Rotarian John Kaletta, Fort Fairfield Middle/High School (FFMHS) - Principal, recently spoke at a regular weekly meeting addressing some exciting changes at the school.

The first change is the transition from the familiar letter-based grading system, i.e., A, B, C, D, F, to a proficiency-based evaluation system. In a proficiency-based evaluation system students work towards graduation by demonstrating proficiency in subjects rather than accumulating credits to qualify for graduation.

Secondly is the GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) program. GEAR UP’s goal is to prepare students who are economically disadvantaged for postsecondary education by: Increasing academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education; Increasing the rate of high school graduation; Increasing students’ and parents’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing.

Third, FFMHS is collaborating with UMFK in the Rural-U program. The program focuses on students attending high schools in rural communities throughout Maine and strives to increase academic rigor, provide an affordable pathway to college with opportunities for rural high school students to experience college learning and earn college credits, increase post-secondary aspirations for rural Maine students through specific aspirations programs, and increase high school and university collaboration, efficiency, and alignment.

Additionally, there are changes in class scheduling at the school, and a focus on teacher evaluations.