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Superintendent Letters

Superintendent Year in Review Letter

The 2023-2024 school year is a wrap! Students’ last day was Friday and today was the final day for teachers, ed techs and other school-year staff.

This year was my first as superintendent of the Portland Public Schools. Looking back over the year, I’m proud of what we have achieved since last September. Not only was everyone focused on continuing to make sure we provided all our students with engaging and rigorous learning experiences, but students, staff and the district received many awards and recognitions.

There are too many to list here, so please check out the 2023-2024 Year in Review link on our website to get a sampling of our district’s many successes over the past year. However, I’ll mention a few here to give you a sense of our achievements.

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Superintendent Letter

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

The shootings in Lewiston are so sad and devastating that they cannot be appropriately addressed in a letter. My hope is that everyone in our community has had the opportunity to check-in on their loved ones, hug their kids, and take a breath.

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Superintendent Letter - October 5, 2023

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

It is hard to believe that Friday marks one full month of school. In the past month, I have been able to visit all of our schools except for one (Cliff Island, I am coming!). In those visits, I have been able to see what everyone has told me about - the amazing people we have in the Portland Public Schools. From our elementary school students, who are excited to tell you about their day, to our teachers who come every day ready to support and challenge students, Portland is great because of the people in our district.

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Superintendent Letter - September 7, 2023

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to start my day with our Transportation Team at 6 a.m. and visit five schools on opening day. It was fantastic to see the energy from staff and students as they started the school year. As an educator for 20+ years, there is little that competes with the excitement of the first day of school each year. I often think of it as our Super Bowl in some ways.

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Superintendent Letter - August 24, 2023

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

We are truly in the countdown to the start of the school year. As of Friday, there will be 12 calendar days until most students return to school on Wednesday, September 6, (pre-K and kindergarten start on Thursday, September 7). It is hard to believe that we are almost there! As someone who has spent the majority of my time in Portland without most of our students in buildings, I am excited to see classrooms filled and students engaged.

At this time, everyone in the District is busy preparing to make sure that students have a great start to the school year. This includes sharing and updating bus routes, ordering food, professional development for leaders and teachers and a final cleaning of buildings. I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank all of our staff and especially our operational staff. These individuals are often the unsung heroes of the District. Without them, we would not be ready for our students.

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Letter from Incoming Superintendent – June 23, 2023

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff, and community members,  

It is an honor to join the Portland Public Schools community. Throughout the selection process, I had the opportunity to engage with students, families, staff, and community members. While everyone answered the “what should I know about Portland Public Schools” question differently, they all expressed a faith in the school system that was exciting.

Even though my official start date is July 1st, I have already begun to engage members of the Board and central office and look forward to hearing from the broader community. My transition plan is focused on learning from each of you about the great things within PPS that we should build on and where we can do better. I call these first three months my “listen and learn phase.” We will share more information on the website about how you can engage in the listen and learn through town halls, focus groups, and surveys, as well as in more informal conversations. 

The first of many opportunities will actually take place on June 26th from 4:00 - 6:00 pm for a Playground Meet and Greet at East End Community School with Portland families. If you are available, please stop by for informal conversations. We will plan to gather in the playground weather permitting, but if it does rain we will convene in the cafeteria. 

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Letter from Interim Co-Superintendents – May 26, 2023

May 26, 2023

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

At our annual Seal of Biliteracy Ceremony this month, the Portland Public Schools had 66 Seal recipients this year – 40 percent more than last year and the most since we instituted this award in 2017. The Seal of Biliteracy goes to graduating seniors who achieve proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English. It’s great that the number of Seal recipients is growing because increasing the percentage of our students who graduate as multilingual is an important part of our district’s World Language Vision.

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Letter from Interim Co-Superintendents – May 12, 2023

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

May 12 is the final day of National Teacher Appreciation Week, and we want to again express our gratitude to our stellar Portland Public Schools teachers for all their hard work and dedication in support of students and families.

We also want to give a special shout out to teacher Joshua Chard at East End Community School, who on May 11 was named 2023 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year! That puts him in the running to be the 2024 Maine Teacher of the Year.

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Letter from Interim Co-Superintendents – April 28, 2023

April 28, 2023

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

We hope everyone had a restorative April break and that you’re geared up for a strong finish to the 2022-2023 school year.

May is right around the corner. It’s the last full month of school before we conclude regular classes in June, so it’s a perfect time to appreciate our staff for all their hard work throughout this year.  In fact, we’d like to declare May 2023 as Portland Public Schools Employee Appreciation Month!

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