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November 7, 2014 Friday Night Lights!  This marked the second time that Portland and Deering faced off in a football game this season. It was great to see our student-athletes compete on the field and demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship throughout the game. Although Portland won the game and will move on to the next round of the playoffs, Deering and Portland will meet one more time this season for the traditional “Turkey Bowl” game on Thanksgiving day. Below please find pictures from the game.
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 10:06 AM
  
November 24, 2014 On Saturday, November 1st, I attended the semifinals boys’ soccer game Deering v. Scarborough.  I was proud to see all of the DHS students who braved the cold and rain to cheer on our soccer team.  Although DHS lost the game, on this occasion the outcome was less important.  What was most important was the Ram pride that was on full display. As Maine’s most diverse school district we believe our diversity is our greatest strength.  It is our diversity that makes Portland a global village and a place where all are welcomed, accepted, and respected.    
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 10:04 AM
  
November 24, 2014 The Portland Public Schools, in partnership with EnviroLogix, held its first STEM Exposition on Monday, Nov. 10, at Portland’s Ocean Gateway Terminal, which was filled with crowds watching students demonstrate their knowledge in STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. The STEM Expo is the first time the Portland community has come together to show how Portland Public School students, local businesses, and post-secondary schools are innovating in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Students from all of Portland’s public middle and high schools, the Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS), and three elementary schools were among exhibitors at the event. Nearly 1,000 attendees toured the exhibits during the course of the day. A special thanks goes to Thomas Fournier, Lincoln Middle School teacher and STEM Coordinator, Kathy Cole, Community Coordinator, Tina Mikklesen, Community Coordinator, and Chanda Turner, Coordinator for Family and Community Engagement, for the creation and execution of the STEM Exposition. Kudos to all of our exhibitors for making this event a success! Below please find links to news articles and pictures from the event.  http://www.theforecaster.net/news/print/…  http://www.wmtw.com/news/students-show-o…
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 10:01 AM
  
December 26, 2014 On December 16th, we presented to the Board and community the District Scorecard 2.0.  Our data shows that student performance is growing, and that the longer students stay with us in district schools, the better they do. However, the data also shows that while our students are growing, in some cases they’re not growing fast enough. We’ve got to get them to grow at a faster rate. Areas where the scorecard shows growth include Grade 5 reading and writing. There was also positive growth in SAT scores, with an increase in the number of students who scored 1550 and above. Moreover, the data shows that some groups of students are not performing as well as their classmates. For example, scores for third graders in the Black/African American and economically disadvantaged groups trailed well behind total scores for district third graders in reading and math proficiency. Third grade reading ability is considered a key indicator of future academic success. We must do more and invest more to make sure our students’ demography does not determine their destiny.  Based on the data, the district plans to build on and implement strategies that include investing in early education to make sure all students come to school ready for kindergarten; increasing students’ and families’ access to prekindergarten; improving literacy at the elementary level; increasing student learning time; continuing to extend the school year for students in primary grades who are reaching towards proficiency; and increasing high school graduation rates. We have great teachers and a great staff. Therefore, we will use these strategies going forward as we deliver on our promise to the community of having all students graduate from high school prepared for college and career. Link  to the District Scorecard 2.0:  http://www2.portlandschools.org/sites/de… Link to the Parent and Student Survey:  http://www2.portlandschools.org/sites/de…
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 9:57 AM
  
November 24, 2014 Tina Edwards and Jane Ellis founded “Painting for a Purpose” to bring people together to create hand-painted whimsical furniture.The furniture is then auctioned off during their annual event with the proceeds going to fund and support youth-led service learning grants for Portland Public Schools students. Over the past four years, Painting for a Purpose has provided more than $14,000 to fund over 25 youth-led service learning projects.  Within the last year, they were able to fund six grants. This year’s annual auction was held on Thursday, November 13th.  The items for auction consisted of 40 clocks that were made by the carpentry class at PATHS, the Portland Public Schools’ Portland Arts and Technology High School, in a project called CLOCKS! It’s about Time! Students from PATHS woodworking class also created wooden fish painted by the Portland High School Art Club.  In addition, the auction featured about fifty other wooden items such as candlesticks, stools, tables and pepper mills. Kudos to all for making this event a huge success!
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 9:57 AM
  
November 27, 2014 Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year.  It is a time of both joy and reflection, and a time to fully appreciate all of the wonderful people and moments that make up our lives. I hope that you and yours enjoy an amazing day of family, great food, and maybe a little football. —— Turkey Day Game! I’m personally thankful for all of the fantastic work that is being done around our district. As you know, I am very focused on student achievement, and I know that the following recent ventures create the kind of learning environments that will really make a positive impact. To share with you all of the great work that is unfolding in Portland Public Schools everyday, I created the Community e-Newsletter.  The purpose of the Community e-Newsletter is to communicate successes and ongoing work at the district level and in the public schools. For example, this issue of the e-Newsletter includes news items about the Portland Public Schools’ STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Exposition, an update about the plan for replacing Hall School and information on student projects. The Community e-Newsletter will come out twice a year, in the fall and the spring. You can subscribe to the free Community e-Newsletter by sending an email to  superintendent at portlandschools.org with “Subscribe to e-Newsletter” in the message or subject line. The Community e-Newsletter can also be found on the district’s website, www.portlandschools.org. Click on “District” and go to the “Stay Informed” section of the site.
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 9:55 AM
  
December 26, 2014 On December 16th, the Nellie Mae Foundation formerly presented Principal Pierce with a check in the amount of $100,000 as this year’s recipient of the Lawrence O’Toole Leadership Award. Principal Pierce’s win marks the first time Maine has won the award. He competed against nominees from each New England state to become the top vote getter in the online popular vote for the award.  I would like to once again acknowledge and thank our community members who supported Principal Pierce and the Portland Public Schools.  Principal Pierce ended up with more than 6,000 votes, about twice as many as the second highest vote getter received. Principal Piere is an inspirational leader who exemplifies the students-first approach we value here at the Portland Public Schools.  He is an excellent representative of the great schools and also of the great leadership we have here in Portland. Kudos to Rachelle Tome, Acting Commissioner of Education, Anne Haskell, Maine State Senator, Michael Brennan, Mayor of Portland, and Nicholas Donohue, President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Foundation for participating in the ceremony.
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 9:53 AM
  
December 26, 2014 In September, I set a goal to every classroom in the district.  This was an unprecedented opportunity for me to see firsthand the great work that our students, teachers, building principals and other staff are doing every day. Accompanied by Chanda Turner, Coordinator of Family and Community Engagement, I began visiting schools.  We visited one to two schools per week through the course of the fall, culminating with six visits in the middle of December, ending at Lyman Moore Middle School on Dec. 19. Visits included tours of classrooms, participating in class activities, and the opportunity to talk with students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and volunteers in the buildings. Please find a link to the press release below:  /cms/One.aspx?portalId=1094237&pageId=7045936  
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 9:45 AM
  
December 26, 2014 Encouraging children to read is one of the best gifts that you can give them. For me, reading has always been a transformative and educational experience. Books have a unique ability to take us to new places, inform us, inspire new thoughts, and show us a positive path forward. My love of the written word manifested itself early in life, and it was an important part in shaping the man I am today, and the person I will be tomorrow. I encourage all of our Portland Schools families and greater community to read: to read together, to read in our great libraries, to read to inform your future studies, but most importantly, to read! Remember the Best Gift you can give this holiday season is the gift of reading. Have a wonderful winter break and a Happy New Year! Also, please find below a link to my December Notebook Column in the Forecaster encouraging you to engage in community service this holiday season and a link to a PPS press release about how DHS students are making a difference through volunteer efforts at Presumpcot Elementary School.  http://www.theforecaster.net/news/print/…  /cms/One.aspx?portalId=1094237&pageId=7045917
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 9:45 AM
  
January 14, 2015 Happy New Year!  January marks the beginning of the budget development process for Portland Public Schools.  During this month we will launch several initiatives designed to provide opportunities for community input in the FY16 budget development process. The first initiative is Portland Public Schools online Neighbor-to-Neighbor Budget Toolkit.  This online tool can be used by groups of neighbors, parents, co-workers, friends, family members and other community residents as an easy way to participate in the budget process. Individuals also can use the Budget Toolkit. The Budget Toolkit can be reached through this link – /cms/One.aspx?portalId=1094237&pageId=7045466 – or can be found on the homepage of the PPS website, www.portlandschools.org. The toolkit includes a brief introductory video that explains the budgeting process; a budget timeline; frequently asked questions; and charts showing the district’s major revenue sources and major expense categories. The toolkit also has suggested discussion questions related to the budget and an email address ( superintendent at portlandschools.org) for submitting notes from a group’s budget discussions. As always, I welcome, appreciate, and value your input.
Posted by Ian Stadelmann  On Jan 15, 2015 at 9:44 AM