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South Portland approves spending $71.6 million on new middle school, traffic upgrades
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(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."

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SPHS Student Selected to National High School Honors Choir
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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


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Teens and Anxiety – and How We Can Help
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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!

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State board approves $68 million concept for South Portland middle school
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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.

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Free Summer Food Service
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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.

(reprinted from Portland Press Herald)

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Middle School Project Concept Straw Poll
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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

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Preschool Open House
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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).

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Kindergarten Registration Begins March 1st
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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.

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Support Dyer Elementary in Library Challenge
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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


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South Portland High teacher awarded $3600 grant from Berlin City Auto Group
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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.

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iPads for Sale - December 17th
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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.


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Kathy Germani honored as Maine Assistant Superintendent of the Year
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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.

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SPHS Students Set Sail!
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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.

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Middle School Site Selection Straw Poll
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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.

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SPHS Hosts Financial Wellness Fair
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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.

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Summer intern from South Portland adds to staff diversity at Portland library
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Hussein Maow will be the Portland Public Library's first intern under its new Inclusive Internship Initiative, and his goals for the summer include creating programming focused on New Americans and multiculturalism.

Maow, a student at South Portland High School, was chosen from a pool of about 20 applicants, according to Raminta Moore, who heads the library's Cultural Center Team and will oversee his work.


[reprinted from The Forecaster]

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Steven Smith wins national 3000 meter racewalk championship
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South Portland's Steven Smith won the national championship in the 3000-meter racewalk with a time of 13 minutes, 49.09 seconds last weekend at the high school New Balance National meet in Greensboro, North Carolina. Smith, who also won the Maine Class A state title earlier this month, will compete at West Virginia Tech next year. Smith graduates holding school records in the outdoor 1600 and 3000 racewalk and the indoor 1600 racewalk.

reprinted from The Forecaster

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Becky Brown Named the 2017 Maine Curriculum Leader of the Year
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The Maine Curriculum Leaders' Association (MCLA) recently named director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction, Becky Brown, the 2017 Maine Curriculum Leader of the Year.

Becky supports proficiency-based learning in districts throughout Maine and New England, with other curriculum leaders in the southern Maine Curriculum Leaders group, with the Maine Curriculum Leaders' Association, and with the Maine Department of Education.

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Mahoney Students win Launchpad Entrepreneurship Contest
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Overview Video

Students in Mahoney's Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) class recently won a $1,000 prize for their first place finish in the Launchpad Junior competition.

JMG students worked with experts from Gorham Savings Bank to identify a need, develop a business plan, and craft a project pitch. Mahoney students pitched their idea of a "Five Star Chef" program that teaches students how to create nutritious meals to help develop lifelong healthy eating and counter the growing problem of food instability.

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Students Attend Technology Conference
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Twenty South Portland middle school students recently attended the MLTI Student Conference at the University of Maine in Orono. The MLTI Student Conference was coordinated by the Maine Department of Education as part of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative. Students and teachers from all over Maine gathered on May 25 to engage in STEM focused workshop sessions, collaborate with each other, and encourage college aspirations.

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Memorial Middle School honored for Digital Citizenship programming
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Memorial Middle School has demonstrated its commitment to taking a whole-community approach to preparing its students to use the immense power of digital media to explore, create, connect, and learn, while limiting the perils that exist in the online realm, such as plagiarism, loss of privacy, and cyberbullying.

According to commonsensemedia.org, Memorial Middle School is the only school in Maine to have earned school certification, thanks in large part of the efforts of teacher librarian Cidney Mayes and technology integrator Sarah Glatz.



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Adult Education Graduation Class of 2017
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The South Portland Adult Education program celebrated the graduation of its Class of 2017 with a ceremony on May 18 at the high school auditorium. Eight of the ten graduates participated in the ceremony which featured a touching student speech by Ashley Hoyt and the presentation of Student of the Year Awards to Toria Daniels and Jonathan Neptune.

Congratulations to our Adult Education Class of 2017!


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