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News & Media

2020-2021 Proposed Reopening Plan

On Wednesday June 9th Superintendent Kunin presented a Reopening Plan for the 2021-2022 school year to the Board of Education. The plan detailed a return to in-person learning, full time five days a week, and holds the health and safety of students, staff and community as the primary consideration; strives to ensure equitable access to opportunity for all of our students; and was built to be flexible and to address multiple possible scenarios.

"We anticipate a much more normal and joyous level of activity across our schools with music and athletics" said Kunin.

The slides of the presentation can be viewed here, and a recording of the workshop presentation and discussion is available here.

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SPHS Graduation Live-Streaming and Recording
In addition to in person graduation, viewers can watch South Portland High School graduation live from anywhere in the world. to view the ceremony live or to see the recording later please visit

Viewers in the South Portland area who are cable TV subscribers may also access the program live on SPC-TV Channel 2. SPC-TV will also be streaming the event here.

The event is scheduled to begin at 1pm on Sunday June 6th.

For more information please visit the SPHS website.

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Brown Celebrates Book Week with One School, One Book Project.

To celebrate Children's Book Week, Brown Elementary hosted a One School, One Book project. All students in grades K-5, whether attending school in-person or remotely, read Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham and participated in corresponding activities.

Brown Elementary's Partners for Children partnered with Dead River Company and the United Way for the purpose of meeting the Thrive 2027 goal of giving every child quality early learning experiences. The funds from Dead River were used to purchase books and other literacy instructional materials.

Families and community members joined in on the fun by enjoying the Outside, Inside StoryWalk™ displayed on the fence at Brown Elementary School and around the playground of Brickhill Heights. They painted kindness rocks to help spread joy throughout the community. Those who enjoyed the StoryWalks™ were invited to take a rock, or leave a rock.

"The Brown School community has been experiencing these "unprecedented times" together and our perseverance over this past year deserves to be recognized and celebrated. Every class read the book and engaged in discussions around connecting to the text, caring for others, resilience, hope, diversity, and appreciation" said Principal Alexis Jones.

Please visit this website for a community reading of Outside, Inside.

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Teacher Librarian Jen Stanbro named 2021 School Librarian of the Year by the Maine Association of School Libraries

The Maine Association of School Libraries has honored a South Portland elementary school librarian with its 2021 Librarian of the Year award.

Jennifer Stanbro, 50, has been with Skillin Elementary School since 2004, and now serves as teacher librarian and the district's K-12 libraries coordinator.

Stanbro's work goes well beyond helping kids check out books. She teaches classes in research and technology, focusing on skills such as how to do research online, how to use critical thinking to identify facts, proper usage of social media and even how to identify copyrighted works online.

The Walter J. Taranko School Librarian Award is given annually to a school librarian "in recognition of excellence in school library work within the State of Maine." In a statement, the MASL wrote: "The support and advocacy efforts made by Jen demonstrate the exemplary qualities of a School Librarian that MASL seeks to honor each year."

In early April district administrators met with Stanbro at the Skillin library, while students, staff and Stanbro's family joined via Google Meets to congratulate her.

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Burlington Stores donates $5000 toward school supplies at Skillin Elementary

Skillin School received a donation of $5000 towards school supplies from Burlington Stores via the national non-profit organization,

Skillin Elementary Principal Bethany Connolly, Assistant Principal Myra Caron and Gretchen McCloy, Director of Community Partnerships for the South Portland Schools were on hand for the ribbon cutting at the new store on Running Hill Road to receive the donation. The donation will provide new school supplies for each teacher's classroom. Teachers will use the funds on a number of new classroom items such as instructional materials, incentives, art and music supplies, multicultural books, and hands-on learning materials.

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MAEC Focus Group Summary Report

At the April 14th Board of Education Meeting, Dr. Daryl Williams, Senior Education Equity Specialist at MAEC, shared a summary of themes from focus groups which took place at South Portland High School in March of 2020. MAEC was engaged by the school department and the Board of Education in 2019 to support South Portland's ongoing work to ensure that schools provide equity of access to opportunity for all students.

"This was a proactive step to guide us in looking at issues around equity as part of our strategic vision for our district. Hearing the voices, particularly the voices of students, is an important part of creating a vision upon which to act," said Superintendent Ken Kunin and Dr. Williams in a joint statement. "South Portland Schools will learn from the MAEC recommendations and will work closely with our community and with MAEC to move forward."

A summary of themes from the focus groups can be found here.

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Timothy M. Matheney Appointed Superintendent of South Portland Schools

Following a national search the South Portland Board of Education appointed Timothy Matheney as Superintendent of Schools effective July 1, 2021. Mr. Matheney is a lifelong educator and the founder and president of the Spire Leadership Group, an educational consulting organization.

Matheney stated, "I am eager to build on the great work of Superintendent Kunin and the amazing educators in South Portland as we continue to pursue the Board's vision for equity and excellence. I look forward to leading the implementation of the equity plan currently under development and ensuring collaboration among all stakeholders – students, parents, community members and staff – during this important effort."

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SPSD Statement  on the Events of January 6, 2020

As the sun rose on another day, it left us wondering if January 6 really happened. Did we actually witness an assault on our nation's capital while the Congress was meeting to certify the peaceful transfer of administrations, a bedrock of our democracy since John Adams in 1801? With a very heavy heart, we had to acknowledge that we did.

While we are already striving to continue our students' learning through a year of pandemic, we now have the job of supporting our learning communities through an additional challenge. As we engage with our students we are ever mindful that the sacred purpose of public school, since its very founding, is and has always been to educate our youth to be active participants in our democracy. In uncertain times, our shared task is more important than ever.

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District Digital Citizen Presentation

District technology director Andrew Wallace, Memorial Middle School counselor Christine Stults, and K-12 Library Info Integrator Jen Stanbro presented a myriad of resources related to Digital Citizenship, all of which are available and recommended for parents, children, and community members who are interested in learning about how to be a safe and responsible digital citizen.

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PBIS at Small School

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) are used for improving behavior and practices that affect student outcomes everyday. These practices, although not new to the SPSD, have come to the forefront of education this year as students work through new ways of learning and navigating their educational experience. At the Small School, teachers, staff, and administrators have a system in place that helps inspire and then celebrate students for their work.

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Juggling at Mahoney Middle

With all of the restrictions on student movement this year between classrooms and interpersonally due to COVID, it has been a top priority for teachers and staff in South Portland to create opportunities for the children of the district to be more active. One creative way this has come to fruition is thanks to Laurie Milton and the Connections Program. Milton knew that the students needed something light-hearted and fun that could double as a mentally challenging, physical activity break during the course of the day and was inspired early in the year while shopping.

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Virtual HolidayFest features South Portland Music Students

For over 25 years, the Chamber of Commerce for South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, along with the city of South Portland, have brought the community together with HolidayFest and the tree lighting at the beginning of December. It's no surprise that this year the event has been turned virtual but that couldn't stop the students of South Portland from doing all they could to bring the joy of the seasons to the community.

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Newspaper Front Page Project at Mahoney Middle

Newspapers and the media play a huge role in the local community and Deborah Woodbury and her team at Mahoney Middle School wanted to harness the power of the news to give students an opportunity to share their stories with their teachers and peers this year. Students were tasked with creating their own personal newspaper front page to share this, utilizing many of the important writing skills they've been working on their whole academic career.

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Elementary School Welcome Back Video

We are so excited to welcome our elementary school students and staff back into our elementary school buildings. Everyone at South Portland Schools has been working hard this summer to prepare the buildings and develop procedures to ensure a safe return.

We invite our elementary school parents and students will take a few minutes to view our Welcome Back Video.

We look forward to seeing you next week!

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Translated Parent Forums

The South Portland School Department recently hosted four parent forums for Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Spanish speaking families to discuss the Schools Pandemic Response Plan.

The forums were facilitated by English Language Learner Coordinator Sheanna Zimmerman and Assistant Superintendent Jodi Mezzanotte, and translated by native speakers.

To view a recording of the forums please click the links below:





Families that need assistance with translation service please contact 207-871-0555

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2020 Cohort Grouping Information

Cohort Assignments were emailed to families on July 28th. Unfortunately a number of our outgoing emails were intercepted by SPAM blockers. Please continue reading for more information on how you can receive your child's cohort assignment.

All students have been assigned to cohorts in the event we return to school under the "Yellow" plan - a hybrid of in-person and distance learning.

Every effort has been made to assign siblings to the same cohort; however, there may be some discrepancies based on instructional/programmatic needs. If you have a question or concern regarding your child's/children's cohort placement, please contact the school's principal via email below as most of our buildings remain closed.

Classroom assignments to specific teachers will be shared with families in mid August.

To receive your child's cohort placement please call 207-871-0555 or email your child's principal.

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