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

During his “Courage in the Classroom” 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.

Superintendent Jim Morse said the district has planned special events to welcome Duncan at King, in part because Portland teachers officially return to school Sept. 1 and students return 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 will be at King for a little more than an hour, starting at 2 p.m., according to his schedule. His visit will include a tour of three Expeditionary Learning projects with students and teachers and a discussion of school safety with teachers, parents and community members.

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