Portland High School’s downtown location and limited campus space have long been deal-breakers for many families and students in Portland. In an extremely competitive market for students, Portland High has made some intentional choices over the last decade that have greatly improved our school. As a proud PHS graduate (1991), teacher and parent, I would like to suggest that our school improvement work is as significant a factor as Deering’s perceived lack of discipline in why families chose Portland High.

We have a robust freshman teaming structure to support students in the transition to high school. This includes a unique Freshman Seminar program to prepare students for high school and life beyond. Our yearlong course schedule ensures continuity in academic studies, and promotes strong student-teacher relationships.

Creative scheduling and staffing have led to new and exciting programming and elective courses for our students. PHS offers job shadows, internships and engaging extended learning opportunities for most upper-class students.

We have treaded lightly in the area of proficiency-based grading, adapting the important principles yet still preparing students for college academics. Our standardized test scores surpass both district and state averages!

Portland High School has expanded athletic and co-curricular offerings while other schools have lost programming. We celebrate our students from all backgrounds. We work hard to create a welcoming and inclusive school culture and climate. And we know that all teenagers need clear expectations and consequences in a school setting. PHS teachers and school administrators work diligently to uphold high standards for our students in and out of the classroom.

I believe the community considered all of these factors when making a school choice, not just what they supposedly heard about Deering High. Go Bulldogs!

Ericka Lee-Winship


Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: