Staff & Community Newsletter -
March 3, 2023
Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,
It’s March, the month when spring arrives – at least on the calendar! March is also Youth Art Month and National Music in Our Schools Month, so it’s a great time to shine a light on the amazing art and music teaching and learning going on in our schools. During March, you’ll have several opportunities to see and hear the results of that teaching and learning.
SCHOOL BOARD NEWS
Portland Public Schools educators at the high school, middle school and elementary level recently shared some examples of innovative humanities and English language arts (ELA) teaching and learning in our schools this year. Read on to learn more details.
The Portland High School Boys Basketball Team is back in the state finals for the first time in six years, after winning the Class AA North regional final on Saturday, Feb. 25. Read the Portland Press Herald story on this exciting game: “Portland completes return to pinnacle with win over Oxford Hills.” Now the team will play for the Class AA Boys State Championship against South Portland. Due to the snowstorm expected this Saturday, the game has been moved to Monday March 6, at 7:45 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. We encourage the Portland community to show up to support this talented and determined team and cheer them on!
Portland Public Schools educators have shared some recent examples of innovative teaching and learning in the arts in our schools this year. Read on to learn more details:
At the beginning of February, the Portland Public Schools celebrated the inauguration of the Make It Happen! (MIH) middle school program with a field trip to the University of Southern Maine. MIH is a college readiness program that helps PPS multilingual students aspire to and prepare for higher education. It was established in 2008 for multilingual students in grades 7-12, supported by grant funds. Due to budget limitations, the MIH middle school program was dropped six years ago, but has been relaunched in the 2022-2023 school year with new grant funding resources. The program is already having an impact at the district’s three middle schools
Do you have a child who will be 5 years old by October 15, 2023? If so, your child will be eligible for Kindergarten. Registration for School Year 2023-24 for this age group starts February 27 and ends on March 17. More information can be found on our website under Kindergarten Enrollment.
Portland Adult Education shared the following information about the passing of a longtime PAE educator: "Our PAE community recently lost a dear friend, gifted mentor, and extraordinary educator: Arline Saturdayborn. Arline taught passionately for more than 20 years, and her kindness and generosity inspired everyone who knew her. To honor Arline's generous spirit, we've created a special fund that will help more students access learning at our school. Click here to learn about our Student Bus Pass Fund, and consider a gift by April 1. Thank you for paying it forward and for believing in the power of adult education in Portland, Maine!
Creative artwork from Portland Public Schools students is included in the Portland Museum of Art’s annual Youth Art Month exhibition showcasing the incredible talent in Maine’s art education programs.
The Portland Public Schools was among school districts included in this Maine Public radio story on school budget pressures this year: Spiking home prices are leading to school budget challenges in some Maine communities
The Portland Public Schools is proud that Casco Bay High School is featured in a new book titled “Schools of Opportunity: 10 Research-Based Models of Equity in Action.” The book focuses on schools that use equity-oriented practices that close opportunity gaps.
A Casco Bay High School sophomore has won a statewide essay competition about a teacher at the school who made a difference and a Casco Bay junior earned an Honorable Mention for his tribute to a former teacher at Ocean Avenue Elementary School.
Libby Catania, a special education teacher and case manager at East End Community School and founder of Our Place, a nonprofit that supports the healthy development of youth and families in Portland, has been selected as a 2023 Outstanding Woman. Libby is one of 20 Outstanding Women being honored this year by Maine’s Coast 93.1 in conjunction with Hannaford Supermarkets.
A forum for conversation and connection, PAE Voices Series brings together business, cultural, and community leaders to share unique perspectives on a wide range of topics. The event will be held three times a year – with each session centered around a different topic, theme, or trend. The inaugural event – on March 8 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at PAE at 14 Locust St. in Portland – will feature entrepreneurial women who are creating change in Maine and beyond. Join PAE for an evening celebrating "movers and shakers" in our community! Tickets are $10 per person, with light snacks and refreshments provided. Learn more.
The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization and the East End Community School (EECS) arts program have joined in an exciting collaboration to bring the first annual student art show into the community. Art created by EECS elementary students will be on display at the MHNO's Hill House on Friday, March 10th, 5-8 pm for the gala opening, with the show continuing on Saturday, March 11th, from noon to 3. The Hill House is at 92 Congress Street at the corner of Atlantic Street.
Deering High School encourages staff, community members and eligible students to take advantage of a life-saving opportunity at a March 14 Blood Drive at the high school. The 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. event is open to the public and everyone is welcome! You can register in advance by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting http://RedCrossBlood.org and entering: DHS
The Maine Department of Education’s Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) will be hosting a T-shirt Design Competition for participating students at MLTI schools in grades 6 through 9. The theme for the 20th annual MLTI Student Conference is “DiveRightIn” (Dive Right In) and all submissions should include the text “DiveRightIn” as a central feature of the design. The conceptual theme is focused around water and primary events at the conference will use that theme. T-shirt designs are due March 15th, 2023. Learn more.
The PPS Food Fund, a collaboration between the Foundation for Portland Public Schools and Food Fuels Learning, is accepting applications for small grants that address immediate and/or long term food security for PPS students and families. To learn more and apply, visit https://www.
Feb 27-Mar 17
Public Forum on FY24 Budget
March 6, 2023 6:00-7:00PM
In person: Casco Bay HS Virtual: tinyurl.com/23PubFor
PAE Voice Series
March 8, 2023
Portland Adult Education
14 Locust Street
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