SeDoMoCha Elementary and Middle Schools are two schools within one building and together they house preK-8 with a total of 676 students who are taught by 52 teachers and 19 educational technicians. They have a 59% free and reduced lunch rate and a 12% special education population.
Named after the four towns that make up the school: Sebec, Dover-Foxcroft, Monson, and Charleston, SeDoMoCha is a school unique to most. Where the two schools are so closely connected, the students have access to each other and the older students can mentor the younger students. They have the opportunity for older students to read or work on math together. As you walk through the school, you can see little learning nooks where students can go and work either independently or in small groups.
“I get to work with the best group of adults and students,” says Principal Julie Kimball, “and we have a very supportive community. We are VERY lucky at SeDoMoCha.”
The elementary teachers have the opportunity to meet 3 times each week while the middle level teachers meet daily. This allows time to talk about the students, their needs, and plan school-wide evens such as “One Book, One School.”
“One Book, One School,” is an opportunity for all students in the school to experience one book together – younger students are partnered with older students. At the end of the book, the school has an evening of literacy for families. A reporter from the local paper, “The Observer,” was able to cover the evening and write a positive piece for the community.
Many positive articles are written in “The Observer” because administration has partnered with the local media and there is a positive article about the school written on a regular basis. These articles are proudly displayed on the walls in the school.
Another aspect of this unique school is the middle level’s “Exploratory Time,” which takes place every Wednesday afternoon. Every seven to eight weeks during the school year, students pick different topics of interest. This ungraded learning opportunity supports learning through high interest topics such as cooking, knitting, newspaper writing, book making, yearbook, making movies, etc. “It’s nice to see kids’ differently in these settings,” says Principal Kimball.
SeDoMoCha has a life skills cooking program. “DJ Café” is a full café that plans, cooks, and sells meals to staff at the school every Friday. This hands-on experience works for the kids. The school also houses a full Day Treatment Program even though staff works hard at including all students within classrooms and all activities.
Students “SOAR” with their positive behavior at all grade levels at SeDoMoCha. The students earn positive behavior tickets that earn them the opportunity to receive iTunes gift cards and other great prizes. Both students and staff support positive behavior and celebrate “Random Acts of Kindness” week on an annual basis. All of these programs have instilled a love for their school.
These fond feelings continue as the students move up to the high school level. This year a group of high school students volunteered to come to SeDoMoCha and paint different murals on the cafeteria walls. The younger students have the opportunity to see that the high school students still care for their school so much, they returned to make it even more beautiful.
If you want to experience a school that has a positive climate and culture, and a partnership with local media, I highly encourage you to visit this school!
SeDoMoCha Elementary and Middle School, 63 Harrison Ave, Suite B, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426 207-564-6535