MSAD 28 officials have released a strategic plan which will guide the next four years at the Camden Rockport Elementary School and the Camden Rockport Middle School. The plan is divided into three sections: "Healthy learning environment," "Teaching and learning," and "Effective management of the middle school campus project."

"A significant endeavor during the course of this plan that will impact learning for the rest of this century is the new middle school project. As we embark on the largest construction project in the town's history, we appreciate its importance to our communities," said Superintendent Maria Libby in a letter preceding the strategic plan. Libby also highlighted the importance of maintaining a foundation of educational excellence at both schools.

The new mission statement for the schools within MSAD 28 is "Be Kind. Work Hard. Keep Learning." The core values which the strategic plan aims to reinforce are kindness, grit, responsibility and self-control.

Healthy learning environment

The plan aims to provide school-wide community building activities, while sustaining programs which educate students, as well as assess and support their mental health needs. A hope is that all students take chances and learn from their mistakes, and that the school community as a whole should feel safe and have a sense of belonging.

Included in the plan is a chart of performance goals, in which elementary and middle school students were polled during the previous academic year. Seventy-nine percent of CRES students and 95 percent of CRMS students said they felt safe at school. Sixty-five percent of CRES students and 86 percent of CRMS students said they felt comfortable approaching a teacher if they were upset or needed support. The goal is to have all students agree with these statements in the 2021-2022 year.

Teaching and learning

Maine Educational Assessment data reveals that grade three and grade eight students as a whole performed between the 40 and 60 percent range in English Language Arts last year. Mathematics scores for the two grades were similar; the goal is to have an 80 percent MEA proficiency for both grades in the 2021-2021 academic year.

The strategies the schools plan to implement to increase literacy and math proficiency include developing a sustainable curriculum review system, optimize classroom intervention strategies, and create student-centered assessment practices. The plan's rationale is that "students learn best when engaging in purposeful integrated-learning opportunities that stimulate curiosity."

Management of middle school project

"The district will provide effective and fiscally responsible oversight in the development of the middle school campus project that is sensitive to community needs. This is a complex, high-stakes construction project, with a significant demand on personnel that will leave a profound legacy in our community," reads the document.

This goal of effective management is to be achieved by maintaining relationships with the architects, contractors and committees involved with the construction of the new Camden Rockport Middle School on Knowlton Street, in Camden. The district says that they will use best practices to maintain a safe campus environment during construction, and plan for the move into the new building. Policy and procedures will also be evaluated to improve community access to the project.

The plan's desired outcome is that the community feels welcomed, the project is completed on time and within budget, and that the development process is "as transparent and inclusive as practical." A glossary of terms is also provided which defines the positions of those involved in the project (clerk of the works, commissioning agent, owner's representative) as well as "performance gap" and "student-centered."

Performance or achievement gap is a significant, persistent disparity in academic performance between different groups of students. Student-centered refers to a teaching style which "shifts the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student," and creates autonomous learning and independence.