May 1, 2023
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Bem-Vindo! Welcome to our new Portuguese speaking students and families! Talbot school is very happy to be receiving many new students who have recently arrived to Portland from Angola and the DRC. We registered 16 new students last week and expect many more in the days ahead. Our staff has embraced our usual “It takes a village” approach to make sure our newest arrivals feel welcome and at ease and part of our school community.
To help us prepare for our new Portuguese speaking students, Talbot staff participated in professional development to learn more strategies on how to support English language learners in the classrooms. Our English Language Teachers have created sets of teaching materials, books and other resources to support teachers with classroom instruction geared toward language learners. Our Student Support Team has filled many new backpacks with school supplies and brought them to where the students are currently staying to give them what they need for school. Many of our students who speak English AND Portuguese are serving as Ambassadors to help our new arrivals learn how we do things at Talbot School, especially during lunch and recess.
We feel so fortunate to be able to support our newest students and families as they adjust to living and learning in a new place! If you are interested in helping out, we would appreciate any donations of gift cards to stores such as Hannaford, Target or Walmart to give to families so they can get more of what they need. We would also welcome Portuguese speaking parents who have an hour or so to volunteer during the school day to serve as cultural brokers for our Portuguese speaking students. Please call (874-8210) or message me at email@example.com if you are interested.
ME Through Year Assessments Testing
Every May students in grades 3-5 take a state required test called the Maine Through Year Assessment (formerly called Maine Educational Assessments (MEA). Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade will be tested in math and literacy. Students in 5th grade will also be tested in science. The tests are designed to last 60 minutes in each subject area and will be spread out over two or three days. All assessments are administered online.. The results of the test will be made available to teachers and parents later over the summer.. I encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher with any questions you may have about the state tests or your student’s progress.
School Principal Day
Monday, May 1st is National Principal Day. With my upcoming retirement I have been reflecting on what it has meant to me to be the principal of the Gerald E. Talbot Community School. I’m also wondering if maybe you are not sure what a principal does all day! The focus of my work as principal stems from a deep commitment to advancing equitable and high quality educational opportunities for ALL the students and families of this wonderful Riverton neighborhood. It is my job to ensure that the smooth functioning of our school allows for staff, students and families to put learning and growing together at the heart of our daily practice. I strive to promote a vision that we are all in this together as a community working to make a difference in the lives of our students in a safe and caring environment, now and for their future.
As the instructional leader of our school, I am responsible for the teaching and learning that happens every day, which means I am constantly monitoring and supporting teachers as they work to improve their teaching techniques to meet their students’ academic and social needs. I spend time formally and informally observing and engaging in discussions with staff on what is working well, and encouraging a sense of continual professional learning as part of our school’s improvement plans.. In talking with teachers and families, I strive to maintain an upbeat, supportive, solution-oriented, no-blame, professional environment. I am constantly looking for ways to encourage staff and family collaboration, celebration and acknowledgement.
In addition to being an instructional leader, I am also responsible for the overall safe operation of our school, and with my Assistant Principal Kerri LeSieur’s highly valued assistance, I oversee all school operations. This includes:
Meeting/speaking with parents who have concerns, questions, ideas
Meeting with staff who request support for any issue or concern, big or small
Planning professional development to help staff continue to do their best
Supervising student arrival and dismissal, checking in on cafeteria and recess, hallways, classrooms and interacting with students in classrooms and throughout the school (this is my favorite part of my job!)
Supporting and counseling students according to our school discipline protocols
Hiring staff for vacant positions whol fit in with our dynamite team
Overseeing budget and determining budget allocations for items such as supplies, materials, and equipment
Ongoing work on parent communication including monthly newsletters and meeting with PTO to plan events
Working with custodial staff on building maintenance, safety concerns
Reporting directly to the school superintendent or assistant superintendent as directed
What I have loved about being the principal at Talbot School is that no day is the same because of the varied responsibilities of my job. To do this position well, I have had to be a strong multi-tasker and a detail-oriented problem-solver who can make sound decisions firmly rooted in what is best for all students. I cannot do this job alone and depend on my supportive team, especially Kerri LeSieur, Tammy Sloan, and Andrea Manuel to help attend to all that needs attention. I have worked in several schools during my 33 years as an educator in Portland, and I can say without a doubt that the students, staff and families at Talbot have been the absolute best to work with. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving as principal of our school. It is a job that I have absolutely loved and given my all each and every day. I am going to treasure every day between now and my last day as your Principal on June 30th.
Teacher Appreciation Week
Did you know that Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up? This is the best time of year to honor school staff for all they do for our students. Please join me in celebrating our wonderful staff at Talbot the week of May 8-May 12. Feel free to let teachers and staff know how much you appreciate the work they do for your child(ren). Thank you to the PTO for the special treats planned for that week.
Monday 1: School Principal Day
Tuesday, May 2: PTO Meeting, 5:30
Monday, May 8-May 12: Teacher Appreciation Week
Tuesday, May 9- Homework Diner (Summer Learning)
Wednesday, May 10, : School Nurse Day
Thursday, May 11- Choir Concert, 3:00
Sunday, May 14: Happy Mother’s Day!
Friday, May 19: Spirit day! Floral Friday so wear something flowerful
Friday, May 26- Play Me a Story, Whole school presentation from Portland Stage
Monday, May 29-: Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL
Wednesday, May 31: Kindergarten Information Night! (More details to follow)