Western Maine Education Collaborative, ME
17 districts, serving 14,000 students
Developing a unified organizational vision
The Western Maine Education Collaborative (WMEC) is in the distinctive position of developing a unified, organizational vision that incorporates the experiences of individual member districts. Each member district is creating its own Portrait of a Graduate, which will feed into and align with the collective WMEC vision for educator efforts across the region. “Our 17 districts are diverse,” said executive director Kristie Littlefield. “The beauty of the Portrait for an organization like ours is that it supports our belief that, while each district has its own unique needs, there’s great value in collaborating in identified common areas of need.”
Begin with each district’s unique Portrait of a Graduate
Each member district started developing their Portrait of a Graduate in 2020, but the pandemic interrupted early work. They could have paused their involvement in the design work, but most districts chose to prioritize the Portrait of a Graduate work. “In a year when we jumped from crisis to crisis, the Portrait of a Graduate work was grounding, energizing, and allowed us to plan and hope for the future,” said Leanne Condon, assistant superintendent at member district RSU 10.
“We all want our students to be as prepared for their future—college, career, or life-ready—as possible.”– Kristie Littlefield | Executive Director
Identify shared hopes for the future
Local stakeholders echoed this sentiment through their commitment and engagement. “The process provided a platform to connect with local communities about what they hope to have developed to support student learning,” Ms. Littlefield said. “They were more engaged than ever before.”
Work together for the benefit of all students
The WMEC continues to work with its communities and identify the shared hopes, dreams, and aspirations for students. As the vision becomes clearer, it will align efforts across the entire region and be positioned to strengthen and enhance teaching and learning through collaborative networks and ongoing professional learning supports. The WMEC Portrait will also serve as an example of the power of collaboration for other regional education coalitions.