PORTLAND — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit King Middle School on Aug. 31 as the final stop on an eight-state school-bus tour, school officials announced today.

It’s expected to be Duncan’s only stop in Maine, said Superintendent Jim Morse.

During the tour, Duncan plans to meet with and recognize teachers and others who are leading the way in improving student performance, teacher recruitment and school nutrition and safety.

Morse said the district has planned special events to welcome Duncan at King, in part because Portland teachers officially return to school on Sept. 1 and students return on Sept. 7.

King has received national recognition for its success in using the expeditionary learning model, which has students work on multidisciplinary projects that address real community issues.

In addition, King Principal Mike McCarthy is Maine’s 2010 Middle Level Principal of the Year and a finalist for the 2011 National Middle School Principal of the Year award.

Duncan’s visit will include a tour of three expeditionary learning projects with students and teachers and a roundtable discussion of school safety including parents and community members.

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