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
SPHS industrial technology teacher Scott Trebilcock was recently awarded a Berlin City Drive for Education grant in the amount of $3600 to purchase a laser engraver.
Students will be able to use the laser engraver in many classes offered at SPHS such as engineering, architectural design, woodcraft and robotics.
"Many local manufacturers have moved from human operated machines to machines that are controlled by a computer. We would like to offer similar experiences for South Portland students and perhaps encourage more students to pursue manufacturing as a career" said Trebilcock.
For the second year in a row, the South Portland High School Jobs for Maine's Graduates program will be selling used iPads to the community.
Sale hours are 2:30 - 4:30pm on Monday December 17th at South Portland High School's school store.
There are a limited amount of devices for sale, with prices ranging from $50-$100. Cases and chargers will be sold separately.
South Portland High School's Kim Bennett was honored as the 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year Maine Principals' Association.
Students and staff gathered in in Beal Gymansium to honor Ms. Bennett with the award presented by MPA Executive Director Dick Durost.
Kathy Germani was named Maine's Assistant Superintendent of the Year for 2019 by the Maine School Superintendent's Association (MSSA). Ms. Germani has served as Assistant Superintendent in South Portland since 2011 and as principal and special education teacher since 1980. Ms. Germani uses her nearly four decades of service in the South Portland Schools, and deep knowledge of our community, to maximum advantage for the students and schools in South Portland and for the education community in Maine.
From July 1st though the 6th thirteen South Portland High School students from the Learning Alternatives Program spent a week at sea aboard the Tall Ship Harvey Gamage.Students managed nearly every aspect of sailing a ship, from cleaning to cooking to raising sales and keeping watch.
"My experience teaching at sea has taught me the value of the sea as a vehicle to deliver experiential learning" observed SPHS teacher Tom Hyland.
Residents of South Portland are encouraged to join us for the Site Selection straw poll for the proposed new middle school. The event will be held in the South Portland High School Auditorium at 7pm, Wednesday June 13th.
The evening will include a presentation about the recommendation, a brief Q&A and a Site Selection Straw Poll for a proposed New Middle School to be built on the Wescott Road site.
On March 29th South Portland High School's Career Preparation Department hosted its fourth Financial Wellness Fair.
In additional to a wide variety of digital and print resources, and one-on-one conversations with experts in the field, students had a chance to participate in various financial literacy workshops such as credit and why it matters.
"A good understanding about personal finances helps people reach their goals and lead the kinds of lives they dream of" said Linda Halleran of Town and Country Federal Credit Union.
Maggie Cole and Brooklynn Ortiz, sophomores at South Portland High School, traveled with Limitless Child International and spent eleven days in India over the holiday break as Peer Soccer Coaches for a group of forty-five young girls from a slum community in Pune, India. Read more about their experiences in their own words.
On January 22nd, Superintendent Kunin presented the annual State of the Schools address to members of the City Council, Board of Education and the general public.To see the entire presentation please visit SPCTV or download the slides in their entirety here
South Portland High School students Emily Hobbs and Olivia Kierstead were recognized for their poster designs, selected in a statewide contest sponsored by Count ME In to promote improved school attendance.