In reply to Jack Moran’s letter “Pay heed to burden on taxpayers” (March 17):

I understand that many in Portland are in hard financial times. However, Casco Bay, our expeditionary school, is not a burden, but a privilege to have. I am a student at Casco Bay, and I’ve been in traditional school programs. I’ve never felt more intelligent, safe and part of the community than I have at Casco Bay.

We are doing work that gets us out into the community and the world. This April, the junior class is headed to the Rockaways in New York – using money we’ve raised through fundraisers that we planned, advertised and ran – in order to help with Hurricane Sandy relief and create documentaries telling the stories of the people there.

In order to prepare, we spent about three months working on a public policy proposal to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and then presented to experts in the fields we studied.

As sophomores we raise around $2,000 to fund an aid organization in Africa, and after researching and creating a presentation, we the students vote on the organization that receives the money.

Our school has become so popular that we are being forced to expand to accommodate the demand for our hands-on, community-oriented school. We will have 400 or so students by the end of our expansion and will welcome each of them.

We know our teachers care because they help us through schooling trouble and personal needs, and by their extra time and staying late, we know they care about our schooling and our lives. Our teachers help us apply to colleges and reach our largest goals in life.

Though times are tough for many around Portland, schooling projects that really work are not where costs should be cut.

Delaney Shea

junior, Casco Bay High School

Portland