York County is a relatively rural county in southern Maine, with one small city, Sanford, and many small towns, separated by miles of open landscape. The only career-technical school in the county is Great Works, a career center attached to Sanford High School. Great Works receives students from six districts across the county for ½ day sessions, every day.
This school organizational concept, which is the most common in Maine, makes it very difficult for students to pursue career-technical educations. MORE ON THIS SOON.
BURLINGTON, VT ELEMENTARY MAGNET SCHOOLS
For years Burlington has searched for district-wide concepts to create socio-economic equity for students in all of its schools. Burlington is a medium sized city with a school district comprised of six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school which includes a regional technical center. For years its elementary schools have been neighborhood schools, with attendance areas based on city wards. Two of its elementary schools, all K-5, are in neighborhoods of lower socio-economic status. The neighborhood school concept results in a separation of students of differing socio-economic backgrounds. Research shows that students of such backgrounds learn faster when learning with peers of balanced socio-economic backgrounds. Burlington wanted to achieve socio-economic equity for all students. The District explored revising attendance areas as well as developing K-2/3-5 sequenced schools with larger attendance areas. None of these proved to be popular or practical.
FRANK LOCKER Educational Planning was called in to lead the development and implementation of the third possibility: elementary magnet schools. The idea is simple: create schools of choice for students and parents. MORE ON THIS SOON.