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Staff & Community Newsletter - Aug 24, 2023

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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New Leaders at Central Office, Moore, Presumpscot, Talbot, Rowe and DHS

The Board of Public Education recently approved the appointments of the five assistant principals. In addition, the Portland Public Schools has filled four key leadership positions at Central Office. See the following articles to learn more:

New Leaders at Central Office & Moore, Talbot and Rowe

New Leaders at Central Office, DHS

New Assistant Principal at Presumpscot School

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First page of the PDF file: SchoolSafetyGraphic

The Portland Public Schools is committed to the safety and welfare of our students, our staff and visitors in our schools. To ensure that everyone is prepared in the event of an emergency, the district is enhancing its procedures, frameworks and training related to student and staff safety.

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DHS Junior Has Role in New Production

Deering High School junior Sherlindary Berrios, who came to Maine about 10 months ago from Venezuela, debuted in “CarmXn,” this summer. “CarmXN” is a reinterpretation of the classic opera by Cape Elizabeth-based arts residency Hogfish, one of two young theater companies presenting works in Portland this summer that center on immigrant stories.Learn more in this Portland Press Herald story from July 26: “A city growing in diversity is attracting more diverse theater this summer.”

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Impressive Student Projects Completed with Aid from Painting for a Purpose Grants

Check out these great community service projects by Portland Public Schools students who received Painting for a Purpose grant during the 2023-2023 school year: Painting for a Purpose is a local nonprofit organization that brings creative people together to paint whimsical decorative items that they sell to raise money to fund service-learning projects led by PPS students who want to make a difference.

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First page of the PDF file: Hiring


DHS Alum Honored for Skating Skills & Academics

Deering High School Class of 2023 graduate Mae Carroll was recently named as a WMTW Scholar/Athlete for her accomplishments as a figure skater and academics. Learn more in this WMTW Channel 8-TV report: Celebrating Excellence:WMTV Scholar Athlete, Mae Carroll. A shining graduate of Deering, As we celebrate her accomplishments, we extend our heartfelt best wishes for her future pursuits. 

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Volunteer for Portland Public Schools

Volunteers play a significant role in the success of our students! PPS welcomes volunteers and community involvement and sincerely thanks you for your generosity and support. Last year parents and community members volunteered over 94,000 hours to our schools. Each volunteer made a real difference in the lives of students. We invite you to learn more about volunteering for our schools and how you can make an impact at Portland Public Schools: Click Here

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In Memoriam – Jean Claude Phanor

Beloved longtime Portland Public Schools custodian Jean Claude Phanor, 64, passed away on Aug. 16, following a brief illness. Jean Claude spent 30 years with the district, most recently working at Lyseth Elementary School, where Principal Sara Goodall shared this message: "Jean Claude was one of the kindest people; he loved his grandkids and his sons, and while the last year was hard for him, he was always a dedicated and hard worker for kids and staff and a member of the Portland Public Schools and our community for many, many years. He will be missed.

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Upcoming Events

First Day of School

K-12: September 6
Pre-k & k: September 7

Back to School Fair

East End Community School

September 16, 2023

1:00 - 4:00PM

Beyond Borders Conference

University of Southern Maine

Wednesday, September 27

8:00AM - 3:30PM