Staff & Community Newsletter - March 17, 2023
Daylight savings time has begun and spring officially arrives on the calendar this Monday, March 20. We hope the start of the new season and the extra hour of daylight at the end of the day are a boost for everyone!
The Portland Public Schools FY24 school budget process also officially launched this month, when we presented our recommended $141.3 million school budget proposal for the 2023-2024 school year to the Portland Board of Public Education on Monday, March 14.
SCHOOL BOARD NEWS
At its March 7 meeting, the Board of Public Education voted to approve the 2023-2024 Portland Public Schools District Calendar. View the calendar HERE.
March is National Youth Art Month and also National Music in our Schools Month, so Interim Co-Superintendents Melea Nalli and Aaron Townsend used their March column in The Forecaster to shine a spotlight on recent art and music accomplishments of PPS students and the dedicated educators who teach them. Read the column: “Highlighting the value of the arts at city schools”
On Tuesday, March 21st the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services will hold a public hearing on LD 937 - Resolve, to Establish the Commission Regarding Foreign-trained Physicians Living in Maine. This bill would establish a commission to look at ways that Maine could help facilitate and support foreign-trained physicians who are living in Maine to use their skills and training as a doctor.
The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization and the East End Community School (EECS) arts program joined forces to produce a fun show on March 10 and 11. Student artists brought parents, grandparents and siblings to the Hill House to enjoy their creations. This may be the first of a continuing annual event.
The show is being left up for the month of March in celebration of Youth Art Month. Some EECS classes may take walking field trips to view the show. The public can schedule a special appointment to visit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big thanks to EECS Art Teacher Melissa Maher, MHNO Board Member Carol Connor and the creative EECS students for making this possible.
Portland High School senior Jaime Beya-Mbiyavanga won the Runner Up Award at the Poetry Out Loud State Competition, held March 13 at Bates College in Lewiston. Congratulations to this outstanding student!
PPS kindergartners will be visiting the student-built Sugar House at the Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS) March 20-23 as part of a Wabanaki Studies unit called Maple Thanksgiving, in which students learn about the Indigenous origins of maple sugaring.
A March 17 student-initiated event at Deering High School featuring speakers discussing the "History of Drag and Queer Joy" is drawing a lot of public attention. Interim Co-Superintendents Melea Nalli and Aaron Townsend shared a letter with the PPS community on March 15 making clear that the Portland Public Schools values student voice and supports student participation and leadership in a variety of groups and conversations that align with their interests, aspirations and identities – including this conversation. Read the superintendents’ letter.
Read Across America Day, an annual national celebration of reading, was on March 2. Here are some of the activities on Read Across America Day that we were shared by PPS Schools: Rowe Elementary School and East End Community School.
Julia Hazel, the district’s Director of BIPOC Career Pathways and Leadership Development, and Bowdoin Professor of Education Doris Santoro recently co-authored a new paper that has been published by the Philosophy of Education Society, titled "The Ethics of Recruiting Educators of Color."
As one of our district’s core values is community-- the belief that we are better together and that we support one another-- we PPS parents (Kate O'Brien and Jes Hathaway) are co-facilitating two upcoming Parent U sessions to support fellow parents in developing more skills, tools, and peer support to more intentionally build bridges across differences in our school communities:
- Session 1 - Mindsets, Tools, & Practices for Building Bridges Across Difference - next Thursday, 3/23 @ 6pm on Zoom - an interactive learning session that culminates with setting a bridge-building intention to try out before Session 2
- Session 2 - Peer Coaching & Practice for Building Bridges Across Difference three weeks later on Tuesday, 4/11 @ 6pm in-person at EECS - a "held space" for learning through shared reflection and processing in smaller groups with fellow parents
The student-built PATHS Sugar House, which opened last spring, will participate in Maine Maple Sunday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Educate Maine’s Maine Career Catalyst and Project Login are excited to partner with IDEXX on Tuesday, March 28th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, to host a Data Science Exploration Night at their Westbrook campus!
This FREE networking event is open to current high school or college students, interns, and young professionals who are interested in learning more about a career in data science in a variety of sectors. The evening includes appetizers, networking opportunities, and a short panel with data science professionals.
Register here by Thursday, March 23rd.
The Maine Association of School Nurses announces a call for nominations for the Maine School Nurse of the Year (SNOY) 2022-23! This award recognizes an outstanding school nurse for his/her contributions to the school and community they serve. The award provides recognition to an individual who demonstrates leadership in 6 areas of practice: care provision, program management, health education, professional development, community involvement, and research. Application deadline is April 25. Learn more.
As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current social studies standards and science and engineering standards. These comments will inform the work of the standards revision teams. Public hearing March 21. Written comments due April 6. Learn more.
School Budget Public Hearing
March 20, 2022
School Finance Committee Budget Review and Public Hearing
April 4, 2023
School Board 1st Reading of Recommended FY24 Budget and Public Hearing
Building Bridges Across Difference: Two-Part Series
March 23, 2023
6:00-7:30 pm Virtual Meeting tinyurl.com/Mar23ParentU
April 11, 2023 6:00-7:30 pm East End Community School
BFOF School Tours
April 1, 2023
Longfellow 1:00-1:30 pm
Reiche 2:00-2:30 pm Presumpscot 3:00-3:30