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Teachers Take the Helm of Rural Maine School

A rural public pre-K through 8th grade school in central Maine is rolling out a teacher-leadership model this year rather than hiring a new principal, according to a story by the Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel.

The school of about 120 students previously shared a principal with another school, but that principal resigned earlier this year. Teachers at Athens Community School said that the principal's time was split, which means she wasn't available very often and teachers were already making many of the day-to-day decisions. Teachers received approval from the school board earlier this month and will roll out the teacher-led model this year with three teachers sharing discipline, budgeting, and teacher-evaluation responsibilities. The remaining teachers will split into four committees to handle various school tasks.

According to the nonprofit Teacher-Powered Schools, at least 70 schools nationwide operate as teacher-led schools, most of which are in urban areas. Some schools have transitioned to the model as a solution to chronic principal turnover, while other schools integrated a teacher-led model after receiving state waivers to try innovative school models and programs.

A survey of principals released in 2014 found that during the 2012-13 school year, rural principals were slightly more likely than other principals to leave their job. More than 12 percent of rural principals left during that year, compared to about 11 percent of suburban principals. 

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