This Week's Topics
Important Dates
Parent Night
Activities Update
Responding to Rule-Breaking
Call for Volunteers
Sept 20 Climate Strike
Grandparent Gathering
Meeting for Worship
Flu Shot Clinic
Oct 6 Groundbreaking
Of Interest
Quick Links

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Important Dates
Tuesday Morning Meeting*: Jenny talks about summer and fall building projects
Friday's Assembly*: Peace Pennants  
*Parents and caregivers are always invited to our Tuesday morning meeting (8:15am) and our Friday assembly (1:00pm).   
Sunday, September 15: Shared Meeting for Worship with Portland Friends Meeting at FSP, 10:30am (details below)
Tuesday, September 17: All-School Photo, 8:30am
Thursday, September 19: Parent Night, 6:00pm (see details below)
Wednesday, September 25: Flu Shot Clinic, 8:30am (details coming soon)  
Sunday, October 6: Groundbreaking Ceremony, 1:00pm (details coming soon) 
A bundle of thanks to parent Nate DesJardins (Hugh's dad) for his
super work getting the school's Chromebooks in the third through
eighth grade classrooms in order. It's great to start the year with
clean computers that print!
Parent Night--September 19

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.

After-School Activities UPDATE

Kindergartners are studying the life cycle of a monarch.
Unfortunately there were not enough sign-ups for Qoya class after school on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Grades K-2 soccer will meet on Wednesdays, however due to the large group, Wednesday soccer will only meet if we can play outdoors. Billy will email the group if we are unable to meet due to inclement weather.
Toward understanding and repair: responding to rule-breaking at FSP

Members of Nicole's 3-4 class introduce themselves during Friday's assembly.
Dear Families,

This year, the faculty has chosen to focus our  school-wide professional development goal on deepening our work around responsive practices.  Based on the Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs approaches, teachers using responsive practices seek to facilitate and sustain respectful, joyful learning environments through a number of avenues; understanding our students' developmental needs, facilitating engaging curricula,  cultivating strong relationships, and supporting students' social-emotional-behavioral growth. One small but important aspect of this work is responding to rule-breaking.

The Quaker belief in the Light within each person, the centrality of stewardship for our communities, and the continuing revelation of truth translate, in Friends Schools, into pedagogical choices. We get to know each learner individually. We teach students to ask questions.  Teachers and students partner in their learning journeys. Those beliefs also affect the way we view, and work with, students who have broken rules in our school community. As we work with students in these first six weeks to articulate hopes and dreams, to co-create rules, and to teach and model our expectations, I'd like to share with you our approach for working with students when they (inevitably!) misstep.

A Learning Opportunity
her actions, to understand how those actions affect herself and others, and to find an appropriate way to repair relationships that were affected by her actions.
When a student breaks a rule or gets into a conflict with a peer, we view it as an opportunity for learning and growth.  In the same way that we teach reading, writing, or math, we don't assume that students automatically know how to navigate social situations or maintain self-control, or that they will make the best choices for themselves and the community in every situation. It is our job as educators to (1) love our students, no matter what, and (2) support our students to grow and learn from their missteps. Supporting a student's learning in this area means supporting her to take ownership for
Consistency of Expectations 
This learning-based approach requires that we work with individual students to identify where they need help with this process; as a result, the process looks different for each student.  A student who is able to understand, own, and articulate his role in an incident will move more quickly to working on repair. A student who is having trouble seeing how her actions have affected others might need more work on perspective-taking.  This doesn't mean that we have different expectations for students in terms of treating themselves, our community, and one another with respect, but it does mean that the process of responding to rule-breaking is individualized. The process approach also means that there are no quick fixes.  
Loss-of-Privilege vs Consequences
Our approach does not mean that there are no natural consequences that arise from rule-breaking.  A student who is having trouble following sledding rules might be asked to find another activity for several days until she can make a plan to engage appropriately in that activity.  A student who is disruptive in class may need to take some time out of that class to reflect and make a plan to return. A student's ability to participate in different school activities with independence depends on her ability to do so appropriately, but this is not a punishment or manufactured "consequence". Our goal is always to support a student to make a plan and return as soon as s/he is able to follow expectations.

Above all, we approach this aspect of our work, as we approach all aspects, with love.  By supporting students to engage in a learning process around behavior, we work to cultivate a joyful learning community and to challenge and support students to enter the world with "confidence, competence, joy, and a sense of purpose." 

--Nell Sears, Director of Studies
Call for Volunteers: Help out with the first mailing of the school year!

Brooke needs help stuffing envelopes and labeling on Thursday September 12th.  If you would like to help and have extra time at drop off from 8:15-9:30 or time before pick-up at 2pm let Brooke know (!  Thank you!
Global Climate Strike--September 20

You may know that Friday, September 20 there is a global climate strike. 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 Greater Portland and southern Maine generally, the strike will converge on the steps of Portland City Hall beginning that Friday morning, September 20, at 11:30 (actual strike-noon to one.)
It is no surprise to many of you that Friends School of Portland supports this action--indeed several of the organizers come from our midst.  Teachers and 5th-8th grade students are making plans for how they will participate.  We know some children who will want to invite their parents to attend the action.  
In next Monday's e-bulletin we'll share what we will be doing at different classroom levels, here and at City Hall.   
Grandparent Garden Gathering--September 21

Two 4th graders read to their preschool buddies.
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 (
Experience Meeting for Worship--September 15

Are you interested in knowing what it's like to experience silence with others at Friends School of Portland?  Once a year, we gather with folks from Portland Friends Meeting at school for silence and a potluck afterwards.  Please consider joining us on Sunday, September 15 at 10:30am at FSP.

It's a kid-friendly time: children are welcome in Meeting and child care is also available.

"The form of worship is simple and easily practiced in a religiously diverse community," says Friends Council on Education (FCE), the organization that links Friends Schools nationally and internationally.  "Believing that each person has within him or her the capacity to listen deeply and to discern what is relevant and true, [people] gather to worship silently, waiting to be moved by Spirit.  [They] are encouraged to speak to the community from their hearts, if so moved...The unprogrammed nature of meeting for worship, with its focus on the strength of the gathered group, gives children and adults of all faiths a powerful tool for spiritual growth."

Sharing this opportunity can give you a sense of what your children experience each week here: Meeting is held for students and faculty on Monday afternoons from 2:25-2:45, with parents and others welcome to attend.
Flu Shot Clinic--September 25

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.
Groundbreaking--October 6

Join us on Saturday, October 6 at 1:00pm as as we kick off our capital campaign community fundraising at FSP! There will be food by Terlingua (thank you to Luna Reynold's 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!  
Of Interest

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.

From Anna Child (mom to Luna in preschool): Looking for a ride for our daughter to school and/or home from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We live in South Freeport, off of Staples Point Rd. Please email Anna at if that might work for your family. Thank you!