model.