The team at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Maine, has spent over a decade laying the groundwork for multifaceted reforms—including interdisciplinary curriculum, project-based learning, education outside of the classroom walls, and meaningful career exploration—all of which are student-centered and aim to deepen rigorous academics into authentic learning experiences. Nokomis is a traditional open-enrollment regional high school that draws nearly 600 students from eight different towns across the rural RSU19 district—an area covering 400 square miles. Despite the distance, a strong sense of community is notable in the longevity of the staff, several of whom graduated from Nokomis themselves.
This profile of Nokomis from CRPE and the Christensen Institute details the school’s practices that have proven successful, how they have adapted in the face of the pandemic, and how other school communities can begin conversations about adopting similar practices.
Other schools can consider these questions based on the Nokomis model:
- How might educators balance interdisciplinary instruction with grade-level standards for each subject?
- How might high schools develop a professional culture of risk and reflection in an accountability setting?
- How might high schools create flexible pathways for students to design components of their own high school experience?
- How might high schools ensure a balance between dynamism, coherence, and quality in the student experience?
About the Project
Innovation profiles are part of Think Forward New England, a research project focused on how high schools in New England are reimagining learning for adolescents and young adults in the context of COVID-19. Each profile illustrates a school charting a compelling new course for high school education, and aims to spur new questions and conversations among education leaders about emerging from the pandemic with a commitment to reimagining high school.