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Latest News

9th STEM Expo Back In Person

The STEM Expo, put on each year by the Portland Public Schools in partnership with EnviroLogix, is back in person in 2023, for the first time since the pandemic. Also, the event is divided into three separate days this year – March 31, April 6 and April 13 – at the district’s high schools to make it easier for high school students to attend.

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Superintendents Present FY24 Budget Proposal

The $141.3 million Portland Public Schools superintendents’ recommended school budget for the 2023-2024 school year has three key priorities: It maintains the district’s commitment to its Portland Promise goals of Achievement, Whole Student and People – all centered on the fourth goal of Equity; is responsive to the needs of all students, especially students newly learning English; and improves operational effectiveness in such areas as finance and human resources. The FY24 budget balances challenging fiscal constraints, including a significant reduction in state aid and inflation, with increased costs to support staff and students, while being cognizant of taxpayers. It would increase the school portion of the tax rate by 7 percent, adding about $15.60 per month to the tax bill of the average homeowner.

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Middle Schools Relaunch Make It Happen!

At the beginning of February, the Portland Public Schools celebrated the inauguration of the Make It Happen! (MIH) middle school program with a field trip to the University of Southern Maine. MIH is a college readiness program that helps PPS multilingual students aspire to and prepare for higher education. It was established in 2008 for multilingual students in grades 7-12, supported by grant funds. Due to budget limitations, the MIH middle school program was dropped six years ago, but has been relaunched in the 2022-2023 school year with new grant funding resources. The program is already having an impact at the district’s three middle schools

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Spinglass Audit Results Shared

The Spinglass Management Group has completed its audit of the Portland Public Schools’ payroll practices and issued a report. The report reflects many of the payroll problems – with systems, staffing and processing – that the district has already shared since the beginning of its payroll issues this fall. The report also details significant strides the district has made to stabilize systems, enter into an agreement to outsource payroll functions, and increase payroll staffing. Additionally, it outlines the work the district continues to do to resolve outstanding concerns.

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PforP Helps Students Make a Difference!

Painting for a Purpose, a local nonprofit organization founded by teachers, brings creative people together to paint whimsical decorative items that they sell to raise money to fund service-learning projects led by Portland Public Schools students who want to make a difference. Students receive up to $500 to put their idea into action. So far this school year, Painting for a Purpose has funded a wide variety of PPS students' amazing service-learning projects.

For example, a King Middle School sixth-grader won a grant to help her share Ethiopian cuisine and traditions with the school community. She conducted independent research on Ethiopia and fed her classmates injera flatbread and other Ethiopian food. She had a meal catered from Asmara Restaurant, and shared a presentation that celebrated her culture and educated others on her mother’s home country. Click HERE to learn about this and the seven other projects that Painting for a Purpose helped make a reality this year.

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