BETHEL — Recently, SAD44 and specifically, Telstar High School were awarded a $250,000 RREV grant. This money was awarded on March 15 of this year and will continue through June of 2023. Telstar’s RREV design team has decided to tackle the idea of developing an experiential pathway that combines our economy, environment, and overall culture so that students can contribute as active citizens.

They call this program L.E.A.P or the Local Ecology and Aspirations Pathway and they hope this can help provide different pathways for students to find certain careers tied to our local economy. This pathway contains multiple courses with lots of variety in the paths they provide. The ambition of L.E.A.P is to help students progress towards and plan their futures. Other goals consist of connecting interested students into local careers, developing a better understanding of our local economy, and strengthening the relationships between teachers and students.

Mrs. Lynch and Mrs. Blauss are the first two teachers piloting this project and will teach the science and social studies portions of the L.E.A.P. class. A goal is that students in their senior year will be encouraged to take on internships with local outdoor-related jobs in the community in the coming years as well. Students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade will be able to help with things such as the outdoor classroom pavilion, construction and planning of the sugar shack, and greenhouse.

These students will also be able to experience day trips to certain places of interest tied to the curriculum. Telstar was one of 6 new sites to get the grant with 6 already having used it. We hope to finish the buildings by the winter of 2022. The grant itself will be used over a 2-year period and will build off of Telstar’s Freshman Academy.

MSAD44 aims to support students in their graduation by offering multiple pathways for them to learn and to develop opportunities and plans for their futures. Currently, one option is for seniors to take Central Maine Community Colleges classes through our dual enrollment pathway. They get high school and college credits for freshman year during their senior year of high school.

For sophomores and up, THS has a partnership with Region 9 and students can take vocational classes that are more hands-on and provide a step-up when thinking about careers in applied technology fields such as culinary arts, nursing, construction, mechanics, and many more.

Thirdly, students follow a path more in line with being college-bound, which involves earning credits the traditional way at the Telstar complex. The L.E.A.P pathway is one additional pathway students will now have the option to take. Telstar is thankful for this grant and all it can help provide for this school!

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