(Maine DOE) Getting to Know Community Schools in Maine: Welcome to Cape Cod Hill Community School

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Read the full spotlight from Maine DOE here.

“Nestled in the woods off a back road in western Maine you will find Cape Cod Community School. Part of the Regional School Unit (RSU) 9 of the Mount Blue area, Cape Cod Hill takes a different approach to serving its community. It is one of just a handful of Community Schools located in Maine.

A community school model, as defined by the Coalition for Community Schools, is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Community schools exist in all regions of the United States and their numbers are growing fast.

In Maine, the community school model was first recognized by Maine Legislative Action of the First Regular Session of the 127th Legislature (2015-2016), in the budget bill Public Law 2015, chapter 267. At that time, the Maine DOE was authorized to fund a limited number of community schools, established under 20-A MRSA Chapter 333. Currently, three schools in Maine receive funding from the Maine Department of Education (DOE) to support their community school strategies: the Gerald E. Talbot School in Portland, Old Town Elementary School in Old Town, and the Cape Cod Hill Community School in New Sharon.

In its second year of implementation, Cape Cod Hill Community School has already put a lot of resources and strategies into place with big plans for many more to follow. Principal Carol Kiesman along with Social Worker Amanda Clark and School Nurse Jesstine Meader are the force behind these big changes and they work as a team to tackle the role of Community School Coordinator. An essential part of the success of a community school.

To accomplish a community school model, the team at Cape Cod Hill has garnered countless resources through ongoing partnerships throughout the Franklin County region and beyond to offer students and their families support beyond academics. Resources like behavioral health by way of counseling services for families and children through an outpatient counselor who comes to the school to see children in addition to case management through Maine Behavioral Health Organization. Also now available are dental health services offered to every child right at school, food and nutrition resources available through the school’s food pantry, and many more partnerships that bring in community members, resources, and services that benefit students and families.”

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