LIVERMORE FALLS — Students who enroll in the Progressive Learning
Institute after July 1 must earn 24 credits to get their high school
diplomas, under a revised graduation policy up for a final vote this
summer by the Livermore/Livermore Falls School Board.

Under the revised policy, students must successfully complete four
English classes, three science, one computer literacy, one physical
education, three math, three social studies, including U.S. history,
one health and one fine arts class to graduate. They also need a
portfolio, 200 hours of work, a senior project, community service, a
one-year transition plan and other requirements.

Those enrolled before July 1 must earn 20 credits to get their
diplomas. They will do the same amount of work, but credits are not
assigned to some of it. That’s because the Maine Department of
Education recommended credits be put on some of the institute’s
requirements, such as the one-year transitional plan, Livermore Falls
High School Principal Shawn Lambert said.

“It’s great to have another pathway for the students for which a
regular traditional high school might not always be the right fit,” he
said.

Livermore Falls High School students must earn 24 credits to graduate
by successfully completing four English classes, three science, one
fine arts, one health, three math, three social studies, one physical
education and eight electives.

The two-year-old Progressive Learning Institute serves 16- to
20-year-olds from Livermore, Livermore Falls and Jay who are at risk of
dropping out of high school or have already done so. It’s overseen by
SAD 36 Adult Education Director Carrie Castonguay at the Cedar Street
Learning Complex near the high school.

Students must be referred and go through an admission process, and they
can take as long as necessary to get their diplomas. The state
reimburses the school system for each attendee.

This past school year, 17 earned their diplomas, Castonguay said. As of
July 8, more than a dozen were still working on theirs, she said. Chris
Ellingwood is their teacher.

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