Portland 8th-graders invited to explore high schools

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PORTLAND — Eighth-graders in Portland must present the School Department with a letter of commitment stating their high school of choice no later than March 9, 2018.

To help students and their families make that decision, Portland and Deering high schools will be holding open house events.

Portland High School will hold its event 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 10. Deering High School will hold its open house 6-8 p.m. Jan. 16.

“The Portland Public Schools offers eighth-graders a unique opportunity to choose between three high schools, each with its own distinctive personality and offerings,” the district said in a press release.

The other public high school is Casco Bay High School for Expeditionary Learning, which already held its annual open house and which also has an enrollment cap.

Portland students may attend any of the three public high schools regardless of where they live in the city.

Portland High is the city’s oldest high school and the second oldest operating public high school in the United States, according the School Department.

Portland High “offers rigorous courses with personalized learning plans for each student and helps students prepare for their futures through pathways that include job shadows and internships,” the School Department press release said.

Deering High “works to develop interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning that emphasize global competence” and offers a “wide range of academic courses, including numerous advanced placement options and even online learning,” the release said.

Casco Bay High “is a small and rigorous school that “challenges and supports students to become college-ready through the school’s 3Rs: Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships,” the press release added.

The snow date for the Portland High open house is Jan. 18 and the snow date for the Deering event is Jan. 17.