PORTLAND — Casco Bay High School has been named one of only six schools in the nation to receive a Student Ownership of Learning Award from the Stupski Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization.
The award, presented in San Francisco on July 27, recognizes schools that are empowering students to enhance their own education. Each recognized school is eligible to receive up to $50,000 in Stupski grants for the next school year.
Casco Bay High received the award for its program, Sustain ME, launched last year to help ninth graders understand issues related to economic and environmental sustainability in Maine.
As part of the program, each freshman researched, wrote, and presented a proposal for improving sustainability at school or in Portland. Proposals ranged from increasing school staffing to organizing a competition to find the city’s “greenest” hamburger.
The Stupski Foundation works to accelerate student achievement in large public school districts across the nation. The group was founded by 1996 by Larry Stupski, former president of Charles Schwab Corporation, and his wife, Joyce Stupski.
The award comes two months after U.S. News & World Report named Casco Bay one of Maine’s top 10 public high schools. Casco Bay ranked eighth in the state according to the magazine’s survey, which evaluated 22,000 schools nationally on the basis of student readiness for college, student/teacher ratios, and other criteria.
Casco Bay, founded in 2005, serves 275 students and is one of four high schools in the Portland Public Schools.
Casco Bay Principal Derek Pierce said, “Recognition from these two, very different organizations underscores our belief that if students are deeply engaged in rigorous, relevant learning expeditions, they will succeed in traditional measures of student achievement such as standardized test scores.
“More importantly, they will create meaningful work that impacts the world.”
Casco Bay High School students and teachers join Principal Derek Pierce (third from right), Portland Public Schools Chief Academic Officer David Galin (second from right) and Portland Board of Public Education Chairwoman Kate Snyder (left) in accepting a Student Ownership of Learning Award from the Stupski Foundation.