Portland School Notebook: Aug. 28

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Sports teams saved at city middle schools

The athletic directors and coaches at King, Lincoln and Lyman Moore Middle schools have collaborated to preserve soccer, field hockey and basketball programs that were in danger of disappearing due to budget cuts.

As a result, students will continue to compete against teams at other schools in these sports during the 2013-2014 school year.

“As coaches, teachers and athletic directors, we recognize the valuable role athletics play in our students’ lives,” said Lee Freeman, Lincoln’s athletic director, in a news release. “As budgets tighten, we need to be creative to make sure that we maintain those opportunities.”

The coaches will receive more than the anticipated compensation for the intramural approach, but less than the typical pay for full sports. The coaches strongly supported this approach to maintain important athletic options for students and to prepare them for future participation at the eighth grade level and in high school. The arrangement will apply only to the 2013-2014 school year. That will provide time to plan for expanded support in 2014-2015.

Music programs get nonprofit boost

The Portland Music Boosters, a nonprofit group supporting and promoting music programs in the Portland schools, has donated almost $11,000 to the district.

About two-thirds of the money — $7,050 — will go to individual schools’ music programs. The remaining $3,875 will be spent repairing school department musical instruments and possibly purchasing new instruments.

“These donations, and the continued support of our music program over the years, have been a blessing for our teachers, students and families,” said Portland School Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk in a news release

Julianne Eberl, a district music teacher, said donations from the Portland Music Boosters made it possible for the middle and high school orchestra program to build its performance library with original orchestrations and scores. “We are truly grateful for the opportunities they have created for our talented young musicians,” she said in a news release.