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Staff & Community Newsletter - Jan 21, 2023

Letter from Interim Co-Superintendents - January 21

Dear Portland Public Schools families, staff and community members,

We hope this finds you warm and well after the beautiful snowy day.  We understand that for many, yesterday morning’s wake-up call to inform you that we were having a snow day was welcome news (our own kids were quite thrilled!). But we want to also acknowledge that canceling school places a heavy burden on some families and students, and so we will always make these decisions carefully with as much information as possible. We want to use this opportunity to share transparently about how we make these decisions. 

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Invitation to Community Engagement Opportunities - Superintendent Search Process

Dear families, staff, students, friends and supporters of the Portland Public Schools,

We are excited to begin conversations with you about bringing in a new leader for the Portland Public Schools. As we have shared, the Portland Board of Public Education created a Superintendent Search Committee, made up of eight community members from a variety of stakeholder groups and four Board members, to spearhead the search for our new superintendent. 

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Superintendent Search Survey

We are launching a brief survey accessible here in English, and also available in Arabic, French, Khmer, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. You’ll have the opportunity to share what you love most about the Portland Public Schools, our top areas in need of improvement, the skills most important for the role, and what you consider to be the most important aspects of the superintendent’s job in order to successfully lead the district. The survey will be open for submissions until Friday, February 3, 2023.

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PPS BIPOC Support Group Under Fire by Conservative Group

Media reports say a complaint has been filed by a national conservative group called Parents Defending Education with the U.S. Department of Education against our BIPOC Community Circle, an affinity group for our BIPOC staff members. We are aware of the reports about the complaint, but the district has not been contacted by any organization or government entity regarding any complaint. The district also has never received a complaint internally or externally about the existence of this or other PPS affinity groups. We are proud of our efforts to support staff through our affinity groups.

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The Xavier Botana Scholarship Fund

A scholarship fund has been formed to honor the legacy created by Xavier Botana's equity work and focus on the Portland Promise. Scholarship recipients will be students in the Make it Happen! Program, a college readiness program designed for high school multilingual students. The fund was unveiled during Xavier's farewell gathering with staff and community members on Wednesday, January 19, 2023. Your gift and support are much appreciated! Here's the link to the fund. 

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Upcoming Events

Pre-K Lottery Application

Open from January 9th to January 27th, 2023

Apply Here

ReImagining Family  Engagement

Outreach & Partnerships with Multilingual Families

January 26, 2023
5:30-7:30 PM
King Middle School

Superintendent Search

Community  Engagement


January 30, 2023
6:30-8:30 PM
East End Community School

January 31, 2023 
6:30-8:30 PM
Casco Bay High School


February 2, 2023
6:30-8:30 PM

Parent University Sessions

Parents as Partners for the Portland Promise

February 15, 2023 & March 28, 2023