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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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