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Staff & Community Newsletter - April 28, 2023

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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Council Committee Endorses School Budget

On Thursday, April 27, the City Council’s Finance Committee voted unanimously to recommend the Portland Board of Public Education’s $143.8 million school budget for the 2023-2024 school year to the full City Council. Members of that Council committee praised the collaborative way the district and Board worked with councilors to craft the FY24 budget and said they appreciated the efforts to meet student and staff needs while reining in costs.

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Reading by EnviroLogix CEO Promotes STEM Learning

In conjunction with this year’s STEM Expo, Envirologix President and CEO Bill Welch read “Libby loves Science” in this recording. In alignment with the Expo, held at district high schools March 31 and April 6 and 13, each pre-K through grade 2 classroom across the district received that STEM-related book along with the recording of Welch reading the book. The book donation was funded by Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company.

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Portrait of a Graduate

Dear Portland Public Schools Community,

We are excited to invite you to a focus group for our “Portrait of a Graduate” vision on Monday, May 8, at King Middle School from 6 pm-8 pm. A Portrait of a Graduate is a shared vision of the knowledge, skills, and character traits that our students should possess upon graduation. It states what students should be able to do and what qualities they should have in order to succeed in college, career, and life. The Portrait of a Graduate vision guides curriculum and instruction, assessments, professional development for educators, and decision-making processes in the district to ensure that all students are prepared for the challenges and opportunities that await them after high school. 

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PHS Principal Sheila Jepson Recognized at Library Conference

Portland High School Principal Sheila Jepson was recognized this week for being the 2023 Maine Association of School Libraries School Administrator of the Year. The award honors administrators who, through individual leadership and sustained effort, have made worthy contributions to the operations of effective school library media services within the educational program.

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SafeBAE to Hold May 3 Virtual Panel on Healthy Relationships, Preventing Sexual Violence

The Portland Public Schools is committed to ensuring that all students have a safe, equitable environment in which to learn. Over the last few years, the district has given particular attention to implementing policies and practices for addressing discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment, and this work involves important collaboration with many community partners. One of our partners, SafeBAE, has arranged an upcoming panel to share more about these collective efforts. 

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Great Summer Opportunity for Students

Maine public high school students in the graduating classes of '24, '25, and '26 are eligible to use a tuition waiver for a two-week intensive University of Southern Maine course that introduces students to the fundamentals of design in the built environment. Students eligible for the waiver, should visit this portal. The process is complex so they should consult their guidance counselor to assist them.. Register here for the class, Art 199/299, called “The Complete City Spatial Design.”

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Upcoming Events

Parent University

Portrait of a Graduate Focus Group

          Monday, May 8, 2023                             6:00-8:00 PM                  King Middle School 

Spring for Teachers

Foundation for PPS

         Tuesday, May 9, 2023                              5:30-7:30 PM                      Bunker Brewery