Narragansett School was built in 1981 and opened in the fall. The new school replaced the aging two-story Millett School that was located in the village. We opened that year with students in kindergarten through fourth grade. Principal Norman Weed and the staff held a formal dedication and Open House for the community.
When the school was constructed, two major works of art were included. One was a panel of six scenes depicting the story of Gorhamís past. This was painted by three artists: Denison, McKowen and Priestley, and remains a source of information and pride, and is used in the third grade study of Gorham History. The other, a mural by nationally renowned author and illustrator Dahlov Ipcar, welcomes those who enter the building. The mural, approximately 100 feet in length, contains three brightly colored panels of ocean, farm and forest animals of Maine. The mural is a focal point for the building, and a source of inspiration and imagination for children and adults.
Over the years, the configuration of Narragansett changed from students in K- 4 to students in grades 1 - 3. At one time, all kindergarten students attended school in Little Falls. For many years, Narragansett was a K-2 school. Currently, we are the smallest of three K-5 elementary schools.
Narragansett has been proudly known as a Center for Inquiry. During the 1980's, teachers developed and provided unique instructional programs designed toward this goal. Our school was recognized by the State of Maine for their restructuring efforts in 1991, and was selected as one of “Americaís Best Schools” by a national magazine in 1993 for innovative and creative teacher practices. Visiting staff from other schools came to see exhibitions, projects and portfolios in action.
In 2006, Narragansett celebrated its 25th Anniversary with many former staff, parents and students returning for a visit. Artist Dahlov Ipcar, who resides in Georgetown, Maine, graciously allowed a video interview that was shared as part of the event. Fundraising by students, parents and community members also resulted in the installation of an antique school bell and two memorial benches to commemorate the event. The bell has become a favorite gathering place for special school events and flag raising ceremonies.
Today, Narragansett and other schools in our district, strive to be knowledgeable about the current research on teaching and learning. We have focused on raising student performance using research and achievement data to inform our decisions. Along with a majority of states, we are gearing up for the academic rigor set by the Common Core State Standards. Our mission is to create optimal learning opportunities, empower personal potential, and cultivate collaborative partnerships to produce engaged, informed 21st Century citizens.
The strong tradition that Narragansett has always held as caring and nurturing school is just as true today as ever!