NAPLES, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- 3 years ago, Lake Region High School was identified as one of Maine's 10 lowest performing schools.
Friday, Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen came to visit because both SAT scores and the school's graduation rate are up. Lake Region received a $1.6 million federal grant in 2010, and used it to create a whole different kind of school. On Mondays, students have "Academy Day." The school has 8 different academies that focus on everything from engineering to visual and performing arts. Students from all grade levels work together on large projects.
The graduation rate at Lake Region has jumped from 76 percent to 91 percent in the past 3 years. Principal Ted Finn says he thinks the academies are a big reason. "For kids to learn from each other and to pursue those passions and interests, it's been the carrot to kind of change kids attitudes towards coming to school," he said.