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Staff & Community Newsletter - March 31, 2023

Letter from Interim Co-Superintendents – 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.

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Superintendent Search Update

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. 

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State lawmakers consider first steps in addressing licensing barriers for foreign-trained physicians

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:

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Rowe OM Students Make Finals!

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. 

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Standout Students Win Principal’s Awards

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.

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9th STEM Expo Back In Person

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.

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Upcoming Events

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

Parent University

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