Portland School Board seeks graduation, community service for all students

In what the Portland School System is hailing as an important first step — with what sounds like many more complicated steps yet to come — the Portland School Board this past week approved the framework for an ever-evolving comprehensive plan equipped with three overarching goals.

  1. For all students to graduate high school.
  2. For all students to be prepared for college.
  3. For all students to “participate in activities that demonstrate
    service to the community, individual creativity and physical wellness.

The details on how they reach those goals are still to come. Administrators are slated to return to the board in June 2012 with what a system announcement calls “work
plans for boosting student performance in literacy and mathematics over
the next five years.” Five-year plans are also due for technology advancement, early childhood education and “student support,” with accountability metrics to be included to make sure the district is making progress over the years.

Here’s a statement by Superintendent James Morse:

Our comprehensive plan framework will ensure that we stay focused on the needs of students in Portland Public Schools. Every elementary school, middle school and high school will be involved in meeting our ambitious goals.

The board’s approval of the framework is the latest step in a process that began almost two years ago with a public visioning session that attracted more than 100 people over two days. Then a committee, headed by former School Board Chairman Peter Eglinton, picked up the charge and are working with administrators to develop the plan.

Here’s a statement by current School Board Chairwoman Kate Snyder:

The comprehensive plan framework is reflective of the needs of the Portland school community now. So that the Portland Public Schools’ comprehensive planning work remains relevant, it must be used and consulted faithfully, never considered ‘finished.’ This framework directs development of specific plan components which will be evaluated, critiqued and updated continually as objectives are met, new priorities emerge and research and best practices provide new and additional insight.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.