New England Secondary School Consortium

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  • How Deer Isle-Stonington High School Keeps Kids in School

    Three hours from Portland, Maine, and two hours from the state capital of Augusta, picturesque Deer Isle has two towns on it (Deer Isle and Stonington), a combined year-round population of about 2,500 people, and not a single fast-food chain—or any chain store for that matter. Those who live beyond the narrow, turquoise suspension bridge connecting Deer Isle to the mainland are called PFAs (“people from away”), even if they work or attend school on the island.

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  • Three Key Components of School-Community Engagement

    In Pittsfield, New Hampshire, community members have been involved in articulating our schools’ values, vision, and mission; in developing our long-term plan for school redesign; in redefining our professional roles; in managing our continuous improvement systems; and more. Still, we’re missing the mark in creating spaces for deep and broad engagement for all our families and community members.

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    Harwood Union High School Takes Student Voice to Heart

    On a winding road in rural New England, students are pushing the boundaries of their power to shape the way they learn and how their school runs. Unlike most American high schools, student leadership at Harwood Union High School isn't limited to campaigns for cleaner bathrooms or better cafeteria food. Here, teenagers are deeply involved in shaping the pillars of school life, from the daily class schedule to the styles of teaching and learning that work best for them.

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  • How Selective Colleges and Universities Evaluate Proficiency-Based High School Transcripts

    The movement toward proficiency-based learning is gaining momentum at secondary schools across New England and beyond. Proficiency-based learning is the system of instruction, assessment and grading based on demonstration of skills that meet performance standards or “proficiencies.” The goal of proficiency-based learning is to better prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in higher education and 21st century careers.

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  • “Can You Hear Me?!”: The Power of Student Voice

    The ice breaker seemed simple enough.There were eight pictures of students placed throughout the room along with quotes from them on the importance of having their voice heard. Participants were asked to stand near the student whose quote...

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  • When Kids Lead Their Parent-Teacher Conferences

    Pushing up the cuffs of his plaid shirt and adjusting his glasses, the ninth-grader Colton Gaudette looks across the small classroom conference table. “Welcome to my student-led conference,” he says. “Thank you for inviting me,” answers his mother, Terry Gaudette, sitting next to Colton’s adviser and biology teacher.

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