I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I spent the holiday in Sharon where there was no less than 12 inches of snow! I was delighted to come back to the green grass of Portland! Here are some of the week’s highlights:
The Board of Education met earlier this week:
· The BOE received a retirement notice from Administrative Assistant Virginia Darna from Brownstone Intermediate School effective July 1st, 2015 and from Kindergarten Teacher Rozanne Gorley from Valley View School effective June 30th, 2015.
· I informed the Board that I authorized several purchases and stipend requests including the approval of an assistant coach for indoor track, and a club advisor for Friends of Rachel Club (Rachel’s Challenge).
· Director of Student Services, Bill Knies, gave a presentation on special education services for students with significant needs and the reasons/rationale for students being outplaced in specialized schools outside of the district. We also began a discussion on specialized programs we can design for our own district.
· The BOS approved the calendar for 2016-2017. We now have an approved calendar for the next two years. Both will be available on our website.
· The Board reviewed (with no action) my proposed job description for a Data Specialist. I am seeking this position in the new budget in an effort to improve our management of data, to centralize and integrate many of our data platforms, and to increase our online capabilities including student registration and point of service opportunities.
· BOE members gave a first reading of a revised Substitute Teacher Policy.
(Two readings are generally required.)
· Business Manager, Laura Webb, reviewed the Final Spending Report for the 2013-2014 school year.
Draft minutes of this meeting will be posted on the District website.
The next Board of Education meeting will be January 6, 2015. At this meeting, the Board will be receiving my proposed budget for the 2015-16 school year.
Congratulations to our Portland High School students who demonstrated their school spirit on November 21 by sponsoring an American Red Cross blood drive.
The blood drive, which collected its goal of 30 units, was the first of the 2014-2015 school year for Portland High School and is coordinated by the students who volunteer their time through the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) program. “Our students love hosting the Red Cross blood drives on campus,” said Lynn Jones, teacher and FBLA advisor. “The students get involved in every aspect of hosting the drive. Not only do they learn important business skills but they also are helping people. It’s really a great program.”
Dr. Karch, Cathy Poulin and Portland’s Future Business Leaders of America
Superintendents’ Award Luncheon
This past Monday I had the distinct pleasure of honoring two of our outstanding seniors at the annual Middlesex Shoreline Superintendents’ Association Award luncheon. Emilie MacKinnon and Kelly Flanagan received this award in recognition of their community service, academic achievement and leadership in our school community. Both Kelly and Emilie epitomize the awardees with their distinctive commitment to learning, their efforts to help others, and their genuine desire to lead at Portland High School.
Kelly Flanagan and Emilie MacKinnon with Dr. O’Reilly at the Middlesex Shoreline Superintendent’s Association Award luncheon
This past week, I participated in a meeting of Portland’s social service providers chaired by First Selectwoman, Susan Bransfield, and the Director of Portland’s Youth Service Bureau, Mary Pont. This annual meeting is an effort to build collaboration between the Portland’s social service providers. Everyone at the meeting agreed that the need in Portland is great. They shared accolades for the particular success of our students with the numerous sponsoring events done in our schools, especially the work they have done to help our food bank.
I mention one service group, called Warm the Children. This organization has helped numerous Portland children with new winter coats for many years. This year’s program served a total of 41 children from our town. Thanks to the coordination efforts of Meg Bailey at Valley View School, this annual effort has helped to fill a great need. Warm the Children has already begun working to fill next year’s needs. Their new fundraising goal is $57,000.
The next two weeks are very busy for the district. I am looking forward to the upcoming winter concerts.
Have a nice weekend.
Philip B. O’Reilly, Ed.D.