Rangeley Lakes Regional School is a K-12 community school that houses 189 students. They have a 43% free and reduced lunch rate and a 17% special education population. The leadership at Rangeley Lakes is unique in that there is a K-8 principal, Charles Brown, who also serves as the high school athletic director and their high school principal, Susan Pratt, is also the Superintendent of Schools. There are 22 teachers and 15 educational technicians.
There are many things that make this school great. One is simply due to the location of the school. Set at the foot of Saddle Back Mountain, Rangeley Lakes Regional School does not have neighboring schools within a close distance. Because of this, they can offer a huge variety of options for such a small school. Advanced Placement, Early College courses, Graphic Arts Courses, work experiences for seniors, and GT/ Title One are just some of the options students have during the school day.
The community is incredibly supportive of the school. The local Rotary Club is involved with the “Student of the Month” club. They will pick up students with their families and take them to lunch to demonstrate their support of hard work and dedication. The PTA and sports boosters are very involved as well. If there is a sporting event, the majority of the community comes to the school to cheer on the students.
Two of the extracurricular activities that Rangeley Lakes Regional School offers to students are the Big Brother/ Big Sister program and the Interact Club. BB/BS matches older students with younger students in the school. This additional support helps the younger students feel good about themselves and what they are doing in the school. The Interact Club is like a Rotary Club at the high school level. They are very involved with the community. One project they did this year was to offer a full meal to the seniors in the town. They cooked, served, and cleaned up after their guests were done eating.
Where there are only 57 students at the high school level, staff are able to individualize courses and instruction for each student. This allows the students to academically grow at their own pace and use student interests as a base to begin the learning process. There are data sheets on each of the students that staff uses on a regular basis in order to provide academically appropriate programming for each of their students. All of the decisions are based on data.
During my visit, I had the opportunity to speak with Taylor, a senior at Rangeley Lakes Regional about her school. She said, “My school is great because of the individualized learning. The teachers are focused on the students and they really care about us. We are small so we are like a close-knit family. The teachers help organize fun things for us like ‘Ski Tuesday’ at Saddleback. I also like working in the community and have an opportunity to give back because they support us so much”
When asked about her Superintendent/Principal, Taylor said, “Mrs. Pratt is really close to the students. She’s out in the hall and in classrooms. She interacts with the kids and she goes to our sporting events. I really like the fact that she has a farm with cows. How many kids can say they know that about their Superintendent?”
Contact: 43 Mendolia Road, Rangeley ME 04970 207-864-3311 HS Principal/Superintendent: Susan Pratt K-8 Principal: Charles Brown