The Community Schools at Opportunity Farm and Camden are changing kids lives, and in doing so, providing a great benefit to the whole State of Maine. The student success rate is phenomenal because this unique program, the head of school and staff are beyond compare. What they are doing is truly amazing. Kudos to all of them.
Review from Guidestar
The Community Schools at Opportunity Farm and Camden is the newly merged entity (July 1, 2011), formerly Opportunity Farm for Boys and Girls - and The Community Schools of Camden. A new alternative high school opened Fall 2011 and it is it's second year of operation (with 140 combined years of working with at-risk youth in Maine). There are 2 campuses with 2 high school programs on each campus. #1,The Residential Program is a 9 month intensive, comprehensive, strength-based program for high school age students who were unsuccessful in traditional school settings. Along with traditional academics, the students learn life skills, work at a job/apprenticeship placement, study ASL, engage in Environmental Green Initiative projects and weekly social service projects, monthly Experiential Learning Expeditions, prepare weekly meals on a budget, are Environmental Mentors with 4H Programs for younger children, utilize the Arts and critical thinking in all aspects of the program - and use Restorative School Practices for resolution of differences/conflict and to practice effective communication skills. #2, The Passages Program is a home-based teen parent program supporting students in 7 Maine counties. The major support for these students is that Community School Teachers go into the students homes - since the major barriers for high school completion for young parents are transportation, child care, and housing. Along with traditional academics, Passages students work with their teachers one-on-one in parenting and life skills, early child development with a significant emphasis on early literacy. As well, students learn job skills and work toward post-secondary education options. Graduates from both the Residential and Passages Programs have been highly successful in obtaining jobs upon graduation - and many enter post secondary education institutions. I have observed amazing growth in the students who come through this school - and have high praise for the dedicated staff who work one-on-one to move these wonderful young people into a successful adulthood.
This organization has been under new leadership since 2011, when they merged with the Camden Community School. Great board and great staff serving lots of kids and helping them get their high school diplomas.
Review from Guidestar
This at one point a great organization but due to severe mismanagment the place is being run into the ground. The CEO makes an absorbanant amount of money while shutting down houses and laying off the people who do the work with the children. The program would be able to do good work if were not for the lack of common sense used to run a nonprofit