Rural Aspirations Project
Expanding Educational Opportunities in Rural Maine
Telstar Middle/High Schools
The Telstar Freshman Academy was designed in 2015 to support the transition from 8th grade to high school, and to provide students with an opportunity to experience project/place-based educational practices. Their curriculum centers around 1 question "What is my Impact?" Students explore this question throughout their courses, and engage with community partners to enhance learning and to provide students with an authentic audience to share their accomplishments. Rural Aspirations was involved in the development of this curriculum and at different points since their launch, we have reached out to assist them as their ideas and practices have evolved to meet the changing needs of their population.
The 7 Peaks Program began with the Multiple Pathways initiative supported by GEAR UP in 2018. This program is designed to support student post-secondary opportunity and aspirations and has evolved to encompass programming for grades 6-12 culminating in a Senior Capstone project completed before graduation. Telstar’s 7 Peaks Program leads students toward demonstrating and showcasing academic and social/emotional growth throughout their middle and high school experiences. Rural Aspirations has worked with teachers at all grade levels to create curricular outlines for each grade. Each grade level is guided by an essential question.
What Telstar Has to Say
"I have had the privilege of working with Korah Soll in both the middle school and high school with the Gear Up grant, our work with Portrait of a Graduate, and other pd initiatives all either during the school year or over the summers. Our time with Korah has helped us to develop new programs and curriculum, school wide initiatives, and support teachers in attaining ideas they have for their own classrooms into actual teaching product. It has allowed us to craft an identity and sense of community for our school at the same time.
Korah is able to take a day or days worth of hodgepodge notes, ideas and information and craft it into a cohesive and comprehensive plan that is then something that can be shared out with staff, students and parents that feels so attainable and productive. There are so many things we could not have accomplished without Korah's assistance and partnership."
- Mark Kenny, Telstar MS/HS Principal