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Summer learning at PPS 2023

Summer learning at the Portland Public Schools is underway. Here are some highlights.

This summer, the Portland Public Schools has partnered with nine different community organizations to provide leadership opportunities for middle schoolers, and camp-like enrichment experiences for elementary-age students. The district has prioritized enrolling as many students experiencing homelessness as possible. A total of 554 students are enrolled in community programs and 32 percent of those students are currently experiencing homelessness.

PPS is excited to be using "high dosage" tutoring (1 on 1 tutoring three or more times a week) to support rapid academic growth. A number of middle school students are currently being tutored in math four days a week, for eight weeks this summer. Such intensive tutoring "is a well-researched, effective strategy to close academic gaps,” said Jesse Robinson, director of curriculum and assessment. “We look forward to assessing their progress!”

A lot of learning is going on at PPS high schools this summer. At Casco Bay High School, for example, about 30 percent of the student body is participating in one-week Summer Intensives. The courses being taught over six-week summer sessions include “Politics through Art & Music,” “Origami-Geometry,” “Landscapes of Literature,” “Fitness FUNdamentals” and “Marine Ecology.”

“Whether it's through boats or books, hiking or helping – CBHS students are mixing credit recovery with discovery this summer!” said CBHS School Completion Coordinator Elizabeth Hampton.”

At Deering High School, students in an intensive English language learning program are learning English while visiting Greater Portland area landmarks such as Spring Point Lighthouse, The Portland Museum of Art and the Portland Observatory and creating digital books detailing their experiences, said educational technician Corene Wickenheiser. Also, Deering students are attending programs to help them get a jump start on higher math classes in the fall, recovering credit in English, math and science, or attending a bridge program to help incoming ninth-graders get a jumpstart on success for their freshman year.

At Portland High School, more than 40 multilingual students are participating in summer programming that includes math and literacy, intercultural programming provided by the Center for Grieving Children and walking field trips throughout the city, said Principal Sheila Jepson. 35 other students have completed standards recovery work, earning credits in English, math, history, art and physical education.