Muskie School of Public Service

Muskie School receives grant to lead systems change in Portland high schools

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation has chosen the Muskie School to serve as the Lead Community Partner of its District Level Systems Change Initiative for the Portland Public School District. The initiative, which has been underway since 2012 in four New England communities (Portland, Maine; Sanford, Maine; Pittsfield, New Hampshire; and Burlington/Winooski, Vermont), involves the restructuring of public high school education to make it more student-centered.

The role of a Lead Community Partner is to ensure that meaningful parent, youth, and community engagement occurs within and outside of District decision-making during the systems change process, and beyond. In this role, Muskie’s youth and community engagement (YCE) staff will work to build mechanisms throughout the Portland Public School District for parents, students, and community members to exercise leadership and have authentic voice in education, with an emphasis on groups who traditionally have been underserved or marginalized.

Key staff of this project include policy associates Erica King and Emily Thielmann and YCE specialist Pious Ali.