Current Community Schools

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Cape Cod Hill Community School - New Sharon, Maine 

Cape Cod Hill Community School is a small, rural school located in the western Maine town of New Sharon. The school is part of the larger RSU 9 school district and consists of grades PreK - grade 5. This community school concept came to the realization a couple of years ago. They truly want to be a focal point for the community and be able to offer many services for their students, their families, and the greater community. The school is their pride and joy, and they strive to share their in-house community with the more extensive outside community. Some of the things they offer are a food cupboard, a clothing cupboard, a book nook, monthly classes for parents/guardians in partnership with the Franklin County Adult Ed Program, and various contracted health services such as dental clinics, wellness checks, and behavior health services. Their future plans include more adult education offerings, a technology lab for parents/guardians, and more health and wellness services. They also hope to offer more outdoor education programs that families can participate in together.  

Gerald E Talbot Community School - Portland, Maine 

Talbot Community School is a Pre-K through grade 5 elementary school in Portland, Maine. The school is a Title I school that serves between 350 and 400 students. Located in the Riverton neighborhood, Talbot is ideally situated to be a community school. The school building is a Portland Parks and Recreation site and is home to a public pool, a branch of the Portland Public Library, community gardens, sports fields, and a dental clinic through Greater Portland Health which students can access during the school day. As a community school, Talbot strives to link families to needed resources, services, and supports, and to provide wrap-around services through partnerships with local community organizations. Talbot partners strategically with various community organizations to offer after-school academic and enrichment programs, support mental and physical health and wellness, and engage families in their students’ education and well-being. Some examples of current partnerships & community school strategies include: 

  • Family English Program - A partnership with Portland Adult Education that offers English classes for adult learners and Talbot caregivers whose students are also eligible to participate in after-school academic and enrichment programming. 

  • Intercultural Group - A partnership with the Center for Grieving Children that provides a supportive and welcoming environment for multicultural students to explore their identities and build community. 

  • Friday Food Bags - A partnership with the Locker Project that provides weekly bags of fresh produce and pantry staples to improve food stability for families. 

  • Community Dinners - In partnership with Wayside Food Programs, these regular dinners provide opportunities for families to join together with school staff and community organizations to learn about various topics, engage with their students around their learning, and enjoy a healthy and free dinner together in the community. 

  • Nordic Rocks-a partnership with New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA), Killington Mountain Foundation, and Portland Nordic that provides students with the equipment and opportunity to learn how to cross-country ski as a way to stay active and enjoy Maine winters. 

  • Walking School Bus - Partners from Portland Housing Authority, Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine, Talbot School, and the community support this initiative, where volunteers go door to door in the Riverton Park neighborhood to pick up students and walk them safely to the bus stop. This initiative supports student attendance and provides positive adult and peer mentorship. 


Old Town Elementary School - Old Town, Maine 

Old Town Elementary School strives to encompass the whole child in the school community and beyond. There is a need for schools, organizations, and the greater community to work together to create an environment that supports students and their families. The elementary school recently developed a partnership with Penobscot Community Health Center to open a school-based health center for students and families in the RSU 34 community, as well as mental health services for their middle school and high school. They have a partnership with pathways, as well, to help support student mental health needs. Old Town Elementary School has developed an amazing enrichment program with outdoor learning, where students can connect what they are learning in the classroom with hands-on activities outside the classroom. These hands-on activities benefit the development of their students with practical, creative, and wellness activities. The community also benefits from their strong outdoor focus, with their community farm stand giving away over 7,000 pounds of food during the 2023 gardening season. The outdoor learning committee collaborates with classroom teachers to provide connected activities to benefit additional understanding of the curricular concepts and standards. Old Town Elementary School understands the importance of these partnerships and that the needs of their students are diverse. As a community school, they strive to provide the best services to meet the needs of students and their families by providing resources and connecting families with their community partners while also providing an environment of safety, understanding, and belonging.  


Julie A. Smyth
Director, Office of School and Student Supports
Phone: 207-592-0949

Ann Hanna
Community Schools Consultant