History of AASK
The OES Board has historically supported community involvement. In 1998, the Board again moved to form an educational partnership, believing community involvement necessary to carrying out the school’s mission. That summer, the Trustees funded an assessment to determine ESL (English As a Second Language) needs in the Portland area, since OES provides ESL classes to its international boarding students in the Upper School.
The assessment showed critical gaps in these services in the community and very few summer programs for ESL students at any grade level. A pilot project (AASK) was proposed in the fall of 1998 that included a summer daycamp and tutoring program for third to fifth grade students. The AASK program was approved by the OES Board in January of 1999.
AASK began in the spring and summer of 1999. The program expanded, and the AASK Five Year Plan was unanimously approved at the Board’s January 2000 meeting. Partial funding of the program for $30,000 from the operating budget (beginning in 2002-2003) was approved by the OES Board of Trustees in October of 2001.
The findings of the community needs assessment, along with the assessment of OES’s commitment to its mission and assessment of its own resources, determined the program focus on ESL needs. However, AASK is also meant to be a school-wide program at OES. Over time the partnership has become a broader sister-school relationship that includes all divisions at OES, as well as grades three through five at Vose.
Through sharing resources, the private/public partnership of OES, Vose Elementary, and Whitford Middle School accomplish together what could not be accomplished alone.