The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today awarded $1.2 million in Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) funding to support education innovation in six School Administrative Units across Maine. These funds will be used to support projects focused on workforce development, environmental stewardship, outdoor education, a marine institute, and internship opportunities as well as supporting unique approaches to remote learning.
Awardees for this second round of RREV funding include East Grand School in Danforth, Belfast Area High School, Portland School Department, Telstar High School in Bethel, RSU 22 in Hampden, and RSU 25 in Bucksport.
“Education is changing in so many new and exciting ways, and we should be at the forefront, introducing our children to the great outdoors and offering them hands-on experiences outside the classroom that will spark new perspectives, engender new friendships, and deliver new skills,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Using these federal enrichment funds, creative Maine educators can get children outdoors this summer, exposing them to lived experiences that will get them ready for life and new careers.”
“Educators in Maine are constantly paving the way with their innovation and creativity, and RREV offers a way to supercharge these efforts,” said Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “We’re excited to invest in these educator-led projects to rethink teaching and learning in ways that deepen student engagement, expand beyond the traditional classroom, connect students with Maine’s bounty of natural resources, and allow them to explore career paths that fuel their passions.”
The Maine DOE was awarded $16.9 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rethink K-12 Education Models Funding. As one of 11 States to receive funding, Maine created RREV to support the work of visionary educators to develop innovative pilot programs around remote and outside of the classroom learning. RREV is flooding Maine with innovative practices, professional development, and pilot design classes. Courses in innovative design process are available through several of Maine’s public and private universities at no cost to Maine educators who wish to participate. In addition to the innovative pilot development classes, the Department is also offering asynchronous, innovative principles webinars which are available to all educators in self-paced, independent modules.
The first round of nine RREV pilots were announced last fall with an initial investment of more than $2 million to support projects including expanded outdoor learning, a makerspace, hiring an Outdoor Learning Coordinator, expanded internships, service learning, and work/study opportunities, and engaging remote learning pathways. MSAD 17, Brewer School Department, MSAD #28, RSU 89 Katahdin Schools, Mt Blue HS/ Foster Technology School, Harpswell Coastal Academy, Noble High School, MSAD 60, St. George Municipal School Unit, and School Union #76 were all part of the first round of pilots.
“At St. George School, we dare to dream big. For over 5 years, our school community has been working to bring the trades, technology, and innovation back to the heart of public education and allow all students, grades K-8, to engage in hands-on/minds-on projects,” said St. George MSU Superintendent Mike Felton, part of the first round of RREV pilots. “The RREV Program believes in the power of local schools and communities to shape their future and isn’t afraid when a small school dreams big. RREV’s support, assistance, and encouragement will help make our dream of a St. George K-8 Career Technical Education/Makerspace Building a reality and, in the process, stretch people’s imaginations as to what’s possible in rural education and economic development.”
For more information on how to get involved in RREV and to learn more about the pilots, visit https://www.maine.gov/doe/rrev.
All RREV Pilots: