Brittiny-Rae Perron was headed for a career in medicine when an internship at the Perkins School for the Blind outside Boston changed her career trajectory. Brittiny-Rae discusses with Aaron Churchill how her experiences with Teach for America in Nashville followed by teaching in a charter school network honed her ability to apply flexible education models that meet the individual learning needs of some of Maine’s youngest students. Now Director of Acadia Academy in Lewiston/Auburn, Brittiny describes innovative approaches to learning at the Pre-K to sixth grade programs.
Innovative take-aways include:
- Acadia was one of the first public schools to place focus on the social and emotional learning of the full child. That goal included creating a curriculum that was hands-on experiential learning.
- The curriculum was developed drawing from successful models from charters across the country. Key to the success is cross-grad grouping support so that students are grouped based on assessments which allow instructors to scaffold appropriate learning that will engage them and reward them with demonstrable success.
- Each child is assessed every six weeks to measure progress and adjust curriculum to their need.
- Acadia runs on a “mastery-based” approach to learning while adhering to all State requirements
- Acadia runs a program through the summer to avoid learning loss. The summer program is optional but more than 96% of the parents take advantage of it. Summer offers more time for students to choose their interest and teachers develop a cross-curricular program to deepen their intellectual curiosity.
Brittiny-Rae’s message to educators and legislators is the importance of providing parents with agency over their child’s education at Acadia is done n ways that cannot typically be done in district schools.to allow for expansion of more charters and charter-like schools within the system. Given the double oversight from the Charter Commission as well as the DOE, these programs are carefully monitored and prove models for success.