Maine DOE awards 3 additional EMBRACE grants for regional efficiency initiatives

Augusta – The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today announced 3 additional grant awards for collaborative initiatives undertaken by schools and educational agencies as part of a statewide regional opportunity and efficiency initiative called EMBRACE.

Group
Left to right: Tonya Arnold, Principal at Maine Academy of Natural Sciences; Travis Works, Executive Director/Principal at Cornville; Lyford Beverage, Superintendent of RSU 74; and Ken Coville, President/Director of Development at Good Will-Hinkley. .

In April, 7 grants totaling nearly $3 million in funds were originally announced kicking off the EMBRACE initiative: Enabling Maine students to Benefit from Regional And Coordinated approaches to Education. The effort is part of a growing focus on improving education services while saving local costs by encouraging regional partnering.

The chance to apply for the Educational Efficiencies and Opportunities Grant was offered by the Maine DOE earlier this year in response to Executive Order 2017-001 issued by Governor LePage promoting Regional Efforts to Achieve Efficiencies in Delivering Educational Services.

To apply, school districts and neighboring educational units proposed plans that would help save cost by working together on initiatives that could create new opportunities for students while reducing cost. The grant proposal resulted in 21 applications with an array of cost saving plans to benefit Maine students.

Today 3 more regional efficiency projects will be awarded close to $1.5 million in additional funding. The new projects involve several new sites, bringing the total to 10 grants awards, with more than 60 sites throughout Maine involved in the EMBRACE initiative.

Below is a list of the 3 additional projects that will receive grant funds.

Kennebec Valley STEM Collaborative Outreach

Towns/Schools: Lead – MSAD 74/RSU 74 (Anson, Solon, Embden, New Portland). Partners – MSAD 13/RSU 83 (Bingham, Moscow) MSAD #59/RSU #59 (Madison), Somerset Career and Technical Center (Skowhegan)

Description: The three districts plan to introduce, enhance, and expand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at the middle level by creating a STEM outreach project/program that targets the needs of all students from at-risk to gifted and talented. This outreach project will align the STEM curriculum with the progression of local PK-12 standards. The project will employ a STEM Coach to work with teachers to promote goals such as – emphasizing STEM higher level thinking, explore STEM career pathways, promote student engagement, and to increase enrollment in science, math, and technology courses in high school.

Grant Amount: 130,000
Projected Savings: $1,176,000

Western Maine Regional Education Program

Towns/Schools: Lead – RSU 10 (Buckfield, Byron, Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Hanover, Hartford, Mexico, Peru, Roxbury, Rumford,  and Sumner) Partners – RSU 9 (Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienne, Weld, Wilton), MSAD 44 (Bethel, Greenwood, Newry, Woodstock), RSU 56 (Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, and Peru), RSU 58 (Phillips, Avon, Kingfield, and Strong), RSU 73 (Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls), RSU 78 (Dallas Plantation, Magalloway Plantation, Rangeley, Rangeley Plantation and Sandy River Plantation).

Description: This project will support the development of a regional education program that will serve students (K-12) who are in need of a therapeutic educational setting. The program treatment model will include family work and community collaboration in order to support students achieving meaningful outcomes in the least restrictive educational environment. While students are attending the program, academic and treatment goals focus on reintegration and participation with nondisabled peers.

Grant Amount: 798,000
Projected Savings: $3,168,890

Shared Services Model

Towns/Schools: Lead – Maine Academy for Natural Sciences (Fairfield) Partners – Cornville Regional Charter School (Cornville), Snow Pond Arts Academy (Sidney) and Snow Pond Center for the Arts (non-profit), and Good Will Hinckley (non-profit).

Description:

  • Share budgeting, financial reporting, federal grant management, payroll and human resource functions.
  • Hire a shared Collaboration Coordinator to work with participating schools to assess needs, identify service options, and implement services to meet those needs.
  • Collaborate on communication technology plans and tools.
  • Share student transportation services.
  • Share special education administration and evaluation services.
  • Create a shared sustainable residential and learning space for international and out-of-state students using a model similar currently used by private and public schools in Maine.

Tentative Grant Amount: $549,794.50
Projected Savings: $2,942,782

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