Carleton Project was founded by Houlton teacher and Carleton Project principal, Alan Morris. After 20+ years teaching Alan had a vision to start a private, alternative education program in Presque Isle. In 1999 the program started with 12 students, and since then we have expanded with 5 additional locations, and serve over 100 students a year.
Carleton Project’s mission has been, and will always be, focused on student success. Our model and approach is non-traditional and very unique. The school is 100% tuition driven, and enjoys important partnerships with public schools who have come to understand the direct benefits for their schools and community when they support the students that they recommend to our schools.
Taking inspiration from the Social Influence Model of behavioral study, Carleton Project strives to create an environment in which students are nurtured and encouraged to change their own preconceived notions about success and failure in education. Creating a safe culture to explore and thrive, students are enabled to accomplish their own educational goals within the classroom, as well as create the building blocks to succeed in daily life—where ever it may be.
The school is organized and funded under the authority of the Board of Directors of Carleton Project, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation operating a Private High School approved by the Maine Department of Education.
Alan Morris is the President and teaching principal of all Carleton Project schools. Heather Nunez-Olmstead is the Curriculum Coordinator and Vice President of the Corporation. The Corporate Office can be reached at:
P.O. Box 562
Houlton, ME 04730
The school operates all year, Monday through Thursday. There is a traditional Christmas Break and a modified summer schedule. Students who work the traditional Potato Harvest Break may be granted time off. Seniors who are working or taking college classes will have modified schedules.
Each school program is staffed by a teacher and other support personnel as needed.
Presently, the Curriculum Review Team includes:
Guidance: Len McHatten & Sandy Smith
Social Studies & Government: Alan Morris
The Sciences: Dr. Jason Johnston
Visual & Performing Arts: Heather L Nuñez-Olmstead
English & Language Arts: Eric Pelkey
The philosophy of the school identifies parent participation and awareness of educational activity as a crucial ingredient for student success. There is a pro-active approach to increasing parent participation in their child’s education through formal meetings, as well as informal activity.
The approach identifies specific requirements of parental involvement that coincide with the experience of new students enrolled in the school. First of all, parents are required to be a part of the screening process. If the student is accepted, parents form a partnership with the teachers at the school, to stand as positive models for social interaction, with the parent(s) committing to an interest in their child’s education upon enrollment.
Student Progress Team
The same group of people who are a part of the student’s screening committee, including the parent or legal guardian, becomes the student’s Progress Team. The team consists of a group most committed to the success of the student and, most in the position to help identify barriers to student success. Within the first semester of enrollment for any new student, or as deemed necessary for any student by parents or school staff, the Progress Team will assemble. All those involved will be expected to share information about student performance, especially the student. The school will facilitate the meeting and call on all parties, when appropriate, to be part of any specific plans for redirection. Minutes of the meeting and any commendations or recommendations will be recorded.
The school realizes that many students who are enrolled have had negative educational experiences that have affected their success. In short, they may be behind in earned credits or required coursework. The focus of their success must then be based on expectations that they, and school staff, have for performance success and, ultimately, graduation. The school places a great deal of emphasis on consolidating school records in terms of credits earned and helps the student plan to pursue areas of interest that support educational goals in the form of an annual Alternative Educational Plan (A.E.P.). Educational planning takes place regularly as student needs arise. Permanent educational and immunization records are maintained at the school.