Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor CSD

BRTV videos help BEC reach out to community

Thu, 09/22/2022 - 3:15pm

The Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District Building Exploratory Committee continues to look for feedback from the community on its campus development project. Boothbay Region TV recently published two videos to help with community engagement: One, an interview with Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98 Superintendent Robert Kahler and Boothbay Region High School Principal Tricia Campbell on the BRHS curriculum; the other, a tour, covering existing building conditions.

The two administrators spoke on curricular strengths and goals which will be ongoing whether or not the CSD’s voters decide in May to build a new building. Kahler and Campbell also shared feedback from students and staff on the curricular potential of a new building.

“Teachers are saying, 'How can we take the resources that we have here in this classroom and in the maker spaces and how can I go out to Bigelow and to the local boatyards and to the local businesses … and not only connect the learning, but then expand on those opportunities,'” said Campbell. “The kids are saying, 'How can I take this learning and not only make connections, but then apply them and continue on in my education beyond high school?'”

Kahler said curriculum visioning is playing a large part in the building exploratory process, but also stands alone for the goals educators and students identified regardless of the space where all the learning happens. Some teachers are engaged in professional development with curriculum coordinators through the exploratory process, to later train their peers in best practices, said Campbell. Excitement is building among educators about the future of the BRHS curriculum and a potential new building as they brainstorm how to connect students outward to the region’s variety of industries and vocations and bring those things into the school, she said.

This spring’s increase in funding for BRHS adult education has enabled more programming and flexibility, so the prospect of a new building would enhance that and create potential for other programming, said Kahler. Discussions with Bath Regional Career and Technical Center yielded a desire for marine trade programs relatively nonexistent in the Midcoast, and BRHS might have the potential to host a satellite program, he said.

“There are processes for doing that … We're not interested in building a program that's competing with others. We want to be a complementary community resource … When you talk about place-based learning and is there a need for marine trades, you can't drive by a business without a hiring sign up, so there are a lot of potential examples.”

Campbell and Kahler said the biggest question they get is, “How is a new building going to enhance or add to the education of our kids?” They said the answer lies within a building’s ability to flex with changes in programming, class sizes and general demand of space. Kahler said BRHS graduates have “gone the full range” in their postgraduate endeavors: straight to the workforce, workforce training, trade school and college.

“We hope through these increased community connections and actually seeing it in real life that kids might just decide, 'I'm going to go right into the world of work' and have the confidence and skills to do it,” said Kahler.

Said Campbell, “I think what we have the opportunity to do is to really be a unique school system … to truly build a community-based program.”

The BEC will meet at 5:15 p.m. Sept. 28. For Zoom link information email