DISHS Receives Planning Grant to Support Student's College and Career Planning

Post date: Nov 29, 2012 1:14:16 AM

One of the major goals of Deer Isle-Stonington High School has been to prepare each of its students to pursue any post-secondary option they choose. The high school hopes to graduate students who are ready for both college and career. To help achieve that goal, DISHS has been awarded a $3,000 planning grant from the MELMAC Education Foundation. The planning grant will cover the school’s expenses as it applies for MELMAC’s “Connect Aspirations to a Plan” grant. If the planning grant process is successful, Deer Isle-Stonington High School will receive $35,000 over four years to help students connect their post-secondary aspirations with a thoughtful post-secondary plan.

According to its website, since 2003 “the MELMAC Education Foundation has provided funding to assist Maine high schools (public and private), vocational centers, adult education programs and non-profit organizations in adopting best practices from proven college access programs.” MELMAC broadly defines post-secondary education as any two- or four-year college, the military, and certificate programs. MELMAC has awarded over $5.8 million as part of its Connect Aspirations to a Plan grants.

The planning grant will cover meeting expenses during the grant writing process as well as allowing four members of the grant writing committee to attend a conference to learn about effective college access programs. The planning grant will also fund a parent survey to collect information concerning the needs of local families in helping students make and follow through on a post-secondary plan.

The grant committee is led by guidance counselor Sandy Robinson and is composed of marine trades teacher Tom Duym, learning center coordinator Amanda Poyant, student services secretary Susan Siebert, high school principal Todd West, 2012 graduate Emma Merritt, and community members Kim Hutchinson (Project Launch) and Amy Vaughn (Ready By 21). Monthly meetings will be held to compile information from the parent survey and integrate that information with the requirements of the grant. In addition, significant support from a MELMAC coach will be provided to implement practices proven to be successful in increasing the percentage of students being prepared for attending college as well as other forms of training that result in employability skills.