Welcome to RSU 14!
RSU 14 serves approximately 3100 students and 725 employees representing the communities of Windham and Raymond. We are located in the heart of the beautiful Sebago Lake region of Cumberland County and a short commute from Portland - the largest city in Maine. Portland, located on the Maine coast, is set on a peninsula extending into Casco Bay and surrounded by many viable islands. The city has numerous arts and cultural activities, including many excellent and diverse restaurant choices. We are the sixth largest school system in the State of Maine. I would like to personally welcome you to our school district and unquestionably see you as an important partner as we embark on another important school year.
Since my arrival in 2002 as Superintendent, I have continued to be very fortunate to have worked alongside an administrative team that I believe is second to none. Every five years our school communities develop a new subsequent strategic plan which has been helpful with ensuring that we remain focused on the needs of our students. I have remained excited about the work of this district and how the RSU 14 wider school community has come together with preparing all learners for the future.
Looking ahead, I constantly see our mission statement, “Success for All” to be in the forefront of our work. Our current strategic plan, which had extensive input designing for the future, has been at the heart of our work by adhering to the following goals.
- Design for Learning:
All RSU 14 students will be engaged in authentic, personalized learning experiences to master standards through multiple pathways.
- Environment for Learning:
All RSU 14 students will continue to learn in a school environment that meets the developmental needs of learners and supports both the quality of life for all members of the learning community.
- Technology for Learning:
By 2021, all members of the RSU 14 community will be proficient users of technology and will have consistent and equitable users to the technology needed to support mastery of personalized learning goals.
To learn more about our Strategic Plan>
We continue to celebrate Windham High School’s graduation rate as being one of the highest as compared to districts in Maine with a student population over 3000. Our graduation rate is 90.2% - the state average is 87.5%. Recently, our decennial accreditation process was acknowledged by the Committee on Public Secondary Schools at its June 24, 2018 meeting. The committee was impressed with many of our programs and services and commended us on the following:
- the efforts of the school community to ensure that all students experience academic and social success in a positive learning environment
- the positive energy and support for the aspirational message presented in the school's mission and vision statement
- the effort of the faculty to implement a Habits of Work rubric to provide feedback to all students
- the hiring of a coach to support the development of curriculum and assessment practices aligned to proficiency-based learning
- the staffing, resources, technology, supplies, and materials that provide students with a comprehensive educational experience
- the efforts of the district curriculum coordinator to create a comprehensive, articulated K-12 curriculum
- the commitment to offer students choice, in both topics they wish to study and the format in which to demonstrate understanding
- the focus on engaging students in self-assessment and reflection that is used to improved student work
- the use of varied assessment strategies to allow students to demonstrate learning in a variety of ways
- the emerging efforts to provide students both proficiency-based and traditional grades to create a more robust picture of student achievement
As well, the Committee was pleased to note the following:
- the safe, positive, and supportive culture that reflects a sense of pride and shared ownership
- the collaborative efforts of the superintendent, board of education, and administration to provide opportunities for all students to achieve 21st century learning experiences
- the instructional leadership of the principal who models the school's core values and beliefs
- the comprehensive range of support services that address student needs
- the proactive outreach by support services staff to meet the needs of all students the clear and consistent efforts to create and maintain a clean, safe, and efficient school
- the school site and plant which consistently support the delivery of high quality school programs and services
- the creation of innovative school programs and community partnerships that benefit all students
- the development and implementation of a long-range plan that addresses programs and services, enrollment changes and staffing needs, facility needs, technology and capital improvements
There is never one determining factor or set criteria of what makes a great high school successful. All our schools in the district collaborate in a manner where we work from the belief that the Eight Principles of Student-Centered Proficiency Based Instruction occurs throughout the K-Adult system. Listed below are the Eight Principles of Effective Instruction.
- Build on the knowledge learners bring to sessions. Effective teachers and trainers assess and use prior learning and adapt their teaching to the needs of the learners.
- Expose and discuss common misconceptions. Effective teachers and trainers systematically expose, challenge and discuss common mistakes and misconceptions.
- Develop effective questioning. Effective teachers and trainers use a variety of lower-level and higher-level open questions rather than a continuous diet of closed recall questions.
- Use cooperative small group work. Effective teachers and trainers use cooperative small group work so that all learners are able to discuss important ideas. This has positive effects on learning, social skills and self-esteem.
- Emphasise methods rather than answers. Effective teachers and trainers do not worry too much about whether or not learners complete every task, but instead they try to increase the power of learners to explain and use mathematical ideas.
- Use rich collaborative tasks. Effective teachers and trainers use rich collaborative tasks that:
- are accessible and extendable,
- allow learners to make decisions,
- involve learners in testing, proving, explaining, reflecting, interpreting,
- promote discussion and communication,
- encourage originality and invention,
- encourage ‘what if?’ and ‘what if not?’ questions,
- are enjoyable and contain the opportunity for surprise.
- Create connections between mathematical topics. Effective teachers and trainers use activities that create connections between closely related concepts and notations (such as division, fraction and ratio).
- Use technology in appropriate ways. Effective teachers and trainers use technology to present mathematical concepts in dynamic, visually exciting ways that engage and motivate learners.
If at any time I can be of assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to me. It has been a pleasure working with the greater RSU 14 communities and I feel most grateful that both Windham and Raymond Communities work hard at supporting our students to ensure that we are preparing them for the 21st century.
Sanford J. Prince IV