This Week's Topics
Important Dates
Parent Night
Completing the Vision
Aftercare Alert
Sept 20 Climate Strike
Wheel Fun Days
Looking for Aftercare Staff
Flu Shot Clinic
Art Class Update
Oct 6 Groundbreaking
Grandparent Gathering
Of Interest
Quick Links

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Important Dates
Tuesday Morning Meeting: Nell encourages kids to follow their inner light
Friday's Assembly: Climate change action  
Tuesday, September 17: All-School Photo, 8:30am
Thursday, September 19: Parent Night, 6:00pm (see details below)
September 23-27: Wheel Fun Days (see details below) 
Wednesday, September 25: Flu Shot Clinic, 8:30am (see details below)  
Sunday, October 6: Groundbreaking Ceremony, 1:00pm (see details below)  
Thank you to the parent volunteers who helped Brooke stuff envelopes last week!
Parent Night--This Thursday

Did you know the Kindergarten classroom has 3 guinea pigs?
We will hold our fall Parent Night from 6-7:30pm on Thursday, September 19. Faculty members will introduce themselves to you, Jenny will say a few words, and you will get a chance to hear from specials teachers and classroom teachers about their curriculum, goals for the year, and upcoming special projects or trips. 

Please remember that this event is for parents only (unfortunately we cannot offer childcare) and is meant to provide an introduction and overview. If you would like to meet with your child's teacher one-on-one before October conferences or have questions specific to your child, your child's teacher would be happy to set up a meeting with you at another time.
Completing the Vision of FSP

Have you ever heard of Dunbar's Number , also called the Rule of 150? I learned about it from one erudite faculty member at an important decision-making meeting back in 2016.    
Anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar posited that 150 is the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships-- relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person .
It also happens to be the number of students FSP will have once every double grade after Kindergarten has expanded to two sections.  
We were told by many that if we built the new school, students would come.  And it has proven true! We've generated a lot of interest, as evidenced by inquiries, well-attended admissions events, and visits by curious families.  
What we weren't expecting was that more students would stay.   Specifically, more preschoolers have gone on to our Kindergarten, and more Kindergartners have gone on to FSP's primary grades.  Several months into our first year in the new building, we realized it was likely we'd need to add a second section of grade 1-2-in fact, after our first year here, 100% of the K class enrolled in the first grade! And it wasn't long before it was clear that two years later, that enthusiastic group of learners would require a second section of grade 3-4.
You can see where this is headed.  
Knowing that a second section of grade 5-6 youngsters is coming down the pipeline, and given that we now have deployed the last existing classroom, we have taken up the glorious challenge of planning for a middle school wing, to open next September.  Four simple classrooms, built to Passive House standards, will join the existing ones upstairs, with a glassed-in room connecting old and new classrooms (goodbye, long outdoor bridge).
In 2022, a second section of grade 7-8 will complete this thoughtful growth.  Imagine the opportunity to send twice as many amazing Friends School graduates out into the world!
We have taken great strides in accomplishing this project already:  the new parking lot, accommodating 42 cars, will make it possible for construction vehicles to access the project site through the old parking area.  The Capital Campaign Committee has quietly raised 86% of the $2.25 million needed for the middle school wing in just over a year.  And groundbreaking for the classrooms will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6.
At the groundbreaking celebration, we'll let you know how, together, we can complete this vision.  There's so much to dream about and to do, and our remarkable success comes from the faith and efforts of so many in the FSP community.
With gratitude and excitement,
Jenny's signature  

Aftercare Alert

Due to staffing issues, we are unable to take drop-ins for Aftercare on Fridays for the near future. And please be aware that drop-in availability on other days may be limited. As soon as we are able to hire more Aftercare staff, we will open Fridays up for drop-ins and will notify you of this!
FSP Supports the Climate Change Strike This Friday

On Friday, September 20 a global climate strike will be taking place. The strike's aim is clear: The world is facing a climate emergency. We adults are being asked by students all over the globe to see the emergency, speak the emergency, and react to the emergency-making common cause from this point forward to save all on this planet that still can be saved.
The  strike on September 20 will resemble those that witnessed 1.4 million students walking out of their classrooms, including southern Maine's classrooms, last  March 15. But with a difference:  this time the students are asking adults everywhere to join them.
For us in Greater Portland, the  strike will converge on the steps of Portland City Hall beginning at 11:30 (actual  strike-noon to one.)

FSP's 5-6 and 7-8 grade classes will travel on the school's buses to attend, leaving at about 11:30 and returning before 1:45. Parents of younger children may decide to go; we ask that you notify your child's teacher and Jen that you'll be picking them up here before noon.   Children who leave with their parents from FSP for the strike are considered dismissed for the day.

We'll be holding our own climate change action here during assembly time.  Parents are welcome to support their children and the earth in this way, too.
Wheel Fun Days--September 23-27

Wheel Fun Days will return September 23rd through September 27th during P.E. class for preschool through 8th grade. Students are encouraged to bring a scooter, big wheel, bike, etc. Helmets and long pants are required. Students in preschool will ride on Monday and Tuesday and Kindergarten will ride on Monday and Wednesday. The 1st and 2nd graders will ride during their PE classes (Xanthe's class on Wednesday and Friday, Katie's on Thursday and Friday) and the 3rd and 4th graders will ride during their scheduled P.E. classes (Lindsay's  class on Monday and Wednesday, Nicole's class on Tuesday and Wednesday). The 5th and 6th graders will ride on Tuesday and Thursday and the 7th and 8th graders will ride on Wednesday and Thursday. Students in grades 5-8 will be riding off-campus so need a bicycle to participate in PE next week. There also will be selected recesses when students may ride. 

If you are leaving your bike overnight, please lean it against the fence around the dumpsters and make sure to take it home by Friday afternoon.

Looking for Aftercare Staff and Substitutes

Students in Nicole's 3-4 class felted rocks to keep as worry stones for the year.

If you're looking to be part of a joyful community of learning, please consider working at Friends School of Portland as Aftercare staff or as a substitute. 

Aftercare runs Monday-Friday from 3:00-5:30, but please speak with us if there are just certain days and hours that would work for you.  Pay ranges from $14-$15/hour.  Contact Linda Ashe-Ford ( or Jenny Rowe ( or 558-6212) to apply or learn more.

We need more substitutes to draw on during the school year in preschool through 8th grade classrooms (average class size is 15).  You can let us know your general availability and grade preference.  Pay is $55 for a half day, $100 for a full day.  Please contact Jenny Rowe ( or 558-6212).
Flu Shot Clinic--September 25

Lee's amazing chalkboard art shows us what the 7-8 class is learning about!

FSP will be hosting an influenza vaccination clinic on Wednesday, September 25 beginning at 8:30am. The flu shots are free for students and the clinic is administered by the Visiting Nurses Association. Current students, their siblings (ages 37 months to 18 years), and parents may be vaccinated at the clinic. More information and the required Health Screen & Permission Forms are available outside the main office, or by clicking here. Participants must turn in the required Health Screen & Permission form to the FSP office by Friday, September 20. Please see or email Jen McNally with any questions. Please note that we recommend parents of children in preschool or Kindergarten stay with their children for the clinic if possible (you will get to go first!).
Art Class Update from Laura

The focus in art class for the first two months is on stewardship and following an idea or spark of creativity. All classes are off to a great start, PS through 8th grade, are practicing tending to the art room and materials, and learning ways to work playfully with lines, shapes, and ideas. 

Students are using a grid as a framework for drawings. The grid offers freedom to experiment with up, down, lines, shapes, repetition, as well as ideas. We are interested in letting ideas grow, change, and develop. Students have worked to explore ideas, find a real spark, and develop that spark.

To support the above learning, PS and kindergarten are working with big and small areas of color, and drawing with a fast and a slow line. Grades 1 and 2 have been using old maps to somewhat randomly follow lines and make blocks of color and/or other additions. Grades 3-8 have been working to make grids of 16-25 material objects in their lives -- I have found that the process of reflection and exploration used here is sparking a deepening connection to areas of artistic interest.
Groundbreaking--October 6

We've had Harvest Fest at Broadturn farm for the last two year - it has been so much fun to gather as a community with good food, music and cider pressing.  This year we are bringing the best parts of this event to FSP on Sunday, October 6 at 1:00pm as we kick off our capital campaign community fundraising! 
There will be food by Terlingua (thank you to Luna Reynolds' parents, Melanie and Pliny), construction-themed drinks and snacks, cider pressing (BYO apples), music and shovels to break ground on our new middle school classrooms.  Come join the festivities and together we will make this happen!
Grandparent Garden Gathering--September 21

Beverly and Ralph Merriman, grandparents to Avery Smith in grade 2, invite grandparents to their home in Harpswell on Saturday, September 21 at 1:00pm.  
Join other FSP grandparents to learn about the future of the school, take garden tours, give it a go at lawn games, sample homemade fruit wines, and savor the peaceful views of Basin Cove. 
Invitations have been sent out to grandparents--if you would like your grandparent to receive an invitation and they have not yet--please email Brooke (
Of Interest

Mercury's family (grade 2) is looking for morning carpooling from Morrill's corner in Portland. Please contact Samara if interested. (

Pete and Katie Nowak are looking to rent out their house from Jan.1-May 31, 2020 while they are on sabbatical.  They have a 1,200 ish square foot house,  with a fenced in yard in the Back Cove Neighborhood of Portland. The   house   has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and is near Payson Park, Canco Woods, and just a few minutes' drive to downtown Portland.  If you or someone you know is interested, please email Katie at and we can send along some pictures.  Thanks!

On Thursday, September 19th from 5:00PM-8:30PM, t he Falmouth Land Trust will host its annual Farm Fest  -- a celebration of conservation and open space in Falmouth. Experience an evening connecting with your community and the land while  enjoying  live music and local restaurant offerings at Hurricane Valley Farm, all included with your ticket. Take a farm tour and see what is growing in the gardens and beyond. We will hold a raffle and have a lot of fun  watching the  beautiful sunset, twinkling stars, a rising moon, and a bright bonfire. Kid activities included this year from 5-6:30 with various fall crafts, as well as goats to learn about and pet. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Click here for more information and click here to purchase tickets.