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Staff & Community Newsletter - Nov 23, 2022


SCHOOL BOARD NEWS


DISTRICT NEWS

Inclement Weather Plan 2022-2023

It’s the time of year to remind everyone about the Portland Public Schools' inclement weather policy and how such decisions get made.This year, bad weather events will be traditional “snow days.” That means our schools will be closed and students will not be expected to go to school in person or learn remotely. Educators will not be expected to work. We will make those days up at the end of the year. 

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Verizon Foundation Continues to Support STEM Initiatives at PPS

The Verizon Foundation has contributed $10,000 for STEM initiatives in Portland elementary schools. For several years, Verizon has supported science curriculum development in the Portland Public Schools, providing funds for staff stipends as well as resources and supplies for student use. This year, Verizon has donated to the Foundation for Portland Public Schools to continue to build out STEM kits for each elementary school library and to contribute to professional development for school staff to attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in the spring.

Thank you, Verizon, for your support!

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Class of 2027: It’s High School Preference Time!

We are fortunate in Portland to have three great high schools to attend: Casco Bay High School, Deering High School, and Portland High School. Eighth-graders and their families: It’s the time of year to let us know which high school you would like to attend next fall. Learn about our revised preference process and the timeline for you to tell us your preference at the Transitioning to High School page, which is now live on our website.

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World Language Community Forum - NEW DATE

Please note, the community forum on immersion programming has been moved from December 1st to December 19th and has been broadened to a conversation about the Portland Public Schools World Language Vision.  During this forum we will share the district world language vision and ask for input on what families hope to see in terms of world language programming in the district over time.  Part of this conversation will include an update on the current immersion program offerings.  Interpretation will be available.  During small group break-out time we will meet in language groups so that people can discuss and give input in their preferred language.  In addition, we will hold a Lyseth family break-out option to share additional updates on the Lyseth program and potential tweaks for next year. 

Read More about World Language Community Forum - NEW DATE
Resources to Support Schools, Parents Following Active Shooter Threats

As you know, the Portland Public Schools was among multiple school districts around the state that were the targets of active shooter threats on Nov. 15. Although the threats turned out to be hoaxes, they were traumatic events for students, staff and families – who all may need additional support to help process the experience. The Maine Department of Education has provided resources for families and schools to assist in that. Learn more.

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Message from PPS Regarding Colorado Springs Attack

News of another mass shooting, this one at a gay nightclub in Colorado this past Saturday, shocks and saddens us all and can be particularly traumatic for students and adults in our LGBTQ+ community. Please know that the Portland Public Schools stands in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ students, staff and families. And –  as the Portland Board of Public Education stated in a resolution it passed in February 2021 decrying hate crimes locally that targeted members of this community – our district remains committed to rooting out homophobia in schools and incorporating LGBTQ+ history, culture, and identity into the curriculum.

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RECOGNITIONS

DHS Machigonne Meet Was 'Great Success’

Deering High School hosted an all-events speech and debate tournament on Nov. 19 that was very successful, according to teacher Molly Callaghan, who co-coaches Deering’s outstanding Debate Team, along with Krista Simonis. Although the school has hosted tournaments in the past, this year’s Deering High Machigonne Meet was the first for the school since debate contests are back in person this year following the pandemic.

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Lincoln Special Educator Honored

On Nov. 15, the Portland Board of Public Education & Superintendent Xavier Botana honored Ellen Flores, a special educator in the Breathe program at Lincoln Middle School, for receiving  the 2022 Maine Psychological Association Educator Recognition Award for her commitment to advancing positive mental and behavioral health outcomes for students. Botana said that Ellen is “an amazing and great example of our dedicated PPS special education team – educators who are committed to ensuring that every Portland Public Schools student with special needs can successfully access a rigorous, meaningful education.” Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ce0FGIw9prw

Learn more about Ellen.

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EECS Staff Member Among "Mainers To Be Thankful For"

Tyrone Daniels, a cafeteria worker at East End Community School, is the president of the Portland Area Youth Soccer Association. His efforts to go above and beyond to make sure that all kids who want to play – including children from new Mainer multilingual families – get out on the field, led to his being featured in the Portland Press Herald's annual Thanksgiving series titled "Mainers To Be Thankful For." Read about Tyrone and the other nine Mainers featured this year at: https://www.pressherald.com/2022/11/23/2022-mainers-to-be-thankful-for/. CONGRATULATIONS, Tyrone! PPS is thankful for you!

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OPPORTUNITIES

PPS Make It Happen Program Seeks Volunteer Academic Coaches

The Make It Happen (MIH) program at the Portland Public Schools is recruiting volunteers to serve as Academic Coaches. Make It Happen is a college readiness program that helps multilingual students build competitive academic profiles for college admission and financial aid. As an Academic Coach, you will serve students at centers located throughout the District. MIH center staff, Site Coordinators, will pair you with students who participate in the MIH program and are seeking academic support. From there, you will work to provide homework support, reading and writing enrichment, math and science tutoring, and college application support.

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EVENTS

Upcoming Events

Turkey Day Football Game

Rethinking PTO Fundraising

           December 13, 2022                               5:30-7:30 PM                  Moore Middle School 

Parent University

High School  Information Night

           December 5, 2022                               6:30-8:00 PM                  tinyurl.com/HSInfoNight22

Reimagining Family Engagement

Rethinking PTO Fundraising

           December 13, 2022                               5:30-7:30 PM                  Moore Middle School 

Parent University

Community Forum on World Language

           December 19, 2022                               6:30-8:00 PM                   King Middle School