Introduction to CBHS

EL Credentialing
Casco Bay High School for Expeditionary Learning

Dear Credentialing Evaluation Team, 

We are a school with a soul.  We are a culture of teachers, administrators and staff who deeply believe that every single student who walks through our doors has what it takes to succeed, that every single student is the student of every single teacher. We also believe that every single student who joins their freshman crew, who grapples with standards based grading, who works to find him or herself within the context of Casco Bay High School and their own lives has what it takes to get smart to do good.    

What you will find in the subsequent pages of this website and the evidence we have gathered for our credentialing are our best efforts to demonstrate who we are.  What is more difficult to demonstrate is why and how students report that they "feel safe at school", that crew is their school family, or that they want to be accepted into college, in part, so that they can "Move on Up.  Students perceive going on quests and junior journey, presenting freshman finale, sophomore passage and final word as essential parts of their Casco Bay education; it's what makes Casco Bay, and helps make each student, distinct.  This is a school where students will cheer one another on during a moment of faltering or hesitation in a school meeting presentation, where seniors can't wait to "get" the freshman to whom they will write their letter on senior quest.  This is a school where being who you are is an honor, privilege and a goal, where students hold other students accountable for maintaining a culture of community and compassion, where parents clamber for their eighth grader to win the lottery, and where community experts are willing and excited to donate their time and expertise to our students and teachers year after year.  

This is a school that is transformational for its teachers as well, a school where there is a true sharing of practice, an intentional culture of trust, and an interdependence between teachers, content areas and curricula that has become foundational to our staff culture.  It is also this team mentality that has become the driving force and system of checks and balances for teachers striving towards mastering and implementing their best practice - a growth mindset among teachers - modeling for our students what we want them to do.  

As we finished our 10th year as as school, we had an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the first decade of CBHS.  For the coming school year, we consciously chose to stick with an emphasis on preserving, deepening, and growing.  We know we need to use more complex texts more regularly with students, to continue to support all student to make evidence based claims, and to help even more students earn HOW honor roll before they graduate.  Luckily we have clarity of purpose, a shared vision of success, and a commitment to help each other make progress.  

In gathering and choosing the illustrative pieces that best support credentialing criteria, we struggled to encapsulate - in 8 pieces of evidence - all aspects of who we truly are.  We hope that what we have chosen gives you a window into what we try to accomplish in the classroom and beyond and the successes that we've had in doing so.  We know that there are volumes more about who we are and what we do that hasn't made it onto these pages.  Thank you very much for your time and consideration of what we have gathered to share. 

Nancy Hagstrom and Ben Donaldson 
Faculty Leads
CBHS Credentialing Process 2014 - 2015