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CBHS Fall Newsletter 2023

Student Advisor Parent Conferences

Late Work and Revision Update

Portrait of a Graduate

Expedition Updates

9th Grade My Name Poem

9th Grade Expedition Update

Spanish Update

College and Career Update

Library Update

Winter Intensives

Casco Bay Conundrum

Upcoming Dates

Cougar Kudos

Safety Update

November 2023

Dear Casco Bay Students and Families: 

At the end of this month (11/28 and 11/29), we look forward to seeing all of you for our first set of conferences. Each student’s crew advisor will be reaching out to set up a time. This is an opportunity to reflect on the school year, one student at a time. Look for more information about what to expect and how parents can submit their crucial questions for these conversations within this newsletter, 

As the first quarter comes to a close, I would like to also reflect on how Casco Bay is doing more holistically. Like our students, we have some goals for improvement this year. What have we been working on? How are we doing so far?  The headline news is that we’ve had our best start in years. So thanks to all of you  - and our fantabulous staff - for making that possible! 

Our long-term targets as a school remain the same for 23-24: 

And we remain committed to preserving our great strength as a school, namely, 

  • Creating and implementing great, substantive learning expeditions that engage our students in curriculum embedded in the most important issues of the day as well as who they are and want to be.

  • Cultivating faculty wellness, collegiality, and joy

  • Supporting each student to have a deep sense of belonging and homeplace at school, starting with Crew. 

  • Narrowing the gap between our daily practice and our vision for an equitable, anti-racist school.

Hopefully, this newsletter will provide ample evidence of our investment in our strengths, from Senior Expedition Vision Statements to 9th grade self-portraits, from Quest photos to our new Restorative Justice intensive. 

Data and reflection in 2022-2023 indicated that the following areas were in need of improvement this year.

  1. Student Culture: In 2023-2023, there was an increase in more acute behavior that undermined community and safety and which disrupted  learning, in particular, fighting, hate speech, skipping class and absenteeism. 

  2. Student Achievement and Learning: As students and staff continue to rebound from the pandemic and pandemic learning, faculty noted that many students continue to struggle to sustain engagement and persistence with challenging, vital academic tasks. 

  3. School Identity and Vision: Faculty conveyed a belief that we have drifted somewhat from a unified sense of who we are and what we are about as we emerge from the survival mode of pandemic and post-pandemic schooling.

First page of the PDF file: CBHS_OnTrack_Poster_1

As part of the district's broader campaign to promote attendance, we have devised this visual to promote the behaviors we know from research and experience correlate with student success and are often within students' locus of control.

And so we have established three priorities for improvement in line with the district’s Portland Promise. The first is to teach, coach and support students to be accountable for their own learning and behavior and to build community with one another.  Our hope is that if we teach, coach and support students to be accountable and build community, then more students will summon their best selves more frequently, fewer students will engage in behavior that disrupts the community and learning and therefore student learning will increase as well as faculty joy and effectiveness. So far, we are excited by the progress we are seeing. First of all, 9th grade teachers are seeing great dividends from the Summer Bridge program which positively connected over 80% of the Class of 2027 to CBHS before the first official day of 9th grade.  Our new Assistant Principal, Ms. Natarajan and Dean of Students, Mr. Morales have been deftly leading the way in our efforts to consistently hold students accountable and monitor behavioral plans and progress. Our new Breathe Program, ably led by Ms. Lindsey and Ms. Dolce has deepened our ability to support students with IEPs. We have doubled the size and increased the training for our Community Council, so these students are better equipped to mediate peer conflict and respond proactively when harm is done in the community. Student attendance has improved thanks to bolstered attendance policies (p59-61 in our Family Handbook), attendance improvement plans and a school-wide promotion that 90% attendance and HOWL Honor Roll are key levers for student success. We have also made some shifts in crew to increase student investment and joy. In coming months we will be using crew to more systematically support students develop the habits in our Character Framework

Our second priority is to continue to work on the teacher strategies and structures that will improve students’ academic fitness in persisting with hard, important work and giving quality effort the first time. Once again, teachers are noting significant progress so far - for themselves and our students. This summer teachers created the CBHS Instructional Compass to make clear to ourselves, our students and our families what we are aiming towards in our classroom. Teachers have each devised a goal related to an aspect of our Instructional Compass that they think is most important to improve. As a full staff, we’ve been focusing on creating, using and reflecting on clear and compelling learning targets for each lesson so students know what they’re doing and why it’s important because we know that is a key factor in influencing student’s motivation to bring their best. We are also making a building-wide push for students to read more (and to read more than their social media feed); the 9th grade is leading the way with their daily reading and independent reading. (Learn more below.) We’ve also revised and clarified our late work and revision policies (included in this newsletter) to spur more students to complete quality and on time work. Finally, our new “Orange Pass” system (created by DHS faculty member Jeff Borland and a former student) is helping us keep more students in the classroom, focussed on learning - while enabling us to more effectively intervene when a student is spending too much time in the hallways. 

Our third priority is to re-connect with who we are as an EL Education school and get clear with where we go next. Our belief is that if faculty and students develop a clearer, more unified sense of who we are and where we are going, both faculty and students will be more invested in learning as well as building community. At our August Faculty Institute, we invested significant time and space for considering how our current work and needs align with EL Education principles and structures.  CBHS is the subject of two new Edutopia videos which highlight our EL practices in action. At the end of this month, for the first time since 2019, three of our faculty will be presenting at the EL Education National Conference in Denver. The district is early in the planning stages for its “High School of the Future.” (Read more in this newsletter.) Last month, we re-convened our “future task force” of students and staff for the first time since the pandemic. Their first charge will be to  recommend how CBHS should intersect with this planned PPS High School of the future; this will also be a topic of discussion at the 11/14 PAG meeting. (See the related “Portrait of a Graduate” inside.) Then the task force will look at how CBHS should evolve over the next few years to bring us closer to our two long-term school targets. 

Thank you for sharing your children with us and for helping us to edge ever closer to our aspiration: a just, equitable, kind community which maximizes learning and growth for all and which catalyzes excellent work that betters our community and world.


Derek Pierce

Student-Advisor Parent Conferences

Thursday 11/28 (4-8pm) and Friday 11/29 (3-6pm)

Twice a year, we stop everything as a school and reflect on the school year, one student at a time. Our student-led conferences have the following purposes.

  • To encourage each student to accept personal responsibility for her/his academic performance.

  • To improve students’ skills in reflection and self-evaluation.

  • To facilitate the development of student's organizational and oral communication skills and to increase her/his self-confidence.

  • To engage students, parents and advisors in an open and honest dialogue about learning and progress, both where a student is and where s/he needs to go next.

  • To develop student-advisor-parent learning partnerships.

This year, the conference will open with each student presenting and reflecting on their learning thus far this year for about 10 minutes. Both the advisor and the parent(s) will be asked to remain in listening mode. Then parents will have an opportunity to raise a "Crucial Question" or two. (This is an element we added several years ago after feedback from our Parent Advisory Group.) Finally, the advisor will share their perspective and any input from other teachers.

Here's what we mean by the Crucial Question(s). What is the one (or two) questions you think is most important to discuss with your child and their advisor during the conference?  The aim would be to have an honest, real, unanxious and productive conversation about your question(s) for about 10 minutes. If possible, we would love for you to consider and submit your crucial question(s) here  by Monday, November 27th. This would allow for both your child and the advisor to do the pre-thinking necessary to make the most of the scarce time together.

Late Work and Revision

The CBHS Faculty Leadership Team has made revisions to the Late Work and Revision policies for students. The hope is that these policies will both be clearer to students and more consistently applied by teachers. Although much simpler, the policies are still complex; students and parents are encouraged to carefully review and then clarify with teachers or crew advisors as needed.  

Late Work and Formative Assessments

  • Late work may not be accepted for daily formative assessments such as reading quizzes  (excused absences exempted). Students will receive a HOWL grade of “1.”  

  • If a student has missed a formative assessment, he/she can arrange to turn in the missing work and potentially receive feedback from the teacher at an Acad or  Block 7. If the work is acceptable, the teacher will update the HOWL grade; a grade of “3” may not be  possible. 

Late Work and Summative Assessments

  • Late work will not be accepted for summative assessments without:

    1.  the prerequisite HOWL work first being completed (within the 2 week revision window)  AND

    2. pre-approval from the teacher.  

  • Late summative assessments are not guaranteed a revision opportunity. 

  • If you turn in a summative assessment late, students are responsible to communicate in person with their teacher to: 

    1. Request the late submission AND

    2. Inform the teacher when the work is submitted (eg:during BK 7 or Acad).  

Performance-based summative assessment (eg:Beyond Borders presentation, the Public Policy symposium, Final Word ) might not be accepted late or be able to be revised.). 

* Students who have IEPs, 504s, RTIs, MET plans (for ELL students) may have mandated plans which allow for extended time on assignments without penalty.  

Revision of  Summative Assessments

Once any summative assessment is returned, for qualifying students who have not yet not met the standard,

there is a two-week revision window. The window opens when the student receives the work back. Qualifying students either:  

1. Have a HOWL of at least 3 OR 

2. Meet teacher expectations for a HOWL of 3 on pre-requisite HOWL work related to that assessment. This pre-requisite HOWL work must be completed within the revision window.  

Any qualifying student is allowed 1 revision opportunity (minimum) during the revision period.  Multiple revision opportunities are not guaranteed. Any student who thinks they need more than the teacher feedback on the returned work in order to improve their work to “meets” should make  an appointment to meet with their teacher for further guidance during Academic Support or BK 7. Any standards not met at the end of that two-week revision period needs to be met through a  subsequent summative assessment, if possible.

Teachers will communicate if the highest possible grade for a revision is a 3. Otherwise all grades are possible for a revision. 

Portrait of a Graduate

The Portrait of A Graduate and Portrait of a School were created last year by the PPS High School Design Task Force that featured diverse stakeholders, including a student from CBHS, a CBHS parent and several CBHS staff members. This document was created after research into current best practices and extensive input from PPS parents, students and staff. The portraits are meant to represent our desired state in the near future (think 2030). What should be the CBHS role in Portland's high school(s?) of the future. That will be the educational topic of discussion at our upcoming PAG meeting on November 14th at 5:30 in the CBHS library (and on Zoom). Please come if you can. 

Expedition Updates

9th Grade Independent Reading

We have started the year with a 9th-grade independent reading program and it is fun to see the breadth of students’ choices as they engage with literature. 9th-graders are expected to read two hours a week to meet the standard and two and a half hours or more to exceed it. This reading can include devotional texts such as the Quran, the Bible, or the Torah. There is over four decades of research to support the importance of independent reading as a tool for academic success. In their book, From Striving to Thriving, Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward note that this research has “established that voluminous, pleasurable reading is key to literacy development.”   As parents and guardians, you can support this practice by asking students about their books and their habits of reading.  You can also share books you are reading and offer recommendations. For more information on how we are fostering the love of reading at Casco Bay, check out our Library Times which features interviews, book recommendations and reviews, and upcoming literary events. Click here for some more beautiful 9th grade art seen on the right!

10th Grade Update

This quarter, the sophomores have been studying many subjects. One of those is kinematics in physics class. For example, we did a lab using candy about displacement and distance. We walked a distance and dropped Tootsie Rolls every 2 seconds. In our algebra class, we have been learning and focusing on how to write and understand algebraic expressions. In our precalculus classes, we have been writing and solving quadratic equations. In English, we have been focusing on writing and understanding creative writing. This includes works such as poetry, short stories, and more. In wellness classes, we’ve been going outside to work on teamwork and trust exercises. This includes a lot of work on ropes courses and being in the woods. In social studies, we have been learning about the Atlantic Revolutions. We will make padlets about different countries' revolutions, such as the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the American Revolution. We have also gone on a field trip to Fort Williams for a scavenger hunt and community day with our crews. We will kick off our first expedition of the year, Beyond Borders about global migration issues, on November 20th.

Signing off, Icarus Gold and Percy Carter.

11th Grade Update

The beginning of junior year has been filled with new challenges, evocative discussions, and

strong teamwork. We began the school year with new crew teachers, but we reminded each other of how strong our crew groups are. After a few weeks, we sumitted Pleasant Mountain, in a day-long trip called Summit on the Summit. We pushed our limits, made new connections, and felt accomplished by the end of the day. In our classes, we started projects that ended in thoughtful passage analysis in English, white board meetings created from complex labs in Chemistry, and a strong grasp of the intricacies of public policy governing the Colorado River in Social Studies. In our math classes, we struggled through new topics, helping each other when things got hard. In each of our chosen electives we have found new challenges and joys. Discussions have been created in most of our classes, helping further the connection for each student between content and analysis. Even though this first quarter has been difficult, we are beginning to understand high quality work and the expectations of us as great students. In the coming weeks we will start our first expedition, Public Policy, addressing the climate crisis.  We will kick off soon, November 15, with a fieldwork day downtown. We will hear from young climate activists, survey people on the street, engage with a new art show at MECA, and explore the reality of sea level rise at the wharf.  Then we will dive into our research and begin to craft our own policy proposals working to effect change.

by Mayim Feinberg

12th Grade Update

In English, seniors are presenting slideshows to their classes on the non-fiction books and documentaries they have read and viewed to build expertise in their senior expedition topics and wrapping up final drafts of their college essays.  We have begun our exploration of how to ethically use AI as a tool to augment senior expedition slices of the solution for Quarter 2.

In Social Studies students have wrapped up the research phase of Senior Expedition. Students will open their exploration of the US legal system with an introductory unit that includes a case study of the OJ Simpson criminal and civil trials.

In Engineering students are wrapping their unit on Architecture by using SketchUp to model affordable multifamily buildings for land near Franklin Street in Portland. They are designing 3D models of their buildings as well as 2D Floor plans. This unit of study is based on a user-centered design approach where thinking about the users’ needs/wants are at the heart of students’ ideas.

In Statistics, students have been learning about various methods of data sampling, how to represent data using descriptive statistics, and are now beginning a unit on probability.

In French, we are finishing the second unit in all levels. We did  projects at the end of this quarter in all levels. 

9th Grade My Name Poem

My name is the bridge between two languages. My name is a shout, a laugh, a smile. My name is my past, and my name is my future. My name is a transformer, twisting and contorting itself to fit the mold of Spanish and English. My name is a “Eureka!” moment, a sudden spark in my mother’s mind. My name is the culmination of both sides of my family, a joining of two polar opposites. My name is many things, but there is one thing it certainly isn't. My name isn’t a whisper; it’s a yell. My name isn’t static; it’s malleable. My name isn’t quiet. It’s a sudden jolt. My name is Sebastian Milstein-Jones.

9th Grader Anfa Ahmed won a contest with this poster to help her classmates understand what it takes to be on track for on-time graduation. ​​​​​

9th Grade Expedition Update

Casco Bay is an “Expeditionary” school. This school strives to build students' character, leadership, and service while providing them with experiences that are challenging and exciting in a nurturing environment. Compassion, integrity, excellence, inclusion, and diversity are among our core values. Casco illustrates this in several ways. 

Quest is one way Casco illustrates this. Together with our crew, we were able to go on a 3-day, 2-night adventure on Cow Island.  We engaged in a variety of fascinating and trust-building activities throughout the day. The tunnels were one activity that really helped my crew bond. This is due to the fact that we had to guide one another through a narrow, pitch-black tunnel while alerting one another to impending dangers. This exercise developed trust and taught us to pay attention to one another and the other members of our crew. Because Quest helped each of our crews grow, it also contributed to the grade's overall growth. Because each person had the opportunity to participate in the activities in their own unique way, our grade felt more cohesive. 

The 9th grade is currently in their second expedition of the year. Our first one was “We Are Crew,”  and in this expedition we focused on two main questions: How do we build a homeplace? How can I express my full identity in this community? At the end of this expedition we had a culmination where each individual went up on stage during a school meeting. They had a self portrait made in art displayed behind them and read a line from their home place poem which we had written in English. This expedition taught us about our identities and the identities of our peers. Our current expedition is “We are on Indigenous Land.”  Our goal in this expedition is to discover the truth about the land we are on and its past. What is the history and culture of the Wabanaki people in Maine? How do the Wabanaki people fight against genocide, racism, and oppression? How can we tell the truth and strive to be true allies with the Wabanaki peoples of Maine? These are just some examples of our focus questions. At the end of this expedition, we are going to create artfully illustrated children's books, incorporating all of the knowledge we have gained. After that, we're going to read to and educate the students at the neighborhood elementary schools. 

We as a grade are so excited to see where this expedition will take us and can’t wait for all the others to come!

By Rosie Zigler

Spanish 3-5 Update

In Spanish 3, we have been increasing fluency by creating mini-stories about each student in the class while learning the past tense. 

On Friday, students re-told each story in the past tense in an on-demand speaking platform called "Filp".  I have heard incredible improvement already!   Next quarter, students will be learning the history, culture, and politics of Puerto Rico, focused on some of the work by Bad Bunny, and meeting with local Puerto Ricans who work to empower the people of Puerto Rico through elevating voice in art, teaching how to install solar panels and creating an energy independent Vieques. 

In Spanish 4/5 students have focused on two Spanish-speaking countries, Peru and, most recently, Mexico. On Monday, students will present orally as they walk the listener through a tour of Mexico, including giving directions through Mexico City and reciting part of the song "México Lindo y querido." 

Next week, small groups will perform the song on ukulele in the community!  Quarter 2 students will be reading a mini-novel about five migrant women from Central America, and we will be learning about the journeys of those who migrate from Central America and the reasons why. 

Photos and video included show an information gap activity where students had to successfully guide their partner from one place to another in a neighborhood of Mexico City. 

by Ms. Lynch Nichols

College and Career Updates

The Class of 2024 is well on their way to planning for life after Casco Bay! In crew students have been working on college applications, requesting letters of recommendation, creating their FSA ID and much more! Please feel free to reach out to Ms. Doyle if you have any questions or would like to meet in person to discuss your students plan! All students are required to have completed at least one college application by December 8th. Please Save the Date for our annual March to the Post Office on December 12th

Also - Please see our Casco Bay Connections newsletter!

Library Update

Click here to see the full CBHS Library Times!

Casco Bay Conundrum

Form a Team for the Casco Bay Conundrum!

What is that?

Teams of 4 (3 minimum and 5 maximum) will tackle 24 fun and creative challenges in their own way and in their own time over 24 hours. Teams may all be together or all over the world.

The Conundrum will be launched at 5pm on Friday, November 17th. One team member (at least) must join a Zoom call at 5pm on Friday, November 17th to receive the challenges and review the rules. Entered teams will be sent the link. Teams may be comprised of any 4 humans: families, students, alums.... Assemble your own Dream Team. All answers to challenges must be submitted by 5pm on Saturday, November 18th.  

Sample Challenges from Last Year

  • Imitate a CBHS staff member as a senior in high school doing their promposal. 
  • Show us the best view in Portland. 
  • Teach your grandparents something you wish they knew through a rap. 
  • Save democracy.
  • Get on the air.
  • Sing “Call Me Maybe” in the wrong genre.

Judges will review the entries and declare the winner. To enter is free. To have fun is guaranteed. To win is to ensure eternal glory.   


Register Your Team Here

Winter Intensives (1/2/24 - 1/9/24)

Here are this year’s offerings: 

Maine Academy of Modern Music Collaboration (Fine Arts UP's)
Whether it's rock or rap, hip hop or heavy metal, you will have a blast making music in this intensive! Throughout the week you will learn and rehearse your favorite songs with the help of a talented MAMM instructor. The intensive will culminate with a final performance. All levels of musical experience are welcome. Let's jam!

Journalism (English UP's)

Ever thought about what it might be like to be a reporter? Here is your chance to experience life as a journalist. Each student will contribute at least one news or feature article to our CBHS newspaper and earn English credit at the same time.

Forensics (Science UP's)
Forensic Chemistry will focus on the ways that chemistry is used to aid in crime investigations. Topics include nuclear analysis of tissues, organic chemistry of death and the decomposition process, chromatography and ink analysis, and toxicology. If there is time, we may also explore the role of citizens and experts in the legal system.

Casco Teaches (Elective UP's)
Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher? About being an educator? About helping others learn something you care about? Have you never thought about those things, but now that we mention it, you might be maybe/kinda/sorta interested? Then sign up for Casco Teaches and get the chance to assist in PPS classrooms and even teach your own lesson about an area of passion to your peers in the intensive.

Quilting/Fiber Arts (Fine Arts UP's)
Come learn about the world of QUILTING through fiber arts! We'll practice using sewing machines, knitting needles, crochet hooks, and more! You will learn how to read quilt patterns, create your own designs, select materials, "scrap bust," and more! No experience required. In-progress projects & materials of your own are welcome. If you can bring your own sewing machine, that's awesome, and we also have plenty to share! 

Technical Theatre & Set Design (Fine Arts UP's)
Did you know that most of the best and high-paying jobs in the entertainment industry (especially TV, Movies, & Broadway) are related to the skills you build and the knowledge you gain in technical theatre courses? It's true. Join us for guaranteed laughter and lots of learning about the amazing world of technical theatre!

Chemistry of Candy (Science UP's)

Do you like sweet treats? Have you ever wondered why some candy is hard and other soft and chewy? It all boils down to chemistry! Join us as we explore what is happening at the molecular level while we make candy in this science credit bearing intensive.

Ghosts, Monsters and Myths (English UP's)
In this spooky intensive, we’ll read and listen to local (and not-so-local) ghost stories, urban legends, and supernatural tales. We’ll explore allegedly haunted spots in Maine, consider what hauntings reveal about cultural fears, and write/tell some scary stories of our own. Bring your creativity, your willingness to embrace the unknown, and your curiosity about what lurks in the shadows, just out of sight.

Internships (Elective UP's)
Here's your chance to get first-hand job experience in any field or career you want. You will have 3 full-days off-site interning at your job site. Before and after the experience, you will get crucial job training. Go deeper with your public policy or senior expedition topic. Get a lead on your next job. Although priority will be given to juniors and seniors, all CBHS students are strongly encouraged to take this intensive course before they graduate.

Introduction to Rock Climbing (Physical Education UP's)
The title says it all. Join us for an introductory intensive in rock climbing. We have partnered with EVO rock gym to help you discover the awesomeness of climbing Rock.

Learn to Swim! (Physical Education UP's)
This intensive is for people who do not know how to swim and/or are uncomfortable around the water. We will learn basic strokes and safety, fitness routines in and out of the water, and we will complete a service project to inspire people younger than ourselves to learn to swim. 

Statistics & Strategies of Gaming (Math UP's)
Gaming has changed a lot over the years, but popular ones have always had a combination of statistical chance, and strategic choice. In this intensive we will play and analyze classic board games to understand the math behind the scenes that allow us to make the best strategic choices towards victory. We will also analyze popular video games to determine where choice and chance comes into play when deciding who's the victor.

Philosophy (Social Studies UP's)
In this intensive students will become philosophers as we discuss, reflect, and learn about existence and

what it means to be human. We will explore philosophical concepts like absurdity and anxiety, and ask how we can remain happy and sane in a world that can be so challenging. This is an intensive that primarily happens within our building, with the potential for short trips elsewhere.


Sketch Comedy (English UP's)
In this intensive, we’ll start out by watching and studying some of the best sketches from SNL, Monty Python, Kids In the Hall, In Living Color, Key & Peele, and even The Muppet Show. Then, we will generate ideas, write, revise, rehearse, produce, and perform our own sketch comedy show. If you love humor, enjoy writing and performing, and are willing to work collaboratively with a spirit of “Yes, and…”, this one's for you! 

Restorative Justice (Social Studies UP's)
This intensive will take a deeper look at how institutions use restorative practices to address issues in the community. Instead of focusing on punishment, restorative practices invite those in conflict to talk through the issue so they can understand the harm caused, take responsibility and find ways to move forward. We will connect with organizations in Maine and Massachusetts, including a high school in Holyoke, MA to examine how they are implementing restorative practices. Be prepared to travel out of state for a few days. This intensive is open to all CBHS students interested in learning more and diving into this work.

Snowshoeing Overnight (Physical Education UP's)
Those interested in communing with nature in winter will be able to take advantage of our overnight outdoor expedition. Students will help plan their travel to a rural location in Northern Maine and spend time enjoying the great outdoors. We will be snowshoeing, hiking, and playing outside! You do not need experience, but you do need to come with a spirit for winter adventure. This intensive does not have a day-trip option and could POSSIBLY have a weekend day included.

Winter Adventures (Physical Education UP's)
Why pursue adventure? We will explore this question while seeking out our own adventures in winter in Maine. Expect to be challenged and to be outside in the cold. And expect to feel the exhilaration of new things and of being immersed in the beauty of nature. Activities will vary based on conditions, but might include either ice-skating, snowshoeing, or X-country skiing. We will definitely hike and explore local trails, including in the woods and along the shore. No matter what, we hope for adventure and fun!

Winter Grad Camp
This intensive is specifically for seniors (and very few Juniors) who need extra support to graduate. Your sign up will be approved by the Team 11 & 12 teachers. Please see Mrs. Hampton or your Crew advisor if you think you should be in this intensive. 

Upcoming Dates

Quarter 1 Ends – 11/9

Fall Ball – 11/9 (7-10pm) – This dance is a fundraiser for senior expedition student grants. We are seeking donations of baked goods to add to the proceeds.

Quarter 2 Begins – 11/13

Winter Sports Begin - Week of 11/13 and 11/20

Options include basketball, swimming, indoor track, ice hockey, wrestling, nordic skiing, cheerleading, and unified basketball.

Register here (new and returning students):

PHS Registration Link: https://portlandhs-ar.rsc...

DHS Registration Link: https://students.arbiters...

PAG – 11/14 (5:30-7pm) - All are welcome! Topics include a discussion of the CBHS role in the PPS future vision for 9-12 education. 

NGLC Visit – 11/13-15 – 40+ educators will be visiting CBHS to learn more about the great work our students and staff are up to.

Junior Fieldwork Day – 11/15 – Addressing the Climate Crisis Expedition Kick Off – Juniors will hear from young climate activists, visit an exhibit at MECA, explore the realities of sea level rise at the wharf, and survey people on the street.

Crewsgiving – 11/17 – Crews will be organizing a potluck to help celebrate the season.

Casco Bay Conundrum – 11/17-11/18 (5pm to 5pm)

Thanksgiving Break – 11/22- 11/26

11:50 Dismissal – 11/28 & 29

Student-Parent-Advisor Conferences – 11/28 (4-8pm) & 11/29 (3-6pm)

Changemakers’ Challenge – 12/1

HS Information Night (for 8th Grade Families) – 12/6 (6:30-8:30pm)

Seniors Get One (College Application) Done – 12/8

HS Walk-Throughs (for 8th Grade Families) – 12/9 (10am-12:30)

PAG – 12/12 (5:30-7pm)

March to the Post Office – 12/15 (1:30pm) – Come celebrate the Class of 2024 for completing the milestone of completing a college application.

NHS Induction Ceremony – 12/14 (6-7pm)

Winter Solstice Assembly – 12/21

Winter Break – 12/22/23 – 1/1/24

Safety Update

Sadly, two of the biggest challenges our community have faced this year have had little to do with traditional teaching and learning, but too much to do with life in America in 2023: the active shooter hoax we experienced in September and the recent mass shooting in Lewiston.  Student safety is, of course, ever of paramount concern. Student safety begins with knowing students well and spans to include protocols to follow in the event of some form of crisis. After our school evacuation, we updated our protocols based on experience and feedback. So far this year, in addition to fire drills, we have also practiced a shelter-in-place drill. We have also improved building security by converting to key card access. Before winter break, we will be talking with students in crews about the newly recommended procedures connected to what security professionals call “enhanced lockdown.” This is part of the district-wide, year-long process to update our safety and crisis protocols to be in line with current research. Our full faculty (along with our PATHS colleagues) will be getting a second round of training with the Portland police department in January.

Cougar Kudos

To Anfa Ahmed for winning the 9th grade design competition (and the $50 prize!) to make clear to all 9th graders what it means to be ON TRACK for a 4 year graduation

To Askar Azeez for being one of 10 Maine finalists for the US Senate Youth Program.

To Michael Hale, Rebecca Lynch Nichols and Annemarie Orth for being selected to present at the EL National Conference.

To Ms. Dolce, our social worker, for getting engaged.

To Nurse Bell for rowing valiantly in another Head of the Charles

To our record number of fall athletes.

To the CBHS students who earned a spot in the District 2 Honors Music Festival: Saoirse Farrell (Cello), Sylvia Guarna (Violin), Archer Isgro (Viola) and Ben Parr (Cello)

To the following students for earning HOWL Students of the Week so far: Galileu dos Santos, Diego Drozd, Hutch Teesdale, Anwer Ali, Althea Denkmire, Ruweyda Mahamed, Zo Dyro, Anfa Ahmed, Reme Isgro, Willow Arzu, Jocelyn Vincent, Mustafa, Aimen Ismail, Alisandra Lindos, Joseph Lew, LiLi Burns, Taman Yusuf, Josue Lopez, Will Morrison, Avery Olson, Rylee Viney and Morgan Deveau.

To Fatimah Alzamili, Bella Rand, Jo Ellis and Jayden Monteiro Rosado for being willing to serve our community as.our School Board representative - and to Jayden for winning the election. 

To Fatimah Alzamili, Aimen Ismail, Everett Deitz, Mayim Feinberg, Anzel Noor and Mr. Morales for organizing a vigil in response to the Israel-Hamas War.

To the following CBHS students who will be a part of the Telling Room’s Young Writers and Leaders cohort for 23-24. (CBHS again has more reps in this program than any other school): Willa, Taman, Galileo, Shukri, Gloria, Mardia, Nludi,: Eliel, Faisal Azeez, Ruweyda, Greta, Misk, Ganzi and Noemia.