Saco - As soon as next year, RSU 23 educators will have a new tool for evaluating student achievement.
LD 1290, an act to encourage high school students to complete community service, was introduced by Rep. Justin Chenette of Saco with the purpose of enabling students to be evaluated using an additional pathway. The bill will put community service on the list of traditional academic measurements for graduation which currently includes examinations, quizzes, performances, and student portfolios.
There are wide-ranging benefits and skill sets learned for students who volunteer or have some form of service learning in the classroom, including higher academic achievement, enhanced problem solving skills and increased civic engagement.
“It’s nice to Democrats and Republicans coming together, unanimously, on such an important issue like reforming our education system. This offers an opportunity for students to learn important soft skills sets applicable to the real world via hands-on experiential service learning," says Rep. Chenette.
In 2017, new graduation standards will be in place that creates multiple pathways for students to chose. This initiative aims to complement the transition into those new diploma requirements.
The bill recently passed by both the House and Senate unanimously.
UPDATE: Bill becomes law with the Governor's signature.