Friday was the deadline for the 10 persistently lowest-performing schools in Maine to submit plans to share $12 million in federal school-improvement funding.

Seven of the 10 schools decided to take the reform money, according to David Connerty-Marin, spokesman for the Maine Department of Education.

The accepting schools are: Riverton Community in Portland, Deer Isle-Stonington High, Longley Elementary in Lewiston, Sumner Memorial High in Sullivan, Carrabec High in North Anson, Lake Region High in Naples and Livermore Falls High.

Three schools turned the money down: Houlton High, Hodgdon High and Madison Area High.

To get the money, districts had to submit aggressive, three-year school improvement plans that include replacing the principal if he or she has been on the job for three or more years.

Some principals were already planning to leave their positions, including those at Carrabec and Livermore Falls, Connerty-Marin said.

Others weren’t, including principals at Longley and Lake Region.

Principals at Riverton and Deer Isle-Stonington were exempt from being removed.

When the 10 Maine schools were announced in March, they were eligible to share $12 million in federal grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

However, because some schools declined the funding, the Maine Department of Education set aside $3 million of the amount to be available for grants next year, when the state announces a revised list of 10 persistently lowest-performing schools.

As a result, the seven schools that submitted improvement plans this year will share $9 million in federal funding, Connerty-Marin said.

The amount of their individual awards will be announced by the end of June.

Many schools on the list this year could be on the list again next year, Connerty-Marin said. The state used a complicated formula to identify them.

The 10 schools scored lowest among 98 across Maine that:

Receive or are eligible for federal Title I funding for underprivileged students.

•  Have demonstrated low reading and math proficiency on annual tests over three years.

•  Fell below the state average in making progress during that period.

Besides replacing the principal, school improvement plans typically call for more one-on-one instruction for struggling students, extended learning opportunities after school or in the summer, targeted professional development for teachers and administrators, and increased use of test results to improve instruction.

 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

[email protected]When the 10 Maine schools were announced in March, they were eligible to share $12 million in federal grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.