Bucksport High School recognized for academic excellence

Bucksport High School has been honored as a National BARR School of Academic Excellence. The school has been implementing BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS (or “BARR”), a social emotional learning model that has been proven to decrease educational disparities while increasing achievement for all students.

Bucksport is one of two schools in Maine that has been included in an Investing in Innovation (i3) Development grant, the flagship innovation grant program from the U.S. Department of Education. Noble High School in North Berwick is currently implementing the model. These schools have also been supported in their efforts to implement BARR by private funding from AT&T, the John T. Gorman Foundation and the Harold Alfond Foundation.

The National BARR School of Excellence commendation is reserved only for those BARR schools that have been rigorously evaluated and proven to have strong and sustained academic outcomes, are implementing the model with high fidelity, and have established a culture focused on the development of the whole student. Several other criteria must be met, including having a sustainability program in place for the long term; the willingness to share BARR experience with other schools; and sustained, strong administrative commitment and leadership.

“Bucksport High School has demonstrated that by focusing on the systemic development of powerful relationships, leveraging student data and capitalizing on each student’s individual strengths, all students will increase their academic performance. Bucksport HS and their community exemplify what it means to be a National BARR School of Excellence and are leaders in this imperative school movement,” said Angela Jerabek, the founder of BARR.

The model will be implemented in additional schools in Maine over the next several years through an i3 Validation grant managed by Spurwink Services. Recruitment of both middle and high schools is now underway. For more information about this grant opportunity, contact Susan Savell at ssavell@spurwink.org.