Harpswell Coastal Academy’s approach is one that seeks to eliminate barriers between school and the so-called real world. Students who struggle to see the relevance of what they learn in school can connect much more regularly and effectively with the people, places, and jobs that Maine’s mid-coast offers. Businesses, non-profits and community organizations can both contribute to and benefit from a set of experiences that help will help our young people develop the characteristics that both employers and employees need: resilience, creativity, problem-solving, and flexibility.
Field Work and Project Partners: Case Studies for grades 6-10
We say that our classrooms are “Maine’s shorelines, working waterfronts, forests, and farms” and that Our Partners are “Maine’s educators, entrepreneurs, and community organizations.”
At any given time, HCA students will be engaged in at least one high-profile, “real world” investigation. As a Field Work partner, you (and your business or organization) will be a part of that investigation over time – not just for a day long field trip, though that is possible – but as someone with a stake in the subject being studied and the student learning connected to it.
Internship Partners: Work Experience for Grades 11-12
Part of our mission at HCA is make sure that our young people graduate not just ready for college, but ready for all of the potential paths that might open for them – especially those that may enable them to earn a living on the coast of Maine. Our “Pathways” approach will require each of our high-school students to complete an internship that is meaningful for both the host and the student, and in many cases, we hope they lead to summer part-time and summer employment.
Our enterprise partners are businesses or non-profits where our students have an active, ongoing role that benefits the partner and enables HCA to offer unique experiences to our students. Our students will contribute regular articles to the Harpswell Anchor; work with Two Coves Farm and Veggie Corner to get healthy local food to folks who can’t get to the farmer’s market every week; work with our “Studio in Schools” artists to make and sell crafts.
Mentoring and Tutoring Partners
Plenty of research shows how important it is for young people to have reliable relationships with adults they respect and admire. Rather than patching the cracks after the kids have already fallen through, we think HCA can build on what we know works so that there’ll be fewer cracks in the first place. We’ll use our small size, unique school calendar and the wide and varied experiences of our community to make sure each child is supported to the greatest possible degree. This will not be a one-size fits all approach, but will incorporate the kinds of structures that work:
- After-school support and enrichment: regular, scheduled activities between 3pm and 6pm for all students who are no engaged in sports or outside of school activities.
- Evening and Saturday classes and clubs: Any (properly screened) community member can, with support and training and from HCA staff, offer weekly or weekend classes.
If you are interested in becoming a Community Partner, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.