Building Assets Reducing Risks Excellence in Education Event on January 15, 2015 in Bucksport, Maine

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Sen. King to Present Recorded Remarks at Excellence in Education Event at Bucksport H.S.

A video message from U.S. Senator Angus King will be played at an event on Thursday, January 15th at 10:00 a.m. celebrating Bucksport High School’s new status as a National BARR School of Academic Excellence. The school has been implementing Building Assets Reducing Risks (or “BARR”), a social emotional learning model developed by Angela Jerabek and distributed by Hazelden Publishing. Since 1998, this evidence-based model has been proven to decrease educational disparities while increasing achievement for all students. Angela Jerabek will present the certificate to Principal Dan Clifford at the ceremony at Bucksport High School.

Bucksport is one of two schools in Maine that has been included in an Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation grant, the flagship innovation grant program from the United States Department of Education. These schools have also been supported in their efforts to implement BARR by private funding from AT&T, the John T. Gorman Foundation, and the Harold Alfond Foundation.

“The BARR project is an amazing achievement and a testament to the extraordinary work of the administration, teachers, and the students at Bucksport High School. I am proud to congratulate everyone in the community that has made this distinction possible,” said Senator King. “BARR is making a difference in students’ lives and fostering student achievement. This innovative approach to education is all about relationships and building a real learning community that extends outside of the classroom – and that’s what it’s going to take to succeed in today’s competitive world.”

The National BARR School of Excellence commendation is reserved only for those BARR schools that have been rigorously evaluated and proven to have strong and sustained academic outcomes, are implementing the model with high fidelity, and have established a culture focused on the development of the whole student. Several other criteria must be met, including having a sustainability program in place for the long term; the willingness to share BARR experience with other schools; and sustained, strong administrative commitment and leadership.

Other schools that have been recognized as National BARR Schools of Academic Excellence include Hemet High School in Hemet, California and St. Louis Park High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since implementing BARR, these schools have gone on to receive other prestigious honors. Hemet High School recently received a Golden Bell Award, a leading educational honor in California sponsored by the California School Boards Association (CSBA).St. Louis Park High School recently received the National ACT Award for College and Career Readiness.

According to Angela Jerabek, “Bucksport High School has demonstrated that by focusing on the systemic development of powerful relationships, leveraging student data and capitalizing on each student's individual strengths, all students will increase their academic performance. Bucksport HS and their community exemplify what it means to be a National BARR School of Excellence and are leaders in this imperative school movement”.

The model will be implemented in additional schools in Maine over the next several years through an i3 Validation grant managed by Spurwink Services. Recruitment of both middle and high schools is now underway. For more information about this grant opportunity, contact Susan Savell at ssavell(at)spurwink(dot)org.

Building Assets Reducing Risks is available nationwide and it is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Practices and Programs (NREPP). This is an innovative and effective model for improving academic performance and fostering the talents of all students, regardless of their differences.

For more information visit or contact Claire McKinney at claire(at)clairemckinneypr(dot)com or 862-252-1880

About The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It is the nation's largest nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 15 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the Foundation offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care to help youth and adults reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children's program, and is the nation's leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery.

To reach Hazelden Publishing directly, call Christine Anderson at 800-328-9000, ext. 4231.

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Claire McKinney

Christine Anderson

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