Staff & Community Newsletter - March 31, 2023
In our recent newsletter messages, we have highlighted some of the amazing teaching and learning ongoing at the Portland Public Schools – in math, science, English language arts and social studies, and in music and the arts. In addition to rigorous academic offerings and challenging athletic opportunities, our schools also offer students a diverse range of co-curricular clubs and activities. In this letter, we turn the spotlight on those.
Co-curriculars play an important role in helping the Portland Public Schools achieve the Whole Student goal in the Portland Promise, our district’s strategic plan. That goal commits the district to advancing a well-rounded educational experience that “builds character, encourages civic participation, stimulates creativity and artistic expression, promotes mental and physical wellness, awakens appreciation of the natural world and fosters global competency.” Co-curriculars can help provide those experiences for students.
SCHOOL BOARD NEWS
Dear families, staff, students, friends, and supporters of the Portland Public Schools,
As we approach the interview phase of our search for a new superintendent, the Portland Public Schools Superintendent Search Committee is committed to a transparent and inclusive process and requests your active participation in one of the most important decisions we will make this year. Your input and feedback played a critical role in finalizing the job profile we used to recruit and screen candidates for the superintendent position last month. We are excited about the candidate pool so far and remain on track for a competitive search. Your continued engagement in the process will be just as vital when our interviews with the top candidates begin soon.
An “Art Class” exhibit, open March 31 – April 21 at the Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery, features artwork created by students from every Portland Public Schools high school and is student curated.
On March 2, Read Across America Day, many of Talbot Community School staff members dressed as their favorite book characters. Principal Ann Hanna dressed as a tiger – Talbot’s mascot and a character from “The Circus Ship” by Chris Van Dusen.
The Foundation for Portland Public Schools is thrilled to announce an anonymous donation of $250,000 to enrich music, visual, and performing arts experiences for students in the Portland Public Schools.
Many foreign-trained physicians in Maine are unable to practice medicine here due to what they say are bureaucratic barriers, even as the state experiences a severe shortage of healthcare workers. On March 21, lawmakers on the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services Committee heard testimony on a bill that would form a commission to study how to integrate foreign-trained physicians into the state’s medical workforce. The New Mainers Resource Center at Portland Adult Education supports this bill. Here’s a Maine Public radio report on the public hearing:
Amazing Deering High School alum Sally Wigon is featured in this Portland Press Herald story: "At 103, Portland supply-store owner has never run low on tenacity"
Portland High School sophomore William Guerin recently delivered an outstanding performance with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, according to Julianne Eberl, Portland Public Schools music director and conductor of the Portland Public Schools High School Orchestra.
The Maine Association of School Libraries (MASL) presented its 2023 School Administrator of the Year award to Portland High School Principal Sheila Jepson on March 22. The award honors administrators who have made worthy contributions to the operations of effective school library media services.
This school year, for the first time, Odyssey of the Mind was offered at Amanda C. Rowe Elementary School. Fast forward to the Nor’Easter Tournament on March 25, when two of the three teams from Rowe School placed first and second in their problems and have been invited to compete at the World Finals in Michigan May 24-27.
In a recent letter to the Portland Press Herald, a Scarborough woman praised the way Deering High School students treated her during a visit to a fast food restaurant. She said the students showed “kindness, concern for others and camaraderie.” Read the letter, titled “Encouraged by the next generation.”
Each year, Maine high school principals nominate one senior from their schools to receive an MPA Principal’s Award. The award, sponsored by the Maine Principals' Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior's academic achievement and good citizenship.The 2023 MPA Principal’s Award winners from the Portland Public Schools’ three high schools are: Abdullah Alzamilli, at Portland High School, selected by Principal Sheila Jepson; Anja Franck at Deering High School, selected by Co-Principal and Interim Assistant Superintendent Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed; and Greta Holmes at Casco Bay High School, selected by Principal Derek Pierce.
The STEM Expo, put on each year by the Portland Public Schools in partnership with EnviroLogix, is back in person in 2023, for the first time since the pandemic. Also, the event is divided into three separate days this year – March 31, April 6 and April 13 – at the district’s high schools to make it easier for high school students to attend.
Join the Foundation for Portland Public Schools at Spring for Teachers, a benefit for PPS students and the Equity and Innovation Teacher Grant program.
When: Tuesday, May 9, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: Bunker Brewing Co., 17 Westfield St D, Portland
Tickets: Spring for Teachers
Back Bay Lacrosse ( aka Portland Youth Lacrosse), which runs the Portland Middle School Lacrosse Program through a MOU with the Portland Public Schools, is looking for a PPS teacher or employee that has school hours and could help coach this great group of 7th and 8th grade girls.
BFOF: Architect-Led School Tours
April 1, 2023
Longfellow 1:00-1:30 PM Reiche 2:00-2:30 PM Presumpscot 3:00-3:30 PM
Student Art Show
March 31-April 21
Portland Public Library
Building Bridges Across Differences
April 11, 2023 6:00-7:30 PM East End Community School
Spring For Teachers
Foundation for PPS
May 9, 2023 5:30-7:30 PM Bunker Brewing