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PPS Hires New Pre-Kindergarten Director

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PPS Hires New Pre-Kindergarten Director
Posted on 01/05/2022
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Alissa Bourque has been selected as the new director of the Portland Public Schools’ pre-kindergarten program. Ms. Bourque will start in her new position on February 2, 2022.

“We are excited to welcome Ms. Bourque to this key position,” said Superintendent Xavier Botana. “PreK education is a vital  investment in learning for our youngest students, improving their social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills and helping with school readiness. Ms. Bourque has extensive experience in early childhood education, both as a teacher and administrator. She also has experience working with community partners, who are essential to the PPS program. In addition, Ms. Bourque has worked with underserved populations and understands the importance of the district’s Portland Promise goal of centering equity in all our programs throughout the district.”

Ms. Bourque most recently was principal of the Neighborhood Schoolhouse in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she also was a preK teacher and behavioral consultant before being appointed to lead that school. She also served as the early learning center coordinator for The Winston Prouty Center in Brattleboro. Additionally, Ms. Bourque was an adjunct professor of early childhood education at Keene State College; director and lead preK teacher for Washington Park Preschool in Providence, Rhode Island; a consultant for the Rhode Island Hospital Children’s Neurodevelopment Center in Providence, Rhode Island; and a preK and kindergarten teacher in Wappinger Falls, New York.

Ms. Bourque received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from Goddard College.  She holds a master’s degree in education.

Ms. Bourque said, “My family has long dreamed of living in Maine and we are happy to be making our new home in Portland! I’m particularly excited to be joining the Portland Public Schools as the director of pre-kindergarten education. I’ve been so impressed by PPS’ commitment to ensuring that all four- year-olds have access to high quality early childhood education and am eager to contribute to this project. In my previous work, I’ve been lucky to be able to focus extensively on supporting the learning needs of children in the foster care system, children with developmental delays and complex medical conditions, and English language learners. I look forward to working with Portland’s pre-kindergarten children, families and teachers to continue building our district’s capacity to ensure optimal outcomes for all of our youngest learners.”

The Portland Public Schools’ preK lottery application for the 2022-2023 school year will be open from Monday, Feb. 14, until Friday, March 4, 2022. All applications received after March 4, 2022 will automatically be placed on a waiting list. A child is eligible for public preK in 2022-23 if they were born between Oct. 16, 2017 and Oct. 15, 2018. Learn more and access the application in a variety of languages. 

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.