RSU 22 joins plan for regional alternative school

By Ben Holbrook | Apr 11, 2017

Regional School Unit 22 is one of several districts participating in a project to create an alternative education school for at-risk youth.

According to Maine Department of Education, the project, which was spearheaded by Bangor School Department, would create a regional, alternative education school for seventh- and eighth-graders with plans to expand to include 10th-graders. The proposed cost for the school is $538,235, the Department of Education stated.

The school is being designed for hands-on, experiential learning to “motivate and prepare at-risk youth for successful integration into further learning opportunities at local career and technical education centers and in early college programs."

A grant awarded by the state will help fund the school for its first year. The grant was one of seven awarded as part of a statewide effort to encourage regional partnerships. The initiative, known as EMBRACE (Enabling Maine students to Benefit from Regional and Coordinated approaches to Education), urges school districts to look at ways they can partner to improve public education while also reducing costs.

How much the project will receive in grant funding is unknown at this time as the state is still finalizing those amounts, MDOE said. The department notes that grant recipients will have the opportunity to negotiate on how much money they receive.

More grants could be awarded in the future as funding becomes available.

Gov. Paul LePage, who issued an executive order earlier this year establishing the EMBRACE initiative, has asked for $5 million in the biennial budget to fund additional grants in future years.

 

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