Verifying End of School Dates for Students and Staff
Good afternoon students, families, and staff of the Portsmouth School Department, As we (hopefully) move away from wintry weather, I feel safe to announce the last days of school for students and staff. Even with the loss of two days due to cancellation, we can still maintain our originally scheduled last days per our calendar. Therefore, the final day for students will be Thursday, June 15th. The final day for school-year staff will be Friday, June 16th. In addition, please note that the district will maintain the tradition of making the final student day a half-day.
Tuesday, Mar 21 2023
District Update: PMS Musical, Girls Hockey, and Surv...
Please note: This video has closed captions available. This video was recorded on Sunday, 3/19. The winter storm survey mentioned in the video can be accessed here: Survey–Dealing with Winter Storms in PSD/SAU52 A transcript of the video is available below and will be automatically translated to secondary languages within ParentSquare for families that have indicated a language request. Transcript begins here: ______________________________________________________________ Hey, happy Sunday, Portsmouth. So a couple of things as we head into the next week. I'm here at the last wrap up or the last performance of “Frozen Junior” at Portsmouth Middle School. For those of you who don't know, it's been four years since the middle school was able to put on a performance. And it helps you realize just how long and slow the road back to normal is going to be, and just what an impact it's had on our students and staff. Great set of performances this weekend if you didn't have an opportunity to see it. And the great thing about this, and I think I've talked about this a little bit in the past, is I know this weekend, I was here for this last weekend, had the opportunity to head up to the SNHU Arena up in Manchester, to be there for the Girls Ice Hockey State Championship. And several of our students were participating in the Oyster River-Portsmouth cooperative team who played in the state final. And we came out just a little short. Amazing game, just a little short. But in all those situations, what is great is when you come to these, you're able to watch our students perform after they put in a ton of hard work, in their chosen activity. And you're also able to be with a whole bunch of your fellow community members cheering on our students. These are great. If you don't feel good walking out of these situations, I think there's something wrong with you. So if you haven't had an opportunity to come to some of our stuff over the course of this year, I encourage you to look at our district calendar and see things that are coming up. And come out. Come out and be a part of this aspect of what it is to be in Portsmouth, in the greater Portsmouth community. So anyways, just thanks to all the different people that help bring this together. Parents, staff, and that staff are the teachers who are involved in helping put this stuff together and come out and support kids. It's also custodians. It's a bunch of people who do some of the technical aspects, coaches, all that type of stuff. So kudos to all of them for all that hard work. Finally, we are wrapping up the winter season with the completion of the winter sports season and now the performance. And so that brings me into another thing I just wanted to mention and get your feedback on, which is around winter storm dates. So when I worked in Vermont before I came here, we had a couple of different things in our arsenal when we were trying to figure out how to best deal with potential storm days. And it was canceling school if we needed to cancel school. And of course, our priorities are always trying to make sure our students are safe and getting people safely to school and back.But we also used delayed starts to school if storms had come in and we couldn't quite get things totally wrapped up but close. And we used early release days as a tool as well. Now, I was told when I came here to Portsmouth that they're like, "Ooh, don't do early release days." It's something we haven't done for a long time. It's something that is a real struggle for families and people would prefer to ... Rather than bring people in and then trying to get them home early, they'd rather have you cancel a day and miss on proper cancellation call than to go early release. So I had a beautiful opportunity the other day, and I'll apologize to folks who got caught in it, where we tried to do a planned release, something we hadn't been done in a long time, because the forecast was that we were going to be rained through two o'clock. And so we were really confident that we could get people in and out. Well, New England weather had its own ideas in mind, and of course, it started snowing pretty good at 11. And so I apologize to folks, student, staff, families who get stuck in that transition and that snow. Now, if you could put that aside for a second, also I am curious to get some feedback. Not about that particular call, but about whether or not we want to have early release as part of our repertoire, in dealing with storms. So if you would, down below in this, have a link to Google form . And if you could take a few moments and just answer that question: Do you or do you not want to have early release as a regular thing that we look at, as we're trying to figure out the way to manage storms, in getting students maximum instructional time and also trying to balance safety? So if you would down below, I really appreciate it. I'll let you know what y'all had to say, and that's it. So I hope you have a great rest of the weekend, the rest of your Sunday. We look forward to welcoming everybody back in tomorrow. And again, one more time, we welcome you to be a part of these types of activities. They're good for the soul and they're good for our students. So all right, take care.
Monday, Mar 20 2023
Planned Early Release on Tuesday Due to the Weather
Good evening parents, students, and staff of the Portsmouth School Department, This is Zach McLaughlin, the Superintendent of Schools. I am calling this evening concerning the Nor’easter hitting us tomorrow. At the moment, heavier snow is forecast to hold off until the afternoon. As a result, I am giving you advanced notice of the plan for tomorrow. I understand it has been many years since the Portsmouth School Department has had a weather-based early release from school. As a result, I wanted to let you know of my desire to use this approach tomorrow. We will operate on a typical early-release schedule. Our goal is to give students instruction in the morning. Then we will get folks home before the heavy snow hits. Please note that we have yet to make any decisions that would affect the previously scheduled early release day on Wednesday. Thanks in advance for your help and partnership. I hope you have a great rest of your evening. Read Less
Monday, Mar 13 2023
Safety Investigation This Afternoon at Portsmouth Mi...
Dear parents and guardians, After school today at Portsmouth Middle School, it was reported to the administration that a student was carrying a weapon on their person. The administration and School Resource Officer Potter responded immediately isolating the student and found an airsoft gun in their possession. We know that these types of events and the additional rumors can be unnerving for staff, students, and parents. As a school district, our first priority is the safety of our school community. We also know that transparency concerning these events can help build trust and reduce anxiety. Thanks to the student who reported the concern, the middle school administration, and Portsmouth Police. If you have additional questions or concerns about today’s event, please contact the Portsmouth Middle School administration. Thank you for your ongoing support, Dr. Zach McLaughlin Superintendent of Schools
Thursday, Mar 09 2023
No School in Portsmouth/SAU52 Today
Good morning Portsmouth School Department, This is Dr. McLaughlin, the Superintendent of Schools. I am calling this morning to let you know that there is no school today for Portsmouth Schools. Again no school for Portsmouth Schools. We hope you have a safe day and look forward to welcoming you back tomorrow.
Thursday, Feb 23 2023
PEEP & Angelfish Room of Seacoast Community School t...
Good evening, While the progress is coming along, we are still working to repair the damage in a number of classrooms at Little Harbour. As a result, the preschool program (both PEEP and the Angelfish room of Seacoast Community School) will remain closed tomorrow, Wednesday, February 8th. We are optimistically anticipating being able to resume our regular schedule on Thursday, February 9th. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Zach McLaughlin, Superintendent & Erin Lawson, Principal
Tuesday, Feb 07 2023
Little Harbour Open Tomorrow for Grades K-5, PEEP an...
Good afternoon, Thank you for your patience and understanding today as we worked through the unexpected at Little Harbour. Throughout the day, there have been plumbers, contractors, and maintenance staff in the building working hard to get it ready for students. We've been able to identify and isolate the problem areas, and are working to repair the damages. We are happy to say that while work remains, we are confident that we can open the school for MOST students tomorrow. Classes will run for students in grades Kindergarten through 5th. Unfortunately, work on the PEEP and Seacoast School Community School classrooms are not yet completed. As a result, PEEP and the Seacoast Community School Classroom at Little Harbour will remain closed tomorrow. We provide additional information tomorrow about the status of these classrooms for Wednesday. Students in Mrs. Murray's class will find that they have been relocated to Mrs. Brinkman-Lilly's room for the time being. Additionally, we have shifted some related arts and specialists spaces so that we can continue to operate. The damage to the office has taken a back burner, as our major efforts have shifted to the classroom wing- the Administrative staff will be working from the Art room while the office is a construction zone. Again, thank you for your support and understanding. We look forward to seeing students tomorrow.
Monday, Feb 06 2023
Be Sure to Bundle Up Tomorrow!
Good evening Portsmouth School District families, Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow we will be experiencing unusually low temperatures and wind chills. The current forecast is for temperatures in the single digits. In addition, we anticipate a wind chill of -10 at 8:00 AM and -19 at 4:00 PM. We also plan to have schools open tomorrow. This means that will have some really cold trips to school and heading back home. Therefore, please be sure that students are bundled up tomorrow. We want to have a safe and warm end of the week. Thank you.
Friday, Feb 03 2023
Adjustments to the Next Three Days at PHS, PMS, and ...
Good morning Portsmouth Middle School, High School, and Lister Academy staff, parents, and students, Our original plans for the last few days included some non-traditional days at the middle school, high school, and Lister Academy. At PHS, we were trying to complete the exam schedule and get in a planned teacher workshop day. Meanwhile, PMS was working to fit adjusted schedules for parent conferences. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has decided to flex her muscles right in the midst of all of this. As a result, we are making the following adjustments for the next three days. Please note that there is no change in the schedule for the elementary schools. They will run normal daily schedules. Portsmouth High School Tuesday 1/24 will be an Exam Day Schedule Warning Bell: 8:25 EXAM 1/1A: 8:30 - 9:48 (78 Minutes) Breakfast 9:48 - 10:13 EXAM BLOCK 2: 10:20 - 11:38 (78 Minutes) Dismissal: 11:38 Wednesday 1/25 will be a Teacher Workshop Day No Classes @ PHS Thursday 1/26 will be the First Day of Semester 2/Quarter 3: Regular Thursday Portsmouth Middle School Tuesday 1/24 ½ day ending at 11:30 Homeroom begins at 8:30. AM busing follows a normal schedule Conferences from Friday were rescheduled to Tuesday as previously communicated. Individual changes may be made with a child’s homeroom teacher Wednesday 1/25 ½ day ending at 11:30 Homeroom begins at 8:30. AM busing follows a normal schedule Monday’s conference times will be moved to the same time on Wednesday. For example, if you had a 1:30 conference scheduled for Monday, that conference will now be 1:30 on Wednesday and may be in person or via zoom. If this presents scheduling conflicts, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher to reschedule. Robert J Lister Academy Tuesday 1/24 Recovery students should report to RJLA Arrival time: 8:00 Dismissal Time: 12:00 Wednesday 1/25 will be a Teacher Workshop Day No Classes @ Lister Thursday 1/26 First Day of Semester 2/Quarter 3: Regular Thursday Please also know that we are in the midst of updating the district's and school's calendars on our website. Until that occurs, please know that the above schedule represents the accurate plan for the next few days. Thanks for your flexibility and attention. Have a great rest of your day.
Monday, Jan 23 2023
No School in Portsmouth on Monday
Good morning Clippers, This is Dr. McLaughlin, your superintendent. Today's forecast is for a really challenging trip home this afternoon. As a result, schools in Portsmouth will be closed today. We hope you have a safe day home, and we look forward to welcoming you back to school tomorrow.
Monday, Jan 23 2023