School Notebook: Nov. 23

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Feedback sought on draft of PPS Parent Partnership Policy

The Parent Partnership Policy Ad Hoc Committee has created a working draft of the Portland Public Schools Parent Partnership Policy and invites feedback on the draft from parents, staff, students and community members.

The draft policy can be viewed at the following link:

Submit comments and feedback using this form by Dec. 10:

 Portland youth group in running for $50K grant

Portland Empowered’s youth group, Youth Engagement Partners, is on the ballot for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Youth Engagement Contest – and the group could win $50,000 if it gets the most online votes.

Supporters are urged to vote for YEPs, which works to elevate student voice across Portland’s public schools, at until the noon deadline on Nov. 30.  

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation Youth Organizing Award will honor a New England youth organizing group that has shown a commitment to student-centered learning or redesigning education to meet the needs of all students – specifically focused on public secondary education.  

Over the past year, YEPs has worked to improve relationships between teachers and students in their schools. This is done by engaging teachers and other school staff in youth-designed and youth-led workshops about education and what it is like to be a student today. 

Portland Empowered is a project of the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service.

UNE reaches agreement with Icelandic Universities

The University of New England is proud to announce a new partnership that builds on the university’s commitment to undergraduate and graduate education, research and economic development in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions. UNE and two higher education institutions in Iceland, the University of Akureyri and Holar University College, signed an agreement in mid-October during the 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly.  

The agreement opens up opportunities to develop new undergraduate exchanges, travel, master’s programs and new cooperative marine research and entrepreneurship. The agreement will also strengthen UNE’s existing partnerships with the Iceland Ocean Cluster House, the New England Ocean Cluster and the Maine North Atlantic Development Office.

Donation supports classes for new Mainers

Bank of America has donated $45,000 to Portland Adult Education to support classes for new Mainers seeking their first job in the United States.

The donation – $15,000 per year over three years – will go to support Job Class A of the New Mainers Resource Center.

NMRC is a program within Portland Adult Education, serving immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. NMRC includes a skilled professionals program, employment case management, intensive classes focused on job readiness skills, networking groups, workshops, and other offerings to help new Mainers of all professions overcome barriers in order to enter the workforce.

Job Class A is an intensive 130-hour course designed for new Mainers with low to intermediate English language skills who are searching for their first job in the US. Students learn how to search for a job, and expand their skills through contextualized English for the workplace with the focus on U.S. workplace culture and learn financial literacy skills.

Area employers are actively engaged in the program, visiting the classroom to share information about their companies, providing mock interview practice as well as hiring students. Graduates receive one-on-one job search support from their teachers and job developers from participating service agencies.

The current class of Job Class A students graduated Thursday, Nov. 10, when Bank of America presented the donation at PAE, located at 14 Locust St.