School support

Congratulations to Bar Harbor’s Conners Emerson School for winning a National Blue Ribbon School award from the U.S. Department of Education. Only three schools in Maine earned that distinction this year, and Connors Emerson is one of very few to win the award twice.

Like all the Mount Desert Island schools, Connors Emerson is a close-knit community where hardworking students, faculty and staff bring out the best in each other.

“Conners Emerson develops life-long learners by emphasizing academic excellence, meaningful and exciting learning activities,” the mission statement of the school says, “and promotion of global awareness, personal and social responsibility, problem-solving, risk taking, cooperation and compassion.”

The town’s taxpayers who support the school, the families and the staff have developed a culture of doing whatever it takes for the kids to be successful. The school employs a social worker in addition to a guidance counselor. The doors open early, and breakfast is available.

Teachers know the students well and know each one needs different support and challenges. A distributed leadership model empowers them to solve problems collaboratively. They also ask for, and engage in, top-level professional development alongside their colleagues across the district.

That commitment has shown results: Conners Emerson has had 95 percent attendance for the last three years. Ninety-eight percent of fifth- through eighth-graders are involved in afterschool activities. And their academic achievement has earned them this “Exemplary High Performing School” commendation.

How exciting to receive outside validation for what we, here, have known all along!

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