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Staff & Community Newsletter - Oct 28, 2022

Superintendent Letter - October 28, 2022

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

It’s almost November, a month when we turn the national spotlight on public education. American Education Week, which runs from Nov. 13  to Nov. 19, highlights the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education. This is a good opportunity  to reflect on how we can best achieve that at the Portland Public Schools.

Please keep that in mind as we approach Election Day on Nov. 8. Portland residents are voting on candidates for three seats up for election on the Portland Board of Public Education. Learn who is on the ballot in this newsletter.

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SCHOOL BOARD NEWS

Board Approves Contract with Ed Techs

The Portland Board of Public Education voted Oct. 18 to approve a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the union representing the district’s educational technicians. The new contract recognizes the important work of these key employees and makes the Portland Public Schools more competitive with other districts. The contract runs from Sept. 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2024, with wage increases retroactive to that earlier date.

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Superintendent Search Committee Has 8th Rep

The Portland Board of Public Education on Oct. 18 approved another community representative to serve on the Superintendent Search Committee. The appointment of Lucy Shulman, a Portland resident who is an adjunct instructor at Portland Adult Education, brings the number of community representatives on the committee to eight. The Board approved the appointment of the seven other community representatives at its Oct. 11 meeting.

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DISTRICT NEWS

Winter Boot Drive To Help PPS Kids!

The Rotary Club of Portland, Maine is working with the Portland Public Schools to provide warm, waterproof winter boots to Portland students. There is a huge need as many families are experiencing a Maine winter for the first time. We are reaching out to the Portland community for “gently used boots” and also new boots that we can provide to these students in need.

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Talking to Students about Violence

News of another devastating school shooting this week at a high school in St. Louis, Missouri is tragic and overwhelming. Acts of violence, especially those that impact schools, can confuse and frighten students of any age, and may lead to feelings of danger or worry that they themselves, their friends or loved ones are at risk. They will look to adults for guidance at home, at school and in the community.

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Maine Community Foundation Podcast Features PAE Student's Success Story

In 2017, Mike Masudi arrived in the U.S. by himself at age 19. Since then, he's earned his GED, an associate's degree in information technology, and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity. In this episode of a Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF) podcast, Mike shares how he got where he is today. Anja Hanson, academic advisor at Portland Adult Education, describes the obstacles adult learners face and the determination they have to succeed.

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Invitation to the High School Design Team / Workgroup High School Reenvisioning

The Portland Public Schools is inviting parents to join the High School Design Team to help reenvision our high schools to better meet the changing needs of our community. Portland’s high schools have many wonderful features.  We are rightly proud of much of what our schools are able to offer our diverse student body.  All three of our general high schools have a rich set of traditions and unique characteristics. At the same time, we all recognize that as we focus on creating equitable outcomes for all of our students, we have a responsibility to look deeply at our high schools and continue to evolve them to meet the changing needs of our community.

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3rd Grade Fieldwork

On October 3-October 6th, all 3rd grade students participated in field work at the Presumpscot River. This fieldwork is aligned with their Wabanaki/Life Science unit: Take Me to the River. Students had the opportunity to experience three different ways in which water moves: still, cascading, and flowing. They spent time ‘noticing and wondering’ at each site and met some river ‘friends’--brown trout, sunfish and crayfish.  They identified various plants in the river ecosystem and asked some very good questions about dams--setting up the next set of lessons back at school nicely. Even a drizzly day didn’t dampen the joy!

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RECOGNITIONS

More Recognition for 2023 Maine Teacher of the Year Matt Bernstein!

In an annual tradition on Oct. 22, Maine Secretary of State ⁦Shenna Bellows presented a Maine Teacher of the Year specialty license plate (MTOY 23) to Casco Bay High School humanities teacher Matt Bernstein, who was recently named 2023 Maine Teacher of the Year. Bellows tweeted: "It was such a treat to recognize Maine’s amazing teachers and honor #MTOY23 Matt Bernstein. Teachers do so much to support our young people, and public education has been a cornerstone of our democracy." Gov. Janet Mills also attended the event to honor Bernstein.

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EVENTS


OPPORTUNITIES

Portland Stage Invites PPS Teachers to a Free Theater Event on Nov. 4

PPS teachers, here’s an exciting opportunity from Portland Stage: “You and a guest are invited to Teachers' Night Out at Portland Stage on Friday, November 4th. Enjoy an evening of theater, snacks, and drinks, all for FREE. The evening will begin with a reception with light food and drinks in our Theater for Kids space, where you will have the opportunity to learn more about our education programming. Doors open for the reception at 5:30 pm. Then head upstairs for the 7:30 pm performance of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. 

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine Seeking Success Coach

The goal of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine is to ensure that every member graduates from high school on time with a plan for their future; whether moving on to community college, the trades, or a 4-year college or university. In order to meet this challenge, the organization is launching a Bridge to Success program and is seeking a Success Coach to provide one-to-one and small group support for youth across southern Maine who participate in Bridge to Success.

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Upcoming Events

Shared Space Cafe

Forum for Lincoln Middle School Families

             November 1, 2022                                5:30-7:30 PM                    Lincoln Middle School

Shared Space Cafe: Community Conversation

Forum for Rowe School Families

             November 17, 2022                                5:30-7:30 PM                    Rowe Elementary School

Parent University

Transition to High School 

             December 5, 2022                6:00-7:30 PM

 

DON'T FORGET!

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THANK YOU!