George Lucas Educational Foundation

Schools That Work| Case Study

Mount Desert Elementary

Grades K-8 | Northeast Harbor, ME

Social and Emotional Learning Techniques Help Students Focus

Mount Desert Elementary focuses on creating a learning environment that helps the students feel a sense of community in order to build self-confidence and encourage a strong academic education.
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What This School Is Achieving

Class led by teacher on mats in circle on the floor


Mount Desert Elementary School is a small, K-8 public school in Northeast Harbor, Maine, that has successfully created a strong learning community that is the basis of the school’s academic success.

Since 2006, Mount Desert Elementary School has consistently outperformed the state of Maine in the percentage of students who ranked proficient or above on state tests. 

The school was awarded National Blue Ribbon Schools Program status for academic excellence in 2008.

Class led by teacher on mats in circle on the floor

How They Do It

How to Get Students Ready for Learning

Getting Students Ready for Learning

Responsive Classroom techniques, such as relationship-building morning meetings and engaging student-led activities, get students focused and ready to learn.

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Instruction Tailored to Students’ Needs and Interests

At Mount Desert Elementary School, differentiated instruction offers customized learning for each student, increasing its relevance and impact.

Three boys sitting together at a table in class smiling at the camera

Resources and Downloads for SEL Classroom Management

Educators from Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor, Maine, have shared a some social and emotional learning tools, and we've gathered some of our favorite resources as well.

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Voices From the School

How More Social and Emotional Learning (and Less Academics) Actually Builds Academic Success

Scott McFarland
Principal of Mount Desert Elementary in Northeast Harbor, Maine

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