Continuous improvement in RSU 16

Maine DOE’s Center for Best Practice has released its latest case study, Sustained Change, Continuous Improvement, focusing on the transformational efforts of Regional School Unit 16 (Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland).

This is the sixth of a series of case studies researched and written by the Maine DOE, looking at school districts attempting to implement fundamental changes around proficiency-based education and learner-centered systems. Informed by the Maine DOE strategic plan, Education Evolving: Maine’s Plan For Putting Learners First, these case studies serve as resources for districts implementing proficiency-based diploma policies.

RSU 16’s Poland Regional High School is rightly famed as the first high school in the state to implement standards-based instruction and reporting when it was built in 1999. The case study documents the challenges and successes of the high school as its faculty launch its vision of “the way school ought to be.” More importantly, the case study tracks how the ideals of high school filtered down to the middle school and elementary schools, becoming central to a comprehensive preK-12 system. How did the district and community of RSU 16 craft and maintain this system that has endured for 14 years?

Videos focusing on RSU 16’s Bruce M. Whittier Middle School and Elm Street Elementary School were posted earlier this spring.

Along with the case study itself, the Center for Best Practice has posted an executive summary, a brief interview with PRHS Principal Cari Medd and resources provided by the district that may be of value to other schools implementing similar practices and processes.

This Center for Best Practice is a collaboration between the Maine DOE and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, made possible by the contributions of the Maine schools that share their stories.