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CBHS Fall Newsletter 2022


Expedition Updates

2022 Winter Intensives

Fall-Winter Student-Parent-Advisor Conferences 

Parent Advisory Group Annual Appeal

Quarter Two Events

Quarter One Cougar Kudos

Seeking Artists of All Kinds!

Winter 2022 Health Updates

March to the Post Office

November 2022

Dear CBHS Families and Friends: 

Quarter One at Casco Bay High School has produced the return of some favorite Casco Bay rituals that we have not experienced since 2019, such as a three-night Senior Quest, the Halloween Dance,  cohorts of visiting educators, and weekly, live school meetings for the entire student body. We’ve also experienced a few significant firsts, including our first Maine Teacher of the Year (Mr. Bernstein) and our first “quarter” (after 17 years of a trimester-based academic calendar). 

Last year we made immense progress in revitalizing our community as well as getting students to tackle the big issues of the day and doing their best work through learning expeditions. Students (and staff) grew more dramatically last year than most. We also learned that the wounds from the pandemic - and the collective challenges of life in 2022 - are deep, complex, varied and lasting - especially for students, but also for staff. Staff were asked to constantly innovate and adapt, innovate and adapt - all while relentlessly caring about students who have never needed us more.  Students and staff ended last year proud and exhausted.

There is much we are aiming to preserve in our work with students 22-23. Fundamentally, we want each student to know unequivocally that “You matter and your work matters.” We continue to strive to engage students through meaningful work and meaningful relationships. We remain focused on dismantling inequities, building our equity literacy and moving towards our vision for an equitable school. And as first became a focus during the pandemic, we remain committed to diversely, deeply cultivating joy and wellness for students and faculty.

Our areas for improvement and growth revolve around both academics and school culture. Our teaching and learning focus can be summed up by our character pathway: pursue personal best. First we are working to increase rigor and student’s academic fitness (their capacity to do and sustain vital, hard work). In order to promote this, much of our teacher professional development is focused on developing instructional practices that promote student self-efficacy and what we call a “respectful level of challenge” for each student. In the spring, each teacher will engage in a coaching cycle with a peer or administrator to support their individual efforts to be more effective with their new strategies. We also hope our new quarter-based academic calendar and support structure will allow students more fresh starts and more incentive to do quality work the first time (and reduce procrastination). We’ve added several new fitness opportunities and a wellness plan for each student (that will be reviewed at upcoming conferences) in the hopes that students will pursue personal bests in their wellness in addition to their academics.

                                         CBHS Faculty Share Their Outer Bernstein

Our second goal centers on school culture and character: build community. We are aiming to use crew to teach more of the social-emotional learning skills, from conflict resolution to stress management, that have seemed more crucial post-pandemic. We are also intentionally depending more on positive student leadership and role modeling to shape our culture. So far, students, especially juniors and seniors, have exceeded even our high expectations. We are deepening the connections between 9th and 12th grade buddy crews. In October, all students engaged in a Courageous Conversation about bullying, harassment and how and when to intercede. We’ve doubled the size of our Community Council. Community Council employs student-facilitated (staff-supported) restorative justice processes to help mediate student conflict or to help students take accountability when harm has been done at CBHS, We’ve also made revisions and adjustments to some select school policies and guidelines (eg: personal electronic, academic support guidelines, the daily schedule, school meeting norms) where in the past “looseness,” or lack of clarity could diminish students’ learning and faculty wellness.  This “build community” goal is a central focus of our Parent Advisory Group as well. We will be revising aspects of upcoming events such as Student-Parent-Advisor Conference (11/30 & 12/1) and Family Crew Night (January 19th). More details about both events are in this newsletter.

We are combining the individualistic focus of our first goal - pursue personal best - with the more colllectivist idea of our second goal - build community - to create the Casco Bay Credo for 22-23: Rise Up to Be Our Better Selves.” This is no small feat during a time when it can feel like both hope and unity are scarce. In the second quarter, each grade will have an opportunity to Rise Up. The 9th grade will be developing children’s book to share with PPS upper-elementary students about the Wabanaki. The sophomores will be preparing for presentations about human migration challenges in countries around the world (for Beyond Borders), and juniors will be completing public policy research papers and presentations on an issue they’re passionate about. And soon after Thanksgiving, the seniors will be unveiling their pop-up museum with their takes on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

During Student-Parent-Advisor conferences upcoming on November 30th (4 to 8pm) and December 1st (3 to 6pm), we look forward to having more conversations about how we can support each of our students to Rise Up. Happy Thanksgiving and see you soon!


Derek Pierce

Expedition Updates

Team 9 Expedition Update

By Luke Parr

As the first Quarter comes to a close in the ninth grade, it is important to reflect upon all we have accomplished in this time. With the newly introduced Class of 2026 getting settled into the new school year as well as the new school in general we started off the year with Freshman Quest on Cow Island, with various team building activities to enrich the newly formed Crews. Quest entailed ziplining, kayaking, rock climbing, various games and other activities, as well as camping together on Cow Island as a Crew to get to know each other better. 

Throughout the entirety of this First Quarter, the Freshman have focused on a variety of important expeditions, including the “We are Crew'' and “We are on Indigenous Land” expeditions. In social studies class with Maine’s Teacher of the Year, Mr. Bernstein, the freshmen focused on the concept of a home place, such as what really makes a home place for us. This resulted in a home place project which was all about getting people to think about their home places and how exactly we can make school a home place for everyone. During the “We are on Indigenous Land Expedition," freshmen worked on building background knowledge of the history and traditions of the Wabanaki people, the largest network of indigenous tribes in Maine. This also entailed a trip to the Presumpscot River, showing the class first hand the land.  For the culmination of this expedition, freshman will create educational picture books to teach children about the history and importance of the Wabanaki people, and the truth that we are on indigenous land. 

For the “We are Crew '' expedition in ninth grade English we emphasized the concept of who we are and where we came from, and who we are as a person in the bigger overall community. This eventually developed into us making an “I Am" poem' explaining directly who we are.  This expedition culminated with the Freshman sharing one line of the “I am Poem'' to the greater school community at the School meeting, fully introducing the Class of 2026 to Casco Bay High School. For the “We are on Indigenous Land” expedition, the freshman English class read “Night of The Living Rez,” which is about modern day Indigenous life. It is written by a young Indigenous Penobscot writer from Maine and will help the freshman to connect that Indigenous people are here, and living amongst us in our modern lives and aren’t something of the past. Ms. Herlihy, the ninth grade English teacher adds “I thought this grade has made great progress since the beginning of the year on becoming scholars, and working together, so I'm pleased with that. I also think the other big thing is that we have a lot of students who chose to do Exceeds reading and math and have some of the biggest numbers that we have ever had at Casco Bay so I think that's awesome.” She also emphasized the newly introduced ninth grade’s work ethic, and our willingness to try new and harder things. 

These diverse and complex expeditions really came into play in Visual Arts with Ms. Taraschi. In Visual Arts class the freshman for the “We Are Crew '' expedition looked at quilt-making, the freshman considered the history of quilt making, and how exactly it can bring communities together as a whole. This then transitioned into the ninth grade using fabric applique technique to make quilt textiles;  then we put all of those textile squares into a Crew quilt. All seven crew quilts were displayed during our culmination at school meeting. Ms. Taraschi adds “I think especially this freshman class did a good job thinking outside of the box with the medias that they could use on the quilt textile, this being the first year that the quilt squares went three dimensional, so people were incorporating beads and feathers in, and even things from the trip to Cow Island.” Statements. First years explained the artistic choices they made in artist statements. Some of them were way deeper than you might originally think just looking at the artwork. For the “We are on Indigenous Land” expedition in Visual Arts, the freshman got underway by conceptualizing and brainstorming symbols that are a major part of Wabanaki art and various symbols. This resulted in the ninth grade going for a walk along the Presumpscot River. We had a list of things that we were supposed to brainstorm a symbol for, and that list was developed from existing symbols in Wabanaki culture already, so thinking about for instance what we saw in our everyday life, and how exactly we might be able to transfer that to our artwork via symbolism.

Finally, our STEM classes (Geometry & Biology) are connected to “We Are On Indigenous Land." With Ms. Sample we made tessellations using repeating shapes which is a type of symbolism also found in Wabanaki art. In Biology, the freshman have recently completed their investigation into the Gulf of Maine, and how people interact with the environment with an expert visit. Colles Stowell is founder of the One Fish Foundation and helped us better understand our relationship with seafood and the complexity of climate-driven changes to the Gulf of Maine. This included the freshman learning about the federal government proposing new (tougher) restrictions on the lobster industry in an effort to protect the northern right whale. 

To summarize, the newly introduced Class of 2026 is emphasizing work ethic, with the ability to think outside the box, and the willingness to try new and harder endeavors. When some of the freshmen were interviewed about their experience at Casco Bay High School in their first quarter, they used descriptions such as “welcoming,” “positive energy seemingly teeming throughout the whole school,” “effective and fun classes,” and “a large community all there to help us.” Overall, the new freshman show great promise to better the Casco Bay community, and bring an even more inclusive, positive energy, making CBHS a true home place for all of those who join us.

Team 10 Update

by Jayden Monteiro Rosado

Here is a look at what grade ten has been doing this quarter. In social studies, students have been learning about the Atlantic Revolutions. We started off by learning about globalization. We learned about historical examples of globalization and how it affects the world. We then wrote an essay on whether globalization is a positive or negative thing overall for humanity. We then learned about The Enlightenment and the influence that time period had on the revolutions that took place much later in history. Then we learned about revolutionary women. We each picked a woman who played a role in a revolution, whether it was the American Revolution, the French Revolution, or one of the Latin American revolutions. We then found background information about these women and took notes about them. We then created presentations about these women, in which we explained the revolution they were involved in, and the impact that they made with their work in these revolutions. We also had to explain why these women are relevant in today's world. We then learned about three Atlantic Revolutions: the American Revolution, the French Revolution and the Haitian Revolution. We took a test in which we had to identify ten words and their connection to these three revolutions. We then had to write three paragraphs, two of which were about a revolution. The third was comparing and contrasting two revolutions.

                Sophomores at the Halloween Dance

In algebra, students have been learning about how to write linear equations. They have been learning about graphing linear equations as well. This included finding the slope of a line and the y-intercept of the line as well. They have learned how to use a linear equation to graph points on a graph. They have also learned about how to use coordinates on a graph to create division problems to help them find the slope of a line and to create linear equations.

In wellness, students have been doing a lot of physical education. This involves going outside to the ropes course, where, for instance, students must try to get everybody across three or four ropes without anyone falling off. This requires that the students work together and communicate well together in order to get everyone across successfully and safely. The point of this is to assess the students' ability to work together and positively communicate to each other. Next quarter, students will start the health portion of the year in wellness, when they will start to learn about how the human body functions and the different systems, such as the respiratory and immune systems. They will start to learn the importance of exercising their bodies and eating nutritious food.

In English, students have been doing creative writing. They started off by learning about what makes a story interesting. They read several stories and analyzed them and had to summarize what they thought the story was about and what it had that made it an interesting and intriguing story. One of the stories, for instance, was a satirical description of Black Friday. We then wrote our own first person short stories. We then moved on to poetry, where we learned about what makes a poem good and how to make it interesting. We then wrote an ode to something. We then had to pick a photo or painting and write an ekphrastic poem that had to do with the painting.

In physics, students started off by learning about the difference between accuracy and precision. They did this by creating catapults. They had to record their catapult to test whether their catapults were accurate and precise at the same time. They used the video and used software on a computer for the purpose of creating an accurate graph that shows the motion of the catapult firing a ball. Students have also been learning about how to create graphs to show motion and speed. Students have been learning how to graph things like position vs. time, and velocity vs. time. 

In quarter two, students have begun an expedition called Beyond Borders. Students will learn about crises refugees face in their home countries and why they leave those countries. They'll learn about what economic and geographic factors have forced people to leave. Students will use what they'll learn about global migration and its causes to offer solutions to those issues. Last week, we kicked the expedition off with a ¨Walls Down¨ day where we spent the entire day starting to learn about the issue of global migration. There were several guest speakers from the Maine Immigrant Center. The final product of this expedition will be a presentation of our research during an event to raise awareness in the public about the issues facing refugees. CBHS families and members of the public will be invited to our ¨Refugees Issue Forum¨ to learn from students as well. The tentative dates for our presentations are near the end of the 2nd quarter, January 31st and February 1st. 

Team 11 Expedition Update 

by Jules Lallo

This year’s first Junior Expedition, known as Power, Policy, Story, and Truth, could very well be summed up as a revival of when ‘Civics’ was a class (back in the days when  Mr. Pierce rode his dinosaur to school). This expedition has essentially functioned as the Class of 2024’s

  Juniors Summit on the Summit (of Pleasant Mtn., 10/22)

introduction to politics and the structure of government, and has been far more in-depth and educational than some meme one saw on Discord. The beginning of our junior project started with a reading of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in Ms. Robinson’s English class. This expedition will eventually culminate in us writing a ‘white paper’ about a  public policy topic of our choosing, from gun control to immigration reform. Then we will be tasked with devising an oral presentation about our issue and proposed solution which we will eventually share with peers, parents and a panel of local experts. But first comes a whole lot of research.  The beauty of us teenagers is that we may not know a lot (yet), but we sure are opinionated and passionate (see ‘Arrogant’, ‘Young’, and ‘Foolish’), often about topics we know little about. This expedition brings out the best of that youthful fiery fervor while giving us a chance to do the deep research as well as the time to practice the oral and written communication skills so we can truly be persuasive. All are invited to come see our results. The tentative dates for the culmination are February 13th-15th. Watch for more details closer to the event.

Team 12 Update

By Nicky Paterniti and Amira Doale

As soon as the school year started, the seniors dived head first into Senior Quest with some crews kayaking and others hiking. After grappling with the challenges of quest, the seniors have been writing their college essays in senior humanities English. Starting off with freewriting and playing with many prompts, and then moving our way to drafting and editing. Expanding on the college journey, FAFSA applications are now open! Ms. Doyle has generously offered to help out with the application process and parents can schedule an appointment with her. All seniors are required to complete at least one post-secondary application by December 9th. Many students already have; we've even had our first "Movin' On Ups" at School Meeting. 

Recently, in senior humanities we have been delving into the Israeli-Palestine conflict. We welcomed guest speakers Zeina Azzam and Fatah Azzam, who shared their experience with this conflict and their poetry. On November 30th, we will be unveiling our pop-up museum in response to our studies: Art in Action. All are welcome to attend! Many seniors are also taking AP courses and early college classes as they get ready for next year. It’s a difficult, stressful time, so we recently held a senior hype meeting to motivate and inspire the class to keep pushing forward. We have been taking care of ourselves and others by taking brain breaks, spending time with our freshmen buddies, and stepping up as leaders in our community.  

Winter Intensives

Students have completed initial sign-ups for Winter Intensives (1/3/23-1/9/23). They will soon know in which intensive they will be enrolled. Intensives are mini-expeditions: one week, elective courses that occur once in winter and once in spring; each are worth .5 UPs.  Students choose among about fifteen course offerings and engage in in-depth study, all day (8:20am-2:50pm) for five days. Intensives are designed to provide opportunities for compact, in-depth learning experiences with compelling topics for all CBHS students. Below are the slate of offerings for Winter 2023. 

317 Main Street (Songwriting) - Art UPs

Do you love music? Do you want to write your own song? In this intensive, students will tap into their own creativity, find tools for improvisation, hone their ears for song analysis, and build on new and existing musical skills to create original music. The week ends with a showcase of original music the participants have created during the week. 

Art, Architecture and Athletics - Art UPs

Do you love basketball, design and/or architecture? In this intensive we will work in conjunction with the Maine Celtics and SMRT (a local architectural design company) to create a vision for a new sports venue for the Maine Celtics. We will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Portland EXPO - as well as meet current Maine Celtics players, coaches and broadcasters. We will work in teams to design a new stadium with everything that a professional sports team needs to be successful as a team and as a business. We will use SketchUp for Schools to design and create physical models of this vision. Teams may choose to participate in a regional competition in March against other area schools.

Basketball - Phys. Ed UPs

In addition to being played and watched by millions, basketball is also a huge part of culture and has influenced fashion, music, tv, film, literature, data analytics, and more. In this intensive, we are going to immerse ourselves in the wonderful world of basketball. We will train hard to hone our playing skills, fitness levels, and understanding of the game. We will also learn more about the role of basketball in the world and the cultural influence of basketball. It is very important to know that this intensive is more than just playing basketball. It is also about the social impact of basketball. Please be prepared to play hard, but also to study hard. We will be working out our bodies and our brains in this intensive. You do not have to have any basketball experience or ability level to be a part of this intensive. 

Casco Teaches - Elective UPs

            Meet our new mascot -  Freddy Cougar

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 Bay Teaches and get the chance to assist in PPS classrooms and even teach your own lesson about an area of passion. 

Fiber Arts/Jewelry Making - Art UPs

Come learn your way around a sewing machine, and we'll explore drafting clothing from your own patterns, basic mending skills, and more!  No experience required. Helpful if you can BYO sewing machine and fabric, but we'll have plenty to share! We will also look at the basics of jewelry-making in many forms.

Food for Health - Health UPs

Do you wish that you could have fresh, wholesome food all during the dark, cold Maine winter? Do you believe that sharing food with others is about more than just what ends up in your stomach? Did you ever wonder why nobody can cook like your grandmother? In Food For Life we will learn and practice the science of preserving fresh food grown.

Forensic Chemistry - Science UPs

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.

Ghosts, Monsters and Myths - English UPs

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 UPs

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.

Learn to Rock Climb - PE UPs

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 - PE UPs

We live in Maine! Maine is a water lover's paradise, and we should all be comfortable being in and near the water. This intensive will not only teach you how to swim, but also heighten your enjoyment of being around water. This intensive is for people that do not know how to swim and/or are uncomfortable around the water.

Mathemagic - Math UPs

What do Houdini and Pythagoras have in common? Is it that they are all magicians? Or is it that they are all mathematicians? OR MAYBE, just maybe, they are mathemagicians. If you want to live in that world where magic and math are a Boolean union, then this class is for you. We will learn and perform illusions based on mathematical principles, and learn mathematical principles based on magic tricks. Yes you will be sworn to secrecy, and yes, you will amaze and confound people for the rest of your life. 

Philosophy - Social Studies UPs

Do you enjoy reading, thinking, and talking about ideas? If so, consider being a part of our Philosophy intensive. In this classroom-based intensive (we won't really be leaving the building) students will select questions that they find compelling to guide 5 days of reading, thinking, and discussing philosophical ideas and questions.  Students will have an opportunity to guide the curriculum! Enrolled students will be asked to complete a survey indicating the philosophical questions they find to be the most compelling.

Podcasting - English UPs

By the start of this intensive, it is estimated that there will be around 424 million podcast listeners worldwide and over 66 million podcast episodes. This intensive is all about podcasting - the art of using audio to tell stories and share information! Come check out cool podcasts to listen to, learn about how podcasts are made, and ultimately follow your passions to make your own podcast episode!

School Culture Leaders- Elective UPs

We need help! Are you tired of the drama? Want to go to the bathroom without people in there thinking its the new club? Are you done with the disrespect? If so - this intensive is made for you. This elective intensive will teach you how to work with others to restore the peace the right way.... Up stander Intervention, mutual benefits of mentoring and how to build community through helping others.... tiktok tiktok... the time is now! Help teach others how to chat.... before they snap! ;) 

School to Prison Pipeline - Social Studies UPs 

The winter intensive will explore the student to prison pipeline system and how school environments, cultures, and policies reinforce racist practices that push students out into the criminal justice system. Some themes we will explore in this intensive are intersectional identities and criminalization, and how it plays a role in pushing out students into the system. Students will be engaging with local organizations and leaders as a way to deepen their understanding of the student to prison pipeline system. We will be inviting a panel discussion from representatives of the Youth—LED Justice organization, watch a performance from the Maine Inside Out group, attend a court hearing and speak with a local prosecutor, and visit the Long Creek Youth Development center. Throughout the intensive, students will be engaging in meaningful classroom discussions and submit reflection pieces as a part of their portfolio. 

Snow Shoeing Overnight - Phys Ed. UPs

Those interested in communing with nature in winter will be able to take advantage of our overnight outdoor expedition. Students will plan, travel to Moosehead Lake, Maine and spend time enjoying the great outdoors. We will be snowshoeing (or hiking) on the trails at the Birches in Rockwood. You do not need experience, but you do need to come with a spirit for winter adventure.  An important note about our schedule: we will depart from school Wednesday morning (1/4) and return Saturday afternoon (1/7).

Winter Adventures  - Phys Ed. UPs

Come adventuring with us! In this intensive we will go on a variety of winter adventures. Our adventures may include ice skating, sledding, hiking, indoor climbing, and tubing. Our activities will vary depending on the weather, but the fun won’t stop! 

Winter Grad Camp

SENIORS ONLY - NEED APPROVAL FROM CREW ADVISOR Get the support you need to walk the stage in June! Edmentum? Recursive Standards? 2+ final grades? We are here to get you there! (Students will not receive any UPS for the intensive, but they will earn UPS in the classes they are working on to pass!)


Fall-Winter Student-Parent-Advisor Conferences 

(11/30, 4-8pm & 12/1, 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 28th. 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.  Thanks!

The CBHS Parent Advisory Group Annual Appeal

Dear Casco Bay High School Families,

CBHS is grateful for all your prior support to our school and community, and we are hoping that may continue. Volunteers from the Parent Advisory Group are asking for your help with the 2022-23 Annual Appeal goal of raising $26,000 from current families to go directly to teacher grants, senior scholarships, and transformative student programs. These programs are part of what makes CHBS students successful and are not funded by the Portland School Department budget. So far we’ve raised over $7000, but we need your help to reach our goal! Your donations support Winter and Spring Intensives, Freshman and Senior Quests, Sophomore Solo, and Junior Journey, as well as scholarships and grants for innovative teacher ideas and curriculum. In October, PAG awarded $4000 in teacher grants to fund 13 innovative projects that will ultimately serve each and every one of our kids.  A dedicated team of faculty and staff guide and support students; ten Casco Bay staff members have received state or national awards for excellence as educators. Your donation will be immediately put to work, helping our students to develop academically and personally. Every gift is valued. A gift of $1 is appreciated as much as a gift of $500 or $1,000. All donations benefit our students.

CBHS continues to exceed PPS Standards and provides the public school education our students and our community deserve. It’s why we received national recognition as a gold level “School of Opportunity,” the first ever in Maine.  It’s why we are home to Maine’s Teacher of the Year, Mr. Bernstein, What we’ve created, we’ve done together.  We are asking you all to show your support by contributing what you can to ensure this kind of education remains a viable and vital part of our city and our works. 

You can click on this link to make an online donation now.  A QR code is below.  You can also mail or drop off a check to our main office. On behalf of CBHS we thank you for your generous support!

Patty Chamard, parent ‘23; Andrew Bloom parent ’22/‘25, John Bower, parent ‘26 Leah Whalen parent ’25, Megan Murphy-Goldman, parent ’24, Amy Thompson, parent ’23, Kevin Butterfield, parent ‘20, ’23 and PAG Treasurer

Qr code

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Pay Pal QR Code! Any amount contributed helps to achieve the CBHS community goal. Annual Appeal donations are tax deductible per IRS regulations. Casco Bay High School Parent Advisory Group is recognized by the IRS as a 501C3 organization in good standing as EIN 26-3145259 

Quarter Two Events

Senior Culmination: Art in Action: Responding to Israel and Palestine 2022 - Wednesday, November 30th and Thursday, December 1st 

The entire community will have the opportunity to experience the senior’s pop-up museum. 

Student-Advisor Conferences - Wednesday, November 30th (4-8pm) and Thursday, December 1st  (3-6pm) 

For more details, see the article above in this newsletter. Parents will also have the opportunity to experience Art in Action before or after their conference.

School Picture Retake Day - Monday, December 5th 

PPS High School Information Night, Monday December 5th (6:30-8:00pm via Zoom)

This virtual event kicks off the high school transition process. It will help students and families to learn more about each high school and provide answers to questions.

CBHS Parent Advisory Group Meeting - Tuesday December 6th (5:30-7pm, over Zoom and in person in the CBHS library)

We will be continuing our discussions about building the CBHS parent community as well as how to support teens in having healthy relationships.  

Senior Get One Done, Friday, December 9th

All seniors are required to complete at least one post-secondary application by this day. 

PPS High School Walkthroughs - Saturday, December 10th (10:00am-12:30pm)

These walkthroughs will be a chance for students and families to visit all of our three high schools. Staff and students will be present to answer questions and help guide 8th graders and/or their families around each school.

NHS Induction Ceremony – Thursday, December 15th  (12/20 Snow Date) (6-7pm, CBHS Library)

March to the Post Office, Friday December 16th (1pm-2:30, Portland Museum to City Hall)

The Class of 2023 will celebrate the milestone of applying to college by marching down Congress Street to City Hall where they will be greeted by the rest of the school community. 

9th Grade Expedition Culmination: “We are on Indigenous Land,” Tuesday. December 20th (at Ocean Ave. Elementary and Talbot Elementary)

CBHS Solstice Assembly, Thursday, December 22nd (tentative start - 10:40am)

Winter Intensives - Tuesday, January 3rd - Monday, January 9th 

See the article above in this newsletter to review the full slate of offerings. 

8th Grade Commitment Forms Due - Friday, January 6th

CBHS Parent Advisory Group Meeting - January 10th  (5:30-7pm, over Zoom and in person in the CBHS library)

Family Crew Night – January 19th  (6:00-8pm)  SAVE THE DATE

The whole community is welcome to attend! Each grade level will have its own potluck to build connections between families and parents (6:00-6:45). Please share a favorite family or cultural dish.  Then we will all gather in the Great Space for a showcase of great student work from the first half of the year – and get a preview of what’s upcoming (6:45pm-8pm). 

Sophomore Culmination - Beyond Borders Culmination - Tuesday January 31st and February 1st

Parents and interested community members are welcome to attend these school-day presentations by each sophomore. 

2nd Quarter Ends, Friday February 3rd

The CBHS Musical - Young Frankenstein - Friday, February 3rd - Sunday February 5th at Portland High’s John Ford Theater

All are welcome to see CBHS students bring to life this uproarious Mel Brooks musical comedy. 

CBHS Parent Advisory Group Meeting - February 7th (5:30-7pm, over Zoom and in person in the CBHS library)

Junior Culmination - Public Policy Presentations, Portland Public Library - February 13th-February 15th

Parents and interested community members are welcome to attend these school-day presentations by each sophomore. 


Quarter One Cougar Kudos

To the following students for earning from faculty the honor of HOWL Student of the Week for their grade level for exceptional Habits of Work: Imani Minega, Sam Below-Haskins, Aviana Moulton, Natalia Lima, Rzan Elfadil Elfodol, Reme Isgro, Ella Sobol, Blaise Vilakazi, Elliot Eldridge, Miguel Sessa, Zeke Podolsky, Lina Salianga, Mia Nzolameso, Faith Fuller, Georgina, Manuel, Jo Ellis, Deborah Rugema, Judi Oromo, Josue Lopez, Ali Jalil, Joseph Lew, Fina McMahon, Jayden Monteiro Rosado, Jules Lallo and Connor Viney.

To the fellow seniors who were recognized by their peers for exemplifying one of our Character Pathways: Steven Martinez, Iona Kampemana, Greta Holmes, Sara Sullivan, Margret Valerio and Ayub Sheikh. 

To Fuad Ahmed and Conor Viney for being the first seniors to be accepted to college and Move On Up!

To 9th grader Ahmed Ofle for winning the Rising Tide Scholarship which will enable him to study in a pre-med program for high school students in Washington DC this summer. 

To the junior class for hosting a fantastic Halloween Dance and raising over $1000 for Junior Journey.

To Jo Ellis for becoming the new CBHS rep to the School Board and to Gaby Henriquez and Sophia Chouinard for being willing to serve. 

To All of our fall athletes, including the members of the PHS girls and boys cross-country teams (that advanced to the New England Championships and the PHS football team which advanced to the state finals. Cougar kudos also to our fall varsity captains: Delainey Black, Greta Holmes, Lucas Richards, Hope Paquette, Nicky Paterniti

... To All of the students, alums and parents who competed in the third annual Casco Bay Conundrum and our six student and parent judges.... (And to the Keymasters for their 2nd consecutive triumph!)

To Mr. Bernstein for being named Maine Teacher of the Year!

Conundrum Challenge 13: Model the  Most Casco Bay Outfit


Do you create? Looking for a place to share your work?

The 3rd Annual Casco Bay Arts and Music Festival is looking for performance and visual artists to display and exchange their tinkerings and masterpieces at our community event on May 13, 2023. Save the date! And please reach out to Jes Ellis at with questions.

From the Nurse's Corner:

I want to thank those who are keeping your students home when they are sick and are testing for Covid just in case. Thanks also for encouraging your child to wear a mask if they are returning to school with a lingering cough. 

We are not seeing much Covid right now, but are seeing confirmed cases of the flu and RSV.  
Here's how to tell the difference between all of them:

Is it COVID, the flu, RSV or a common cold?

Let's look at the viruses that cause four common childhood illnesses—COVIDflu, the common cold and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

All of them share some similar symptoms. This can make it hard to tell them apart. Here are some clues that help your pediatrician figure out what kind of respiratory illness is making your child sick.

  • COVID symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, sneezing, vomiting/diarrhea, or loss of taste/smell. COVID symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after infection.

  • Flu symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, stuffy nose, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, body aches. Symptoms show up about 1 to 4 days after being exposed to a sick person. The infection can cause pneumonia.

  • RSV can cause a fever, cough, fatigue, stuffy nose, shortness of breath, sneezing, fast/short breaths.  Symptoms of RSV usually are worst on days 3 through 5 and last about 5 to 7 days. The infection causes a cold, which may be followed by bronchiolitis or pneumonia. RSV is common in late fall through early spring. In 2021, however, the pandemic caused a strange thing to happen. The number of RSV infections and hospital rates went up in summer 2021 instead. Nearly all children get RSV by their second birthday.

  • Common cold symptoms may include fever, cough, fatigue, stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing. Colds are upper respiratory infections that can be caused by many viruses. A few common cold viruses are rhinovirus, adenovirus, human coronavirus, human parainfluenza virus, human metapneumovirus and RSV. Healthy children get about 6 colds a year.

Other things to know:

  • Do you know we offer fresh produce and other grocery items twice a month at CBHS?  Our Fresh Food Fridays are a hit with students. Please remind them to take part and bring home fruits and vegetables and other items. It happens every other Friday at the end of the day. 
  • Please continue to be vigilant for Covid as the winter season approaches. If you need more Covid tests, please let me know.
  • Flu and Covid vaccines are available through our School Clinic. It is strongly recommended all persons get both the flu vaccine and the new Covid booster. 
  • If your child reaches out to you during school to say they are not feeling well and want to go home, they need to come to the nurse first before being dismissed.  Please have them come see me.
  • You can order free covid tests once a month through Maine's program.  Please go to  and order your test. 
  • My contact information:;  207-842-4665. 

Thank you!

Becky Bell, MSN, RN

CBHS School Nurse

March to the Post Office

Get Ready to Celebrate The Class of 2023!!!

Please save the date as we get ready to celebrate the Class of 2023 during our annual March to the Post Office event on December 16th starting at 1:00 PM. All seniors will march to the post office on Congress Street to deliver letters of gratitude  and updated transcripts to colleges and loved ones. We would love to see you all there to celebrate. Stay tuned for more information.

Please check out our newsletter here!

And check out Future Now, a CBHS College & Career resource

Future Now: The CBHS Colege & Career Newsletter .