Pathways to Success

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Pathways to Success is the Portland Public Schools’ leading strategy to remodel the educational system for the needs and demands of 21st century life.  The district is harnessing national and local expertise and customizing the learning experience for every student.  This work is being supported by a multi-year grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

Portland High School Career Pathways

Portland High School Freshman Success Academy

Deering Students Learn about the World

firefighting class  firefighting class  firefighting class

Portland High Marks End of First "Introduction to Firefighting" Course

The Portland Fire Department hosted a ceremony on May 22, 2014 to mark the end of Portland High School’s first “Introduction to Firefighting” course, taught jointly by the fire department and school staff.  The full-year course, based on industry standards, taught students a variety of skills.  They gained hands-on experience in such things as searching a smoky building for “victims” and putting out a controlled fire.  Read more.

Portland High engineering class visits local engineering firms  Portland High engineering class visits local engineering firms

Deering Students Educate Public about Car Burglaries

Two Deering High School students are educating residents of Portland’s West End neighborhood about how to prevent car burglaries as part of their senior capstone project.  The students - Dylan Matthews and Tyler Butler – came up with the idea for the project after seeing police reports of property stolen from unlocked vehicles.  After meeting with officials from the Maine Department of Motor Vehicles and the Portland Police Department, they wrote a flier with tips such as being sure cars are locked and keeping valuables out of sight.  The students recently distributed hundreds of fliers on cars in the West End.

Deering High School has adopted a global focus to its curriculum.  Students investigate the world through interdisciplinary projects, recognize perspectives, communicate their ideas and take action.  Dylan and Tyler worked on their senior capstone project in their Honors English class taught by Kathryn Toppan.  Read more about the project and see a video.

High School Students Explore Colleges and Careers at Expo 

More than 500 sophomores and juniors from Portland High School, Deering High School and Casco Bay High School attended a college and career expo titled “Live, Learn and Earn - Right Here in Maine” on March 14, 2014 at the University of Southern Maine.  Students participated in interactive panel discussions and mock interviews.  They also had the opportunity to talk to representatives from 16 colleges, four gap-year programs and more than 35 businesses.  Read more.

Maine state trooper at the career and college expo  Career and college expo viewed from above  Panelists at college and career expo

Deering Students Investigate Issues and Take Action

Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, visited Deering High School on March 18 and spoke to students about her work to further women’s rights and human rights.  Deering teachers are planning curriculum projects throughout the spring on the theme of “Education and Healthcare: Tools for Social Justice.”  As a follow-up to Dr. Samar’s visit, students learned about how they can take action on those issues from an international perspective during a panel discussion with local Rotary Club members.  Read more.

Students in Suzanne Dodson’s Culture and Linguistics class at Deering High School recently investigated the problem that many students face getting to and from school without access to a school bus.  The class made a video about the problem and possible solutions.  As a result of their advocacy, students convinced the administration to use some co-curricular funds to pay for a late bus that will take home those who stay at school to participate in activities.  The class presented its project to the Portland Board of Public Education on March 11.  Read more.

Deering ninth graders are making paper beads as part of Students Rebuild, an organization that helps bring clean, safe water to thousands of people in Tanzania.  Students are learning about different aspects of water in science, math, social studies and language arts classes.  For every 20 beads that they make, the Bezos charitable foundation provides $20, enough to provide clean water for one person.  The water project is part of Deering's new focus on global competence.  Read more.

Beads made by Deering students  Dr. Sima Samar spoke to Deering High School students at a breakfast reception.  

High School Students Participate in Youth Leadership Institute

Eight high school students from the Portland Public Schools participated in the first Nellie Mae Education Foundation Youth Leadership Institute in Manchester, New Hampshire on October 4 and 5.  The institute focused on the importance of youth voice in student-centered learning.  Read more.

High School Students Sign Up for More AP, College Courses

The number of high school students in the Portland Public Schools who are taking Advanced Placement (AP) and/or college classes has risen significantly in the past year.  Portland High School has seen about an 11 percent increase in AP enrollment.  At Deering High School, 25 percent more students are taking AP courses compared to last year.  More than a fifth of all Casco Bay High school (CBHS) juniors and seniors are taking a so-called “dual enrollment” course this fall that earns them both high school and college credit.  Read more.

Deering Expands Language Offerings to Include Arabic

Deering High School began this fall offering what is believed to be the state’s first Arabic language class in a public school.  The course is part of a new Deering initiative to prepare students for the global economy by weaving an international focus into the curriculum.  Read more.