Messalonskee Seminars Explained

On the heels of leaving a wonderful presentation by Ms. Callan and Ms. Gilles on the seminars happening at Messalonskee High I wanted to provide some information for those outside our district on Seminars.

Seminar Pic

What is a Seminar?
The faculty at MHS created seminars as a way to provide students with shorter learning experiences that can provide choice, meet their interests, and allow for increased rigor in cross- content learning experiences. Listening to students, we found out that whether a student was taking full-year algebra or an AP course – their elective options were being limited. This approach allows students to take more learning experiences (basically mini courses) while in high school. This isimportant for a variety of reasons including… 1) it allows them to experience more content and develop a broader education base in high school, 2) it allows students to have a better understanding of what their educational interests are and hopefully assists them in making more informed post-secondary decisions, and 3) allows students additional locations to demonstrate proficiency in those standards they have not yet mastered.  All-in-all, seminars are a really cool way to experience a variety of learning opportunities without locking down a large portion of a student’s schedule.


Seminar 101:

-       Seminars are designed to be fun and engaging

-       Seminars are built from and focused on curricular learning targets (goals)

-       For the purpose of a transcript, seminars are either pass-fail or 0-100 per student request to be determined within the first five days of a seminar.

-       Seminars are cross-disciplinary learning experiences that include work toward learning targets from multiple content areas.

-       Seminars are scored based on effort, engagement, and progress toward meeting learning targets. Student scores will be determined by a student’s individual learning plan.

-       3 Seminars slots will be offered per-period, per-semester. A student must sign up for 2, to be considered enrolled in a course for that period (eligibility).

The key here is two-fold, having student interest and choice match up with what students need to learn and be able to do in High School.  As we move forward at MHS our teachers are working to take these seminars and student interests and create learning experiences that can meet “core” requirements for graduation.  This means that what started purely interest based will become learning structure that allows students far more choice in creating learning pathways that move them through their learning to graduation.  Our hope is that this allows learners up and down the spectrum of abilities to access learning experiences that broaden their knowledge base, provide greater variety (to ultimately help inform their post-secondary plans, interests…), and leverage interest and readiness to provide for a truly robust high school experience.


To  find info on our 2014-15 Seminar offerings check out:

2014-15_Seminar Descriptions


For our planning tool:

2013-14_MHS Seminar Planning Template

For resources from Ms. Gilles’s presentation: (email q’s to )

RSU 18 Seminar Planning- Gilles



transcription translation

If you have further questions do not hesitate to email our presenters or contact me directly at or call me at school 207-465-7381!


Posted in PBCL at MHS | Leave a comment

Maine robotics teams excel at world championships

Jon Moody:

MHS Robotics makes headlines again!

Originally posted on Maine DOE Newsroom:

Robotics teams from eight schools represented Maine well at three recent world championships: FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics and FIRST Lego League.

View original 292 more words

Posted in Newsletters | 1 Comment

Final Exam Schedule

The final day of classes for students at Messalonskee High School is Monday, 6/16.

The final exam schedule can be found at:

Please note that Friday and Monday are 1/2 day schedules with busses departing MHS at 12:15 each day.

We wish everyone health and happiness over the summer and encourage you to consider summer school (for details you can contact your MHS Guidance Counselor) if you haven’t already!

Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

8th Grade Parent Night Feedback

Thank you so very much for everyone that came out to last night’s 8th grade parent information night.  Please take a moment to give us feedback on the evening, on next year, and share any additional thoughts you might have about MHS moving forward.

We look forward to welcoming the class of 2018 to MHS in the Fall.  Have a wonderful summer!

Complete Presentation Slideshow: 2014_8thGrStuParentNIght

Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

Seminar Sign-Up, 2014-15 School Year

MHS Students now have the opportunity to sign up for seminars for the 2014-15 school year.  For more information contact your guidance counselor or speak to me directly about seminars.

We are having Several Seminars at MHS next year and unlike in the past, we have decided to offer seminars to all students and count them as an elective credit toward graduation for all students.

Seminar Sign-Ups:

Seminar Pic

Some facts about Seminars:

- Seminars are shorter inter-disciplinary learning experiences that are offered multiple times throughout the semester to allow students to take a variety of learning experiences in different subject areas without filling up their course load.

- Seminars can be taken as either pass-fail courses or can be graded (which would impact GPA)  Students must indicate to the teacher during the first week of the seminar which way he/she would like scoring to occur.

- An individual Seminar will run for approximately 20-25 days.

- For the fall of 2014 seminars will be offered during periods 1 and 4, and Periods 1 and 3 in the spring.

- Students may enroll in up to 4 seminars/period/semester.

- For a student to count a seminar as their 3rd course (for eligibility purposes), he or she must enroll and complete 3 of the 4 seminar slots during the semester.



Seminar Sign-Ups can be found at:


Again, for more information contact your guidance counselor or speak to me directly about seminars.

Posted in Blog Posts (General), PBCL at MHS | Leave a comment

More AP & College Courses Open Up!

See below for information on how to enroll in local area college courses at little to no cost, as well even more opportunities to take AP (Advanced Placement) courses through the Maine-based AP-4-All program.BooksCOLLEGE CLASSES are available now at KVCC, UMA, Thomas, and UMaine (online only). If you are interested in taking a college class this fall, please see your counselor. Each college has different criteria, but generally students need to provide their own transportation, have a B average or above, and be able to manage the demands and expectations required of a student at the college level. Please see your counselor for more information and to sign up. Space is limited!


Interested in taking an AP class not offered at MHS?  See your counselor ASAP to sign up for an AP4All course, which provides online AP courses taught by Maine teachers.  Spots are limited, so please see your counselor as soon as possible to reserve a seat.

AP Courses currently offered at MHS:

AP Art
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Chemistry
AP Computer Science
AP Biology
AP European History
AP Language
AP Literature
AP Statistics
AP US History


Note:  Seminar opportunities in all areas will be shared shortly and will count for elective credit towards graduation!


Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

MHS Implementation, Class of 2018

We have worked very hard at Messalonskee to implement a proficiency based system while balancing the needs of our school and its students.  Below is a letter sent to all 8th grade parents regarding reporting (grading) for all students in the high school.

5-23 8th Grade Memo

5-23 8th Grade Memo

We will be holding an 8th grade parent/student meeting on Wednesday, June 11th at 6:00 in the MHS Performing Arts Center.  We look forward to talking with you about the next four years!

Below is an updated MHS implementation plan.

2014-15 MHS Implementation Plan

Note: This plan has been adjusted from last year.  For information on our prior plan see the blog post:


Posted in Newsletters, PBCL at MHS | Leave a comment