Maine’s Positive Story of the Day from South Portland High School ~
Principal, Michelle LaForge, sent this in:
By many accounts this has been a very difficult year, coming back to school fully but still masked and after a year of hybrid. In addition, every school and town has faced its own unique challenges. South Portland High School has added over 100 new students this year, most new Mainers. A longtime school of 900 is now a school of 1000. It took us all to survive this year, and often we have thrived. The newly formed SPSD McKinney-Vento Team, Multi Cultural and multi-lingual specialists provide wrap-around welcomes and intakes. Our EL teachers and team have been superhumanly flexible, adding students to classes and building new schedules throughout the year. Many non-EL teachers are teaching “Language of” classes to provide positive, welcoming, and effective educational experiences for our new students. We have partnered with JMG (Jobs for Maine Graduates) and the Telling Room and Seachange Yoga to provide additional elective courses. Our spring track team has swelled to over 60 with the outreach and support from our athletic department and coaches. Our main office and counselling staff greet, register, and help students with dozens of languages using Portland Teacher Jeff Boreland’s amazing email program Reach My Teach , the language line, and Google Translate. Our nurses, social workers, and community outreach coordinators are the most patient, knowledgeable, skilled, and flexible professionals and are providing such a variety of different supports. We opened an in school health clinic for all students this year and our partnership with Greater Portland Health and Adult ed have been amazing. School admin, our SRO, Ed techs, Cafeteria staff, Custodial staff…it’s taken all of us, including support from District leadership, Central office support team, and our School Board not only to survive this year but thrive. I am lucky to work with such amazing educators and humans.
THAT said, here is our own fabulous vocal music teacher Michelle Snow and the Language of Music students: