The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today awarded $2.5 million in Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) funding to support education innovation in twelve school administrative units (SAUs) across Maine. These funds will be used to support educational research and design projects focused on alternative education strategies, interdisciplinary/experiential learning, environmental stewardship, Wabanaki culture and heritage, outdoor education, and internship opportunities, as well as supporting unique approaches to remote learning.
Awardees for this third round of RREV funding include Lee Academy, Brunswick, RSU 21 in Kennebunk, Maine Indian Education, RSU 1 in Bath, Brewer, RSU 71 in Belfast, MSAD 6 in Bonny Eagle, RSU 25 in Bucksport, Falmouth, RSU 20 in Searsport, and Kittery. The first round of RREV investments were made last fall, a second round in March, and total RREV investments now near $6 million.
“RREV investments help fuel educational research and design and the innovation and creativity of Maine educators,” said Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “We’re excited to invest in these educator-led efforts to deepen student engagement through interdisciplinary learning, expand learning beyond the traditional classroom to include the outdoors and environmental stewardship, explore Wabanaki culture and heritage, expand alternative education strategies, and allow students 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, including 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.
“RREV has not only helped us to reinvent how we deliver instruction but how we look at changing education as a whole,” said Renita Ward-Downer, Director of Instruction in Brewer.
“Maine Indian Education’s RREV pilot project will allow us to build a connected and immersive, community-based middle school experience that empowers students to always put first their Wabanaki knowledge,” said Beth Clifford, Curriculum Coordinator for Maine Indian Education. “We are eager to develop place-based and project-based educational experiences that connect learning and communities to increase student engagement and academic outcomes, promote partnerships and collaboration, and deepen our understanding of the world around us. Wabanaki history, culture and life will be a core element of programming.”