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RSU 10 adopts learning program timeline
DIXFIELD -- The RSU 10 board adopted a five-year timeline for implementing mass customized learning during a lengthy meeting on May 13.
Nearly all schools in the district have begun using this new philosophy, which calls for students to work at their own pace, often with individual educational plans, to meet the state educational standards.
Superintendent Tom Ward said the process to entirely move to mass customized learning will be slow because the philosophy is very different from traditional education. He added that use of this is widespread, with the middle school teachers being more advanced in applying it.
“MCL is geared toward all students. We are finding out where students are, then moving them forward. Students are very engaged. We don’t have this down 100 percent yet, but we're working through it. Students are very engaged in what they're doing. This is reaching more student because they're finding success and feeling good about themselves,” he said.
Many of the district’s teachers have visited other classrooms around the state where mass customized learning is fully implemented.
“Student reaction have been very positive,” said Ward.
Buckfield Junior-Senior High School teacher Annette Caldwell said parents will become more engaged in the new process once the grading format changes.
Fourth grade teacher Denise Richard said the goals are identifiable and the students know it.
Ward said that because they don't know all the answers, it's hard to communicate to parents how this will work out.
For now, both standards-based and traditional grades will be issued. Once the district is entirely standards-based, then only one set of grades will appear on report cards.
Ward said the timeline is only a goal. "We'd like to tweak and revise as we go. We're going to go slow and do it right."
In other business, the board approved an overnight service learning trip on the Appalachian Trail somewhere between Andover and Rangeley for about a dozen Dirigo High School ninth graders for May 31 to June 1, and an overnight Outing Club adventure soon after school lets out in June.
Approved was an eighth grade class trip for 42 students at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School to Boston for May 30-31.
Approved was an eighth grade day trip for about 60 students at Dirigo Middle School to Boston on May 17.
Approved was a Project Graduation celebration for the 65 to 75 students in the Class of 2013 at Dirigo High School in Dixfield to Sunday River Ski Resort and the Big Adventure Center in Bethel for June 7.
Approved was a Project Graduation celebration for the 100 students in the Class of 2013 at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford to the Boothbay Region YMCA for June 6.
Approved was a Project Graduation celebration for the 42 students in the Class of 2013 at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School to the YMCA and Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston and Flagship Cinema in Auburn for June 8.