The Power of Principals
The schools of RSU 20 focused on wholesale school improvement, strong principal leadership, and moral courage to engage in conversation about the shift to proficiency based education. Both Troy Howard Middle School (THMS) and Searsport District High School (SDHS) were enthusiastic early adopters and promoters of reforms around standards-based reporting, interventions and formative assessment. Many of the elementary schools of the district moved in that direction as well.
- Overview & Summary. The experience of RSU 20 has been one of individual schools addressing their individual educational needs.
- Case Study: "The Power of Principals"
- Video - Everything in the Building is Tied to a Learning Standard: Academies at Troy Howard Middle School
- The Takeaway. A short conversation with RSU 20 Superintendent Brian Carpenter about the district's journey to a learner-centered education system.
- RSU 20 website
- RSU 20 Strategic Plan (DOC, 308KB). First district-wide strategic five-year plan including standards-based practice.
- Timeline for Implementation (RTF, 719KB)
- Assessment for Learning Basics (RTF, 72KB). Content from slideshow summarizing THMS's approach to Assessment for Learning (2009).
- Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers Overview. A description of formative assessment for students and teachers (THMS 2009). Created by George Tucker, Maine DOE.
- Instructional Decisions (RTF, 40KB). How THMS used information from formative assessments to make instructional decisions.
- Applied Practice Brochure (PDF, 120KB | RTF, 11KB). Flyer for THMS's three-day seminar, "Standards-based Education in Action."
- Implementation: Year Two (RTF, 116KB). Overview of THMS's implementation for year two.
- About Standards-Based Education (RTF, 66KB). Four-page sheet answering the question, what is "Standards-based" education?" Created by THMS Principal Kim Buckheit.
- Demystifying Standards. An essay in four parts written by Gregg Palmer (former principal of SDHS) to explain standards-based education to his community.
- Standards-Based Grading Frequently Asked Questions (RTF, 53KB). FAQs for THMS parents during rollout of standards-based report cards.
- Learning Standards Templates. THMS used these sample templates to describe learning targets in the following areas.
- Breakdown of English Language Arts Targets (RTF, 156KB)
- Four Levels of Achievement (RTF, 40KB). Table describing the four levels of achievement at THMS in English Language Arts.
- Academy Visions (RTF, 44KB). Vision statements for each of the academies created at THMS.
- Academy Restructure Memo (RTF, 110KB). 2010 memo to committee tasked with designing THMS's academy structure.
- Staff Communication (RTF, 105KB). Staff letter about the implementation of academies at THMS.
- Teacher Academy Voice (RTF, 103KB). A form for teachers to fill-out regarding their academy area of interest.
- Academy Work Agenda (RTF, 113KB). Agenda for two-day faculty workshop about implementing academy structure.
- School Reconfiguration Letter (RTF, 46KB). From THMS to parents.
- Student Interest Survey (RTF, 43KB). This survey was used for academy placement at THMS.
- Staff Letter (RTF, 103KB). Letter to THMS staff at beginning of second year of implementation.
- Parent Letter, 2013 (RTF, 51KB). Letter to THMS parents describing third year of implementation.
- Science Customization Letter to Parents (RTF, 38KB). Letter to THMS parents regarding science seminars.
This Center for Best Practice is a collaboration between the Maine Department of Education and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, made possible by the contributions of the Maine schools that share their stories.