Rural Aspirations Project
Expanding Educational Opportunities in Rural Maine
Maranacook High School Alternative Program
The Maranacook Alternative Program (MAP) is a program model that provides alternative learners with a creatively individualized educational environment. Academic and 21st-century skills are fostered through experiential, community-based learning challenges. Students foster independence and responsibility by working through effective problem solving and group processing strategies. Most importantly, students gain a deeper understanding of themselves as lifelong learners. Rural Aspirations began working with the MAP staff in 2018. In that time, the program has evolved to have clear programmatic structures and a dynamic curricula that offers students opportunities to meet academic standards in unique ways to maximize student engagement and offer opportunities for students to remediate skills as needed. The Maranacook Alternative Program (MAP) model was designed after an existing model that was created by Korah, Rural Aspirations Founder, over her 16 years serving in public education.
What Maranacook Has to Say
"Working with Korah at Rural Aspirations has been AMAZING. I continue to be amazed at Korah's ability to truly meet us (students, staff, and district) where we are at. We essentially built a new program from the ground up. There were tremendous growing pains, but it has all been worth it.
I feel really proud of the work that we have done with Korah and I don't think we could have done it without her. Korah kept us organized, gave us space and guidance brainstorming, and connected us with resources. We have a beautiful and effective program plan that we continue to fine tune. We also designed our very own curriculum that was approved by our board, yet is truly accessible and meaningful to our alternative learners.
The impact of our work on our school at this point seems to be a window into opportunity, the true impact is to come. My practice has shifted greatly, for the better. As a new teacher I struggled to juggle the district demands, engaging curriculum, meaningful feedback, and student wellbeing. I feel I have developed the confidence and skills to ensure my students needs are at the forefront and provide them with an impactful educational experience that is supported by our wider school community. This is the first year I have noticed a real shift in our students behavior and attitude, I think it has much to do with our confidence in our program plan and curriculum. Our students are taking responsibility for their education and recognizing the supports that are in place here. "
- Kelsey Bickford, Maranacook Community High School Math Teacher