From behind masks and plexiglass, the virus hasn't stopped South Portland School District's commitment to students or to our collective vision of the future.
Humanities teachers at Memorial Middle School have been teaching students about the local watershed as part of an interdisciplinary project aimed at helping students better understand their local environment while working on their compare/contrast writing.
The South Portland School Department has teamed up with The Locker Project to offer fresh and non-perishable food to families. This collaboration has provided thousands of pounds of food to community members just this year alone and is district wide, ensuring that everyone has access to healthy, fresh food in South Portland.
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!
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
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.
Wednesday Community From here:
to accommodate more participants
In the coming days we will hold two virtual Community Forums to review the South Portland Schools Draft Pandemic Response Plan for 2020-21. Below please find the connection information. Each forum will involve a brief review of the draft plan and then a time for questions and comments.
"Protesting is a beautiful thing. But I want to see support from all those people who were out there. When we get back during the school year, I want to see them at civil rights team meetings. I want to see them at school board meetings, giving their opinions about policies that are inequitable. We can't just protest and be angry and do nothing with that." - Fiona Akilo Stawarz, Student Representative to South Portland Board of Education
New Assistant Superintendent Jodi Mezzanotte provided the public and Board of Education with an overview of federal programs on July 13th. The presentation covered current funding, expenditures and trends in targeted areas such as professional development, educational technology, and supports for homeless and disadvantaged students and families.
"Title two funding has been decreasing in South Portland but that's a national trend, while there is an uptick in funding for Title four this year" said Mezzanotte.
Ms. Mezzanotte also shared details about the district's programming for English Learners.
Please see the attached presentation. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 11th members of the South Portland Schools Administration presented to the Board of Education results and insights from surveys sent to parents and staff. Each were asked to reflect on emergency remote learning.
School administration also discussed considerations and process for the 2020-21 School Year.
At a School Board Workshop on Monday, January 27, Mr. Kunin gave the 2019-20 State of the Schools presentation. The aim of the presentation was to provide answers to questions about who we are, how we are doing and where we are going. Mr. Kunin presented on these three questions and then opened it up to questions from the School Board, City Council and Legislative delegation and ended with an opportunity for public comment.
(reprinted from Kelly Bouchard, Portland Press Herald)City voters overwhelmingly approved two spending proposals Tuesday totaling $71.6 million that will pay for a new consolidated middle school and related traffic improvements.
The vote was 3,234-962, 77 percent in favor, to borrow $69.3 million to build a new middle school. The project will receive $59.3 million in state funding and require $10 million to be raised locally for building upgrades not covered by the Maine Department of Education.
The new school will replace the city's two aging middle schools – Mahoney and Memorial – and will be built next to Memorial Middle School on Wescott Road. Both schools have a variety of health, safety and structural issues.
"This is going to be great for the kids," said School Committee Chairman Dick Matthews. "We've been working on this for four years. Thank you to the voters of South Portland."
South Portland senior Toby Laber-Smith was accepted to the National High School Honors Choir. Laber-Smith completed a rigorous audition last May and competed with students from around the country to win this honor. He will travel to Orlando to rehearse and perform under the baton of internationally recognized conductor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, of St. Olaf College.
Photo credit to Catherine Callender
SoPo Unite, our Drug Free Communities Coalition, is hosting an event for parents on "Teens, Anxiety and How We Can Help" on Tuesday, August 27th from 6:30-8:30 pm facilitated by Kara and Ben Tierney-Trevor at South Portland High School in the Learning Commons.
Some teens can become anxious about the beginning of school, especially when they are transitioning to a new school. Come learn about how to manage gneral stress and anxiety, and discuss with other parents how we can help our teensa manage all of it.
Childcare and refreshments will be provided!
The State Board of Education on Wednesday unanimously approved the concept for a new $67.7 million middle school in South Portland. A total of $59.2 million of the project, which now heads to voters in a Nov. 5 referendum, would be funded by the state with a remaining $8.4 million to be raised locally.
The proposal would replace the city's two aging middle schools, both of which house grades 6 through 8, with one 5-8 school to be built on the site of Memorial Middle School on Wescott Road. The new school would house about 900 students.
The South Portland School Nutrition Program will offer a Summer Food Service Program to provide meals to all children, without charge, during the summer months. Those meals will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, at the sites and times as follows:
Breakfast will be served from 8 to 8:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to noon weekdays through Aug. 9 at Skillin Elementary School Cafeteria, 180 Wescott Road.
Breakfast also will be served from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. weekdays through Aug. 23 in the Community Room at Brickhill, 586 Westbrook St.
There will be no food service offered Thursday in observance of the July 4 holiday.
After years of work we are preparing for a Concept Straw Poll on June 20th at
6:30 p.m. in the South Portland High School Auditorium as the next step in the state
mandated process for our state approved and funded Middle School Project.
For more than fifteen years South Portland has been developing plans to address the needs
of its aging middle schools. The concept design developed for a new combined grade 5-8
middle school has been based on detailed analysis following the state's guidelines,
educational needs, comparative cost data, building committee analysis, and community
input. We are putting forward a plan that we believe will serve the needs of all South
Portland students for decades to come.
Come to the Concept Straw Poll to learn more about key educational and sustainability
features of this exciting project.
For the latest information about the project, please go to: tinyurl.com/spsdms
Preschool Open Houses for the 2019-2020 school year will be held on Wednesday, March 27th from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Please join us for an information meeting and pre-registration at either Kaler Elementary School (65 South Kelsey Street) or Skillin Elementary School (180 Wescott Road).
Open Kindergarten registration for all children who will be five years old on or before October 15, 2019, will take place in the South Portland Elementary Schools from March 1 through March 31, 2019. At the registration appointment you will be required to provide your child's original birth certificate, a copy of your child's original immunization record, and proof of residency.
Please call your school for a registration appointment.
Dyer Elementary School has entered a $200,000 national education contest hoping for a chance at one of the thirteen prizes awarded to recognize the most unique and inventive programs. In addition to completing an online application for the annual Follett Challenge, Dyer Elementary School also submitted a short video to promote its program that helps teach students the 21st century skills they need to be prepared for life.
"This is an exciting opportunity to share one of the many innovative programs you can find in our South Portland School Department Libraries" said teacher librarian Megan Blakemore.
To see Dyer's entry and cast your vote, please visit https://follettchallenge.com/videos/1223