Cascade Brook School is a grades 3-5 school in Farmington, Maine. There are 298 students taught by 12 teachers and 15 educational technicians. They have a 58% free and reduced lunch rate and a 22% special education population. This is the first year that Cascade Brook is a grades 3-5 school, up until now this year they were a grades 4-6 school.
When you first walk in to Cascade Brook School, you find yourself looking at a beautiful mural of the surrounding area painted on the walls of the entrance leading to the large staircase going to the upstairs classrooms. The walls of each grade-specific wing are colored with different pieces of student art. I asked the principal, Nichole Goodspeed, what makes her school great and she said confidently, “The kids are respectful and happy. They want to come to school because they know their teachers care about them.”
This is exactly what I experienced when walking through the school. Even though Cascade Brook houses a full Lifeskills Program and the District Behavior Program, when I walked into different classrooms, all of the students were engaged in their learning. I asked one group of third grade students about their school, and they said that Cascade Brook School was “Awesome,” “Cool,” “Spectacular,” and one of the best responses, “We are bully free.”
The staff and students of Cascade Brook School celebrate hard work and good behavior on a regular basis. They have PBIS celebrations every week where kids get recognized doing things well in their school. The Civil Rights Team is an important piece of the school culture as well.
Music also plays a unique role in the school. All third grade students are taught how to play the violin. Fourth grade students participate in orchestra and then the fifth grade students get to choose what they want to play in band.
In order to meet the math needs of the students, Dr. Goodspeed has blocked the same time in the master schedule for each grade to teach math. This allows for additional support to be used in the classrooms while they teach the Engage New York Math curriculum. They have seen benefits in student growth due to the restructuring of the math block.
Cascade Brook School looks to meet the needs of the whole child: mental, emotional, musical, academic, and physical. They are fortunate to have a full size gym that many in the area wish they had. They also have outside trails that lead to an outdoor classroom.
If you want to walk into a school and feel instantly welcomed, than I highly encourage you to visit Cascade Brook School.
Contact: 162 Learning Lane, Farmington, ME 04938
Principal: Nichole Goodspeed