Saturday, May 8, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week Celebrated at Small School

Our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week at Small School included breakfast for the teachers, special treats, lunch, and a school wide parade of students and parents. Thanks to our wonderful teachers!

Monday, April 12, 2010

South Portland City Council school budget meeting WEDNESDAY April 14th

The South Portland City Council will hold another public meeting on the school budget at 6:30 pm, Wednesday April 14th in city council chambers.

What the council is voting on is a 1.5% tax increase for the schools. For a South Portland resident who owns a home with an assessed value of $200,000, the increase would add $26 to the school portion of the annual property tax bill. 

If you can come to the meeting, there will be 2 minutes to speak. The key points that need to be made are as follows:

  • I support a 1.5% tax increase in the property tax rate; and
  • I support building and renovating the South Portland High School
If you cannot make this meeting, please send an email to one or more of the city council members listed below and cover the above points.
Again, City Council is NOT hearing from a large enough number of residents who support schools.

Your voice is so important to this process!

The city council will vote on the school budget April 26. Residents will vote May 6 whether to validate it.

City Council Members:

Tom Coward -

Patti Smith - 

Rosemarie De Angelis -
Maxine R. Beecher -
James Hughes -
Linda R. Boudreau -
Tom Blake -

Earth Day Clean Up - Saturday April 24th

The South Portland Land Trust invites students, parents & staff to help with
Earth Day Clean-up 2010

Date: Saturday, April 24th, 2010
Time to Register: Registration begins at 8:30 am at Mill Creek Park

Place to Register: Mill Creek Park across from Hannaford Supermarket
Clean-up Event Times: 8:30 am to 11:30 am
Things to Bring:
·        Bring your own water bottle and coffee mug, if you would like complimentary coffee
·        Wear durable footwear and gloves
·        We encourage the use of hand tools to pick up some trash
·        Young children should be accompanied by an adult

Rain Date: Saturday, May 1st, same time and location
South Portland, April 10 – Even though this year’s Earth Day clean up is again taking place during spring vacation, students, parents and staff all are invited to participate in the citywide event on Saturday, April 24, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Participants can do trash and recycling pickup at whatever school or public space they so choose, as long as they notify the organizer (the South Portland Land Trust) where the bags can be collected ( or 210-8366. The SPLT will provide bags as needed. Schools, area residents, businesses and organizations have been invited to help clean up school grounds, parks, beaches, shorelines and trails across South Portland.

Earth Day is not only a wonderful opportunity to enhance environmental stewardship and awareness, it is also a chance to foster community involvement and volunteerism. The annual event has activated citizens since 1999.  Last year, the SPLT and many participating groups and individuals, brought out over 300 volunteers to gather 129 bags of trash, 40 bags of recyclables and piles of debris, which, in all, amounted to more than four tons of trash and blight removed for public spaces.

Once again, volunteers will be cleaning up sites throughout the city, including the Greenbelt Walkway, Hinckley Park, Mill Creek Park, Bug Light Park, Thomas Knight Park, Willard Beach, Mill Cove, and Pleasantdale Cove. A wide variety of groups will be cooperating on the clean-up, including neighborhood associations, local businesses, scouting groups, and student groups. And as always, the City of South Portland will collect all the trash and debris after the event.

Groups and organizations are invited to select their own cleanup locations, rally their own memberships and then contact the SPLT to share logistical details. Participating organizations and businesses can find out more details and pre-register to participate at the SPLT’s website (; more information can be obtained via email ( or phone Carla Yount at 210-8366.

The main registration booth will open at 8:30 a.m. at Mill Creek Park off Broadway in central South Portland. Both individuals who have not pre-registered and a representative from each pre-registered group should come to the Mill Creek Park registration booth at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 24th to receive refreshments, instructions, bags and gloves.  

If a steady rain is in the forecast, the rain date will be Saturday, May 1st at the same times.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

PTA Meeting Postponed and Teacher Appreciation Week

We are canceling the April 13th PTA meeting. Our next meeting will be Tuesday May 18 at 6:30 pm in the Art room. We will have some terrific guest speakers at this meeting. More information will be coming out soon about our guest speakers.

We need your help with Teacher Appreciation Week.

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3-7. Our teachers make our school! We have fabulous teachers and want to let them know how much we appreciate everything they do day in and day out!

If you are interested in helping, contact Margaret Donahue!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Opportunities to participate in the South Portland budget planning process

The budget planning process is ongoing for the South Portland 2010-2011 budget. To read about the current state of our resources explained by Suzanne Godin, Superintendent of Schools, go to:
and click on “Community Budget Forecast” in January 2010 News.
To summarize some major points:
. The state overall is continuing to suffer declining revenues in this tough economy.
. The Department of Education subsidy figures indicates a $1.6M reduction in state subsidy to South Portland. 
. The City Council requested that all departments provide a budget that does not increase the local tax rate.
. The School Department is projecting a budget deficit of $2.4M.
. This significant deficit may force reductions of 30-50 positions district wide, possibly closing school buildings, increasing class size, instituting pay to partcipate, and initiating other cost saving measures.

Your participation in this budget process is welcomed by the Board of Education and the City of South Portland. At the S.P. website,  there is a link “Click Here to make a suggestion for next year’s budget” that will lead to a comment box for suggestions. There will also be Budget Workshop Meetings that are open for public participation:

Wed., Feb. 24, 2010               7:00 pm,  Memorial Middle School
Thurs., Feb. 25, 2010             7:00 pm, Small Elementary School
Mon., March 1, 2010              7:00 pm, Skillin Elementary School
Tues., March 2, 2010              7:00 pm, Mahoney Middle School

The meeting dates below are tentatively scheduled:
Wed., March 3, 2010               7:00 pm, Dyer Elementary School
Thurs., March 4, 2010             7:00 pm, Kaler Elementary School
Mon., March 8, 2010, Board Budget Adoption, 7:00 pm, City Council Chambers
Mon., March 29, 2010, Board Budget Presentation to City Council, 7:00 pm, City Council Chambers
Mon., April 26, 2010, City Council School Budget Vote, 7:00 pm, City Council Chambers
Thurs. May 6, 2010, School Budget Referendum, SP Community Center

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hannaford Gift Card Fundraiser

We are introducing a new monthly fund raising program using Hannaford Gift Cards. To participate, all you need to do is write a check made out to the Small School PTA. We will be selling gift cards in $50.00 increments; however, you may purchase as many cards as you wish. How does this help your children and the PTA? For every $1000.00 of gift cards the PTA sells, we earn $50.00 which we then put towards field trips for your children.

The program begins in February and here’s how it works:
 At monthly PTA meetings and on Fridays at the PTA popcorn table, we will have gift cards to sell. You need to bring your check made payable to Small School PTA. We will give you your gift card and then you can shop whenever you want. There is no expiration date on the gift cards.

We will be selling gift cards in $50.00 increments; however, you may purchase as many cards as you wish.

Thank you in advance for helping us reach 2010 fundraising goals!  Please contact Margaret Donahue at 671-0859 or with any questions.

You can also visit the Hannaford site to read about the program:
This link will bring you to the Hannaford Gift Cards FAQ page (you can also click on the link that is in the Useful Links box in the right column of this blog)

Why is fundraising so important for our school?

The South Portland School Budget continues to get cut each year. All field trips and associated transportation with these field trips is paid 100% by the Small School PTA. If we cannot raise money, we will not be able to offer field trips to Small School students. The PTA spent a lot of money last year on field trips and other enrichment activities such as the whole-school trip to Merrill Auditorium to see the Yamato Drummers of Japan. We also spent money on some new equipment for the school that we typically do not buy. The school budget is tight and will be getting tighter. We are working hard to continue to raise money in these difficult times.

We are excited about the new Hannaford Gift Card program because it will enable all of us to contribute to the enrichment of our children’s education without spending extra money outside of our own budgets.   
                               Please consider participating!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We have lots of exciting events planned for 2010.  These events will be described on this blog,  in our weekly PTA newsletter that comes home in the totes, and on our Facebook site (”Dora L Small Elementary School PTA”).  These events are still being scheduled,  so be sure to keep an eye out for these upcoming events:

*raffle calendar with awesome prizes
*5th grade Applebee’s breakfast to raise money for the Boston trip
*winterfest and chili cookoff
*Sea Dogs game

We always need volunteers to help organize and staff these events,  so please contact your PTA officers to participate in these events.  PTA meetings are also great opportunities to get more ideas on how to contribute and to let us know how you can help.  In addition,  it is not too early to consider serving on the PTA executive committee next year, or serving as chair or working on one of our committees.  New ideas are welcome and encouraged!