2019 Superintendent Surveys: Portsmouth

Superintendent Survey

Ana Riley – Portsmouth School District

1. What’s the number one thing parents and students should know about this district this year?

Portsmouth High School-
We have increased our safety support for all students by creating safety officers and intruder-proofing our buildings. All students take PSAT and SAT in grade 10 and 11. The number of students taking AP courses is at an all-time high.

Portsmouth Middle School-
They should know that we are a caring and nurturing school community that provides children and parents with a rigorous core curriculum and the ability for them to excel daily as they procure to strive to become exemplary students and great citizens.

Hathaway Elementary School-
We have a newly developed strategic plan that encompasses five important goals for the district. We gathered all stakeholder input and are ready for our school improvement teams to create school plans for implementation.

Melville Elementary School –
We have made tremendous gains in using data to drive instruction. We’ve used that data to develop a comprehensive district strategic plan that will serve as the foundation for PSDs next steps and future successes.

2. What is the biggest challenge your district faces?

Portsmouth High School-
Competing for necessary technology resources and personnel to meet the demand of high-level AP courses. We also have a need for consistency in support personnel so that students can comfortably access social services. This effort along with effectively trained staff will help us close the achievement gap between special education and all students.

Portsmouth Middle School-
Common implementation of MTSS throughout the district.

Hathaway Elementary School-
Our challenge now is aligning our MTSS efforts K-12.

Melville Elementary School –
As with all districts right now, meeting the social-emotional needs of our students.

3. What is the vaccination rate for your district and what is your policy for opting out? Have you seen a spike or decline in the number of parents opting out over the last two years?

Portsmouth Middle School-
At PMS: 86.5%, about the same

Hathaway Elementary School-
Not sure but I know it is high at Hathaway.

4. Some school districts in the state are banning electronic devices/cell phones. What is your current policy? Do you have plans to also ban electronic devices? If so, why?

Portsmouth High School-

Students are asked at the beginning of class by teachers to put cell phones in a plastic caddy. When the district is one to world technology, then a policy can be established to restrict cell phone use in schools.

Portsmouth Middle School-
Presently phones are not allowed in the classrooms at PMS.

Hathaway Elementary School-
We do not have this issue at the elementary level.

Melville Elementary School –
This is not an issue at the elementary.

5. Tell us something nobody knows about your district.

Portsmouth High School-

Approximately twenty percent of our students are connected to military families. We have the highest attendance rate for our teachers.

Portsmouth Middle School-

People do not know that we are #3 out of 37 districts with the best teachers in RI. People do not know that we are #2 out of 35 as the district with the best athletes in RI.

Melville Elementary School –
We have a substantial transient military population that brings a unique opportunity to share in the education of our nation’s military children. This opportunity comes with some struggles and requires our schools to be able to analyze data and quickly respond so that the needs of students are met. Particularly when time with them is limited.

We are about to build an outdoor learning zone at one of our elementary schools that may very well be the most comprehensive outdoor learning space in the state 

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