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Letter from the Principal- March 2023

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful February Vacation. It was nice to have a mix of sunny days and periods of snow. It is hard to believe that the first day of spring is only 22 days away!

Community Schools 101

As you know, our school is called the Gerald E Talbot Community School. But you may be wondering what exactly is a community school? A community school is more than just a name; it is both a place of learning and a set of partnerships between the school, families and community resources all working together to help support student and families’ overall wellbeing. You have probably heard of the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”. This proverb is the concept behind the community school model. Basically, community schools work strategically with community partners to organize the resources of our community in support of student success. The range of partnerships —in the areas of health, social services, recreation and academics — transforms a school into a vital hub of the neighborhood that benefits students, families and our surrounding community.

According to the Coalition for Community Schools, a national alliance of more than 170 organizations, at least 5,000 U.S. schools have been transformed into community schools. Currently, the Gerald E Talbot Community School is one of only four in the state of Maine, though that number is expected to grow each year. The Coalition’s research review of the community school model shows evidence that community schools help more students be ready to learn when they start school, improve overall student academic outcomes, reduce chronic absenteeism, and help more students graduate ready for college and careers. In addition, research indicates that parent and family participation in their children’s education increases, and the neighborhood surrounding the community school becomes a desirable place for people to live.

The strategies we are using as part of our community school model, such as Beyond the Bell programs and Homework Diners, are designed to help more students and families feel welcome and supported at Talbot. Most of our community school strategies are funded through grants. Last year we received a substantial grant from the United Way that allowed us to hire a full-time Community School Coordinator, Kristin Rogers, who oversees the implementation of our strategies.

Community schools are built on the simple logic that schools and communities are mutually dependent and that strong purposeful partnerships between them are essential to a child’s development and success. Thank you for being a part of our community school!

Read Across America

Talbot School is celebrating Read Across America Day on March 2nd, an annual school wide event that celebrates the joy of reading! We will have guest readers visiting classrooms to read a story, and students will be invited to write book reviews of their favorite books to post in the library. While we would love to invite students to dress up as their favorite book characters on that day, we recognize that this is challenging for some families, whether it be because of time or resources. Instead grade level teams have chosen a book and a "dress up" activity that your child will be participating in at school. You do not need to provide anything for your student for that day. However, just in case you are interested, the books your student's grade level has chosen are listed below:

  • Pre-K: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Kindergarten: Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin
  • 1st Grade: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Felicia Bond
  • 2nd Grade: Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
  • 3rd Grade: Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott
  • 4th Grade: Love that Dog, by Sharron Creech
  • 5th Grade: The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
  • Office staff will be dressing up as characters from The Circus Ship, so look out for a bunch of wild animals on the loose at school that day!

March Conference

We are looking forward to seeing you at our Parent Teacher Conferences on March 16th and March 17th. Conferences are a great time to celebrate your child’s progress and all they have accomplished so far this school year. On both days, lunch will be served and students will be dismissed at 11:10am. We hope to have 100% of our parents/guardians attend conferences this spring. Please call Talbot at 874-8210 if you need to schedule or reschedule your child’s conference time.

Arrival Times

Speaking of drop off, the school day at Talbot Elementary begins promptly at 7:45am. Students’ arrival time is between 7:25am—7:45 am. Each day we have students who arrive after the 7:45am bell. Please know that when a student is tardy, it does cause a disruption to the instruction in the classroom. We appreciate your efforts to have our students arrive in a timely manner so that they can begin their school day in their classroom promptly at 7:45 am.

Kindergarten Registration

Would you like help with registering your child for Kindergarten? The online registration process can be somewhat confusing. Please feel free to come to Talbot to get support completing registration. Call the office at 874-8210 and schedule an appointment with Andrea. If possible, please bring with you the following documents:

  • Original proof of birth document (this document will be reviewed but not kept)
  • Immunization records
  • Proof of residency in Portland (electricity, cable, internet bill, or lease agreement/title of primary residence

Upcoming Events:

  • February 28, Coffee with the Principal, 7:30-8:00, Community Room
  • March 7, PTO meeting, 5:30, Media Center
  • Early Dismissal for Parent Teacher Conferences, March 17, March 18. Students dismissed at 11:10 both days.


Ann Hanna