School Rules and Governance

The CBHS governance structure is designed to ensure that students, faculty, and parents can readily, substantively, and efficiently participate in a decision-making process. 


Process Summary

Any constituent(s) from the school community can submit a proposal that will go through his/her crew (with the exception of parents who work through their crew equivalent: the Parent Advisory Group).  The crew will provide feedback and guidance about the feasibility of the proposal.  If the constituent(s) wants to continue with the proposal, the Cabinet will solicit feedback from the crews, and/or, if relevant, the Parent Advisory Group and the Faculty Leadership Team.  The Cabinet will prioritize proposals and set deadlines for receiving feedback.  When the deadline has occurred, the Cabinet will convene and make a decision based on the feedback and the Casco Bay vision and beliefs. Cabinet membership is as follows: principal, ten student representatives, one student chairperson, up to two faculty members, and up to two parents (one from the Parent Advisory Group). All terms will be two years. In past years, the Cabinet has dealt with issues ranging from the school dress code and lunch offerings to full school rituals and academic credit for co-curriculars. In addition, the CBHS student body is represented on the Portland School Board by a CBHS student who is elected each November.  


In-School Rules and Procedures


Bikes, Roller Blades, and Skateboards

CBHS students are allowed to use bikes, roller blades, and skateboards to travel to and from school. Students should secure these possessions upon arriving at school. There is a bike rack by the main entrance. Students are not allowed to use bikes, roller blades, or skateboards for doing tricks or stunts anywhere on our campus unless by special permission and under staff supervision.


Bomb Threats

The Board has adopted a policy prohibiting bomb threats.  Bomb threats cause a severe disruption of the educational program and put students and staff at risk.  Bomb threats will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action as well as referral to law enforcement for possible prosecution. Any student who fails to report information or knowledge of a bomb threat on school property may also be subject to disciplinary consequences.


Cars and Student Parking

All traffic laws must be obeyed. Student parking is limited. Any student driving to school should be aware that School Board policy allows for the search of any vehicle on school grounds by an administrator with reasonable grounds. Any refusal to allow a vehicle search will result in a loss of driving privileges and/or suspension. Student drivers are asked to refrain from leaving the parking lot while any bus is in motion. Anyone driving themselves or others off campus at unapproved times will lose their driving privilege. Violations of the vehicle use policy will result in the loss of driving privileges for one week.  Subsequent infractions will result in the loss of privileges for at least one month.



Dances will be held periodically during the year. Each CBHS student is allowed to bring a guest if s/he is pre-approved. Potential guest names must be submitted to the office by Thursday at 12:30 before the dance. Guests must be age appropriate and students in good standing at their own school. Students under suspension or with outstanding disciplinary consequences are not allowed to attend dances.


Dance Norms and Rules

The following norms and rules were developed in the fall of 2017 by students and faculty and later approved by the Cabinet with the goal of ensuring dances that are safe and fun for all, including both students and chaperones.


Dance Norms

Got Consent? Do not touch, hold or grab anyone else on the dance floor without clear consent. •Mind the Grind: No R-Rated dancing, even with consent.

Check In: We are all responsible for each other’s safety. Check in with people if you see something happening to another student that is questionable to you.

Get Help When Needed: Report what you see to an adult if you do not feel comfortable intervening yourself.

Report Harassers: Please see a chaperone if you experience any non-consensual touching or dancing.


Dance Rules

•Any approved guests will need to provide picture ID to enter the dance.

•All dance entrants will receive a customized bracelet to wear for the night.

•People who do not have tickets for the dance may not loiter on campus or in the school building during the dance. The police will be notified and trespassers could be arrested.

•Any CBHS student who helps another student sneaking in will be banned from all PPS dances for a calendar year, including prom.

• Any CBHS student who engages in non-consensual dancing/groping will be asked to leave the dance immediately and will be banned from PPS dances for a calendar year, and parents will be notified; any guest who engages in non- consensual dancing/groping will be banned from CBHS dances for life and parents will be notified. Additional school consequences and police involvement are also possible, depending on the circumstances.

•Any student attending a CBHS dance agrees to be subject to a breathalyzer. CBHS staff will randomly ask dance guests to submit to a breathalyzer upon entry.


Dress Code

The dress code was devised in 2016 after input from students and staff from all PPS high schools. The intent was to craft a dress code that is clear and consistent across schools and to avoid a code that is gender-biased or punitive. For many, clothes are an important part of self-expression. And we respect and celebrate the different choices of our students with their clothing. However, all students must abide by the following parameters:

1. Student attire should include a top and a bottom (or a dress) as well as a form of footwear. Underwear is not to be exposed; bra straps are acceptable. Chests and midriffs are to be predominantly covered.

If part #1 of the Dress Code is violated, the individual will be asked to avoid wearing the article to school again. If the article is worn after the initial request, the student will be given school clothing and asked to alter their outfit accordingly after instructional time. If this behavior continues, it shall be considered an act of insubordination and will be disciplined as such.

2. Genitalia, nipples, and buttocks are to be covered at all times.

3. No clothing will be allowed that promotes illegal behavior, violence, gang material (i.e. colors) or drug/alcohol use or which includes discriminatory language, offensive language, or pornographic material.

If part 2 or part 3 of the Dress Code is violated, the individual will need to make an immediate change of clothes. 

Staff will aim to have a private, respectful conversation with a student about a possible dress code infraction before turning to disciplinary action. Appropriate consequences of any dress code violation shall not include getting kicked out of class or lowering of academic grades. Any consequence of the timing of the confrontation, such as missing class time or a test, shall be considered the responsibility of the student to make up, but every accommodation shall be given to the student to make up lost class time, missed tests or class activities.  


Dropping a Course

Barring exceptional circumstances, any student who “drops” a course after more than a month of the course start date – but before the end of the trimester – will receive a “1” or “2” on their transcript. Students who drop a course before the first month deadline will not have the course appear on their transcript.



CBHS students often learn in and from the community. Whenever students are in the field, they are school ambassadors and are expected to represent themselves and CBHS appropriately. All school rules remain in effect. Misbehavior on fieldwork will result in disciplinary consequences, including, potentially, losing the privilege to participate in future fieldwork. All relevant paperwork and/or permissions must be obtained in order for students to participate in field work.


Fire Drills and Other Emergency Practice Procedures

CBHS students will participate in fire drills and other emergency practice procedures (e.g.: a simulated “lock-down”) in accordance with state law. Each classroom has a map indicating the exit path in the event of a drill or emergency. After any evacuation, students will gather at least ten yards from the building with the teacher they have at the time of the alarm.  This includes Crew, Academic Support, TST, X block as well as each course block. If a drill happens at lunch, then students will gather by crew. If students are unassigned during an evacuation drill (e.g.: an open college block), that individual should muster with their crew advisor.  


Flyers and Educational Exhibits

Before posting around school, any school-related flyer or exhibit should first be approved by the relevant staff advisor, or, if necessary, Mr. Shibles or Mr. Pierce. Factors such as content and purpose as well as the duration and location of the posting will be considered. Flyers and exhibits at school should be hung in designated places (e.g. bulletin boards), unless by special permission. With any educational flyer/exhibit, students should include the source material, if relevant, as well as their name(s) and contact information (e.g.: “This flyer is a part of Liz Jones's Senior Expedition. See Liz FMI. Source:”). Please use paper resources sustainably and responsibly.


Food, Gum, and Drink

Students should be careful to follow classroom rules regarding food, gum and drinks. No food or drinks (including water) are allowed near school computers.  


In a 2018 TNTP survey, 100% of CBHS faculty agreed with the statement,My school implements a rigorous academic curriculum.” In a national sample, staff agreement on the same questions is 78%.


Gender Neutral Bathrooms

The 2nd floor bathrooms are gender neutral as of September 2018. Designated male and female bathrooms remain on the first and third floors. The Cabinets and the A to Z Alliance crafted the following guidelines for using the Gender Neutral Bathrooms.

1) Use it as a normal restroom…. Because it is a normal restroom.

2) Care for it like your own bathroom (unless you’re a slob:). 

3) There’s a time and place for hanging out and flirting. This is neither.

4) Change is inevitable. Getting comfortable with change may take time and experience.

5)  It’s OK if you want to use this bathroom. It’s OK if you don’t. Either way, no pressure, judgement or assumptions.


Independent Intensives

Intensives are designed to provide opportunities for compact, in-depth learning experiences with compelling topics for all CBHS students.  All students enrolled in an intensive will receive a grade and the opportunity to earn .5 units of proficiency, Students may propose an independent intensive or alternate course of study (e.g.: an internship or double session of PATHS); these options require administrative approval and must be proposed in writing by the student (with crew advisor and home support) at least two school weeks prior to the start of intensives.  


In-District Transfers

Students are allowed to freely transfer among Portland’s three high schools during the summer, space allowing, up until the first day of school. Once school begins, any transfer must be approved by both of the Principals involved. After the first full week of school, any transferring is not allowed, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Parents may appeal the Principals’ decision to the Superintendent.


Grade Placement

Forty-One Units of Proficiency (UPs) are required for graduation in Portland Public Schools (p 6). To be on track for an on-time diploma, a student should earn at least ten UPs a year. The following describes the absolute minimum which a student must achieve in order to advance to the next grade level.

After 9th Grade: All freshmen will advance to a typical slate of sophomore courses as long as they arrive in their sophomore fall semester with two UPs in English.

After 10th Grade: In order to advance to junior year core courses, by their junior fall semester, a student must have at least sixteen UPs, including four UPs in English and two each in math, science and social studies.

After 11th Grade:  In order to advance to senior year (Senior Humanities and Senior Crew), a student must have at least twenty-seven UPs and a reasonable path to achieving all graduation requirements by no later than the end of the following summer.

Any student who does not meet these criteria above but who wishes to advance to the next grade must submit a formal appeal to the principal by August 1st.



All of the necessary UPs and requirements to earn a diploma must be fulfilled, and by announced deadlines, in order to participate in the Casco Bay High School graduation ceremony.


Leaving School Grounds

Once students arrive on campus in the morning until 2:30pm, they are not allowed to leave our campus unless they are accompanied by a CBHS staff member or they have an approved dismissal.  Under certain conditions and with parent permission, juniors and seniors may go off-campus for lunch and during academic support.


Off-Campus Privileges – Academic Support and Team Support Block

Juniors who are on both the HOWL Honor Roll and the academic Honor Roll for the previous trimester may leave campus during Tuesday and Thursday academic support with parental permission. Seniors who are on the academic or HOWL honor roll for the previous trimester may leave campus during Tuesday and Thursday academic support with parental permission.  – unless otherwise required by faculty. School behavioral rules remain in effect whenever a student is off-campus during the school day. Complete the appropriate form for further details.

Off-Campus Privileges - Lunch

The privilege of off-campus lunch exists for all juniors and seniors who obtain parent permission and who meet the stipulations on the permission form. Students with CBHS-PATHS parking privileges may drive in cars to go off campus for lunch.  Juniors may NOT take other students as passengers. Seniors with appropriate licensing credentials may take other seniors (only) as passengers. There is no off-campus lunch whenever there is crew lunch or a special school or crew activity during lunch.  Student behavioral rules remain in effect during off-campus lunch.  Students who drive irresponsibly during lunch or juniors who drive other students during the school day will lose their driving privilege.  All students who leave campus for lunch need to sign out – through Ms. Kierstead's office – and return on time. Complete the appropriate form for further details.


PATHS Eligibility

CBHS encourages students to take advantage of the many wonderful course offerings at PATHS. CBHS students who attend PATHS have the added challenge and responsibility of being a part of two school communities. Students can take a PATHS course as long as they are a junior or a senior in good academic standing (p 59). Other students may also take PATHS with a plan pre-approved by a parent/guardian, the crew advisor and the principal. Students must maintain their “academic good standing” in order to remain in a PATHS program. This means, at a minimum, that a student is either on the HOWL Honor Roll or that they are meeting standards in every course (including PATHS) but one. Any CBHS-PATHS student not passing more than one course (including PATHS) at the end of a trimester will be on PATHS probation. At the mid-point of the year, a CBHS-PATHS student on probation must be in academic good standing in order to remain in the PATHS program.  Any junior who is not in good academic standing after the 3rd trimester will not be able to take a PATHS course the following fall unless they make up missing standards/UPs through CBHS or PPS summer school. Seniors may be put on PATHS probation after any progress report if they become in danger of not graduating by the anticipated date.


PATHS Students and Dismissal

PM PATHS courses officially start for Portland students (DHS, CBHS, PHS) at 11:05. PM PATHS students will be dismissed from class/crew at 10:50, so they have time for a break and to get lunch before going to class.  PATHS students are responsible for gathering any work or information they miss. Some PATHS students will be assigned to a supported study post-PATHS until 2:30. Other CBHS seniors enrolled in PATHS who are in good academic standing can be dismissed after the completion of their PATHS program. Juniors in good academic standing may be dismissed with parent permission. See Mr. Hale for the appropriate form. PATHS students remaining on our campus after their PATHS course but not in the supported study should report to the library or, if unavailable, to the designated area. No loitering will be tolerated while CBHS classes are in session.


Passes and Classroom Sign-Outs

Each classroom has procedures for signing out students who need to leave class (e.g., to use the restroom). Passes are not required unless a staff member thinks it will serve an important communication need (e.g., a late slip, a student services appointment or a special circumstance). A pass is required to see the nurse. Students who wander or leave class inappropriately may lose sign-out privileges or be required to carry a special pass.


Casco Bay High School is a “particularly good” example of a school that provokes “deeper learning. They ask students to think and struggle.”

~Tom Vander Ark, “Vander Ark on Innovation,” Ed Week blog, July 2013


Personal Electronics

Managing the use of cell phones, smart phones and other personal electronic devices is a part of communicating effectively. Strive to be present and attentive to other members in the community and to recognize the impact personal technology can have on your connections to your community. Note: During the school day, school phones will be available for student use on a limited basis (e.g., for emergencies, not for social calls).


Cell Phones (including Smart Phones)

  • Cells phones may be used before school, between classes, during lunch, after school, but, otherwise only with explicit teacher permission.
  • Cell phone ringers must be off during the school day.
  • A cell phone should not even be visible during ANY instructional time. This includes crew, academic support, field work and team support time - without explicit teacher permission first. 



  • Electronics should be used ONLY to promote learning during instructional time.
  • Personal electronics and music may be used before school, between classes, during lunch, after school, but, otherwise, only with explicit teacher permission. 
  • Personal electronics (excluding headphones) should not even be visible during instructional time. This includes crew, academic support, field work and team support time -  without explicit teacher permission first.  
  • No music during ANY instructional time (classes, CREW, ACAD, TST, fieldwork) unless by teacher permission first.
  • No personal gaming during instructional time (including independent study time).


    Consequences: If a personal electronic device is used inappropriately:

First offense: The device will be confiscated until the end of the day (or given to Mr. Pierce or Shibles).

Second offense: The device will be confiscated and returned to family/guardian or upon communication with family/guardian.


Personal Property

The Portland Public Schools are not responsible for safeguarding students’ personal property, such as money, musical instruments, audio equipment, electronic games, cell phones, clothing, jewelry, skateboards, and collectibles. Students are discouraged from bringing items of significant value to school unless needed during the school day. 


Prayer in School

Students are allowed to pray in school. For Muslim students wishing to pray during school hours, the following protocol has been devised (in coordination with CBHS students, staff and a local iman). During standard time (March to November), students wishing to pray may be excused at 12:50 for ablutions and daily prayers. These students should return to class by 1:05. During daylight savings (November to March), participating students may be excused from class at noon and are expected to return by 12:15. Any student leaving class should follow the teacher’s typical sign-out procedures and should check in with the teacher about any missed activities.


Public Displays of Affection

Hand holding and brief, friendly hugs are permissible. More extensive public displays of affection are not permitted on school grounds.


Use of Physical Restraint and Seclusion

The Board of Education has adopted this policy (JKAA) and the accompanying procedures to implement the standards for use of physical restraint and seclusion with students, as required by state law and regulations, and to support a safe school environment.  Physical restraint and seclusion, as defined by this policy, may only be used as an emergency intervention when the behavior of a student presents an imminent risk of injury or harm to the student or others.


U. Start Ahead Students – Late Arrival or Early Dismissal

Juniors and seniors who take an off-campus college course at USM or SMCC are eligible for late arrival or early dismissal on select days with parent permission. Complete the relevant form for further details.


Weapons in School

Weapons are defined as any instrument or device that has the intended use of harming oneself or others (e.g.: a knife).  Any student found to be bringing such an object to school will face significant disciplinary consequences, up to and including a possible expulsion hearing.


Visitors and Shadowing

Although we welcome both young people and adults to view all dimensions of our school, no student may invite a visitor without the explicit permission of the school administration at least one day prior to the visit. Students interested in shadowing a CBHS student may schedule a visit through the CBHS main office or their current guidance office. Visitors who do not have permission may be asked to leave campus or could be subject to arrest for trespassing.


For more details on the School Board's related student policies, please go to the “policy” link at the district website ( and view the following: Walking and Biking to School –Administrative Procedures (JLID-A), Bomb Threats (EBCC), Student Searches (JIH), Student use of Cellular Phones and Other Electronic Devices (JFCK), Student Dress Code (JICA) and Weapons, Violence and School Safety (JICIA).