James O. Kaler Elementary School

June, 2021

Dear Kaler Families,

Before this year comes to a close, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all the family members who helped to support educating our students alongside us. We have certainly grown our brains in making the most of this school year. It is evident that you care deeply about your children’s education and well being. Your navigation of safety guidelines, technology, and schedules was commendable. It will be marvelous to be back to school five days a week next year! I wish you all a safe, healthy, and playful summer.

  • All technology and books must be returned to school next Monday or Tuesday

  • Last days of school

Cohort A Thursday, June 10 9:05 - 3:05

Cohort B Friday, June 11 9:05 - 12:30 / PK 8:30 - 11:00

  • First day next year

Grades 1- 5 September 1

K Screening September 1-8

PK- K September 9


  • Tiny Art Room Collaborative Mural - video

Kaler School's Virtual Talent Show!

Kaler Talent 3.mp4

Coronavirus was not going to stop us from having a 2020-2021 talent show! The solution was a virtual talent show where students could participate by filming themselves performing a talent/activity they were proud of. Here are our talented Kaler Cougars (and some talented staff members too!).

Dear Kaler Families

Next week is April vacation and we will be returning on Monday, April 26, 2021. We remain in hybrid cohorts.



Distributions will be at the following locations:

Kaler School (pick up) 9:45 – 10:30

Red Bank (on the school bus) 11:30 – 12:30

Brick Hill (on the school bus) 11:30 – 12:30

Quality Inn (on the school bus) 11:30 – 12:30

Henley Ball Field on Pine St. 11:30 – 12:30

Click on this link to have your child(ren) be part of KALER’S FIRST EVER VIRTUAL VARIETY SHOW

Preschool Lottery Registrations:- must be 4 by 10/15/2021

Preschool Selection by Lottery will occur during the week of April 19. Families must complete all parts of this application to be entered into the lottery.

Kindergarten Registration - must be 5 by 10/15/2021

Click here to register online.

Would you like support completing the online Kindergarten registration? We will have computer kiosks available with staff support at the dates and times listed below. Sign up here for kiosk support or come to Kaler School on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 12:00 - 2:00 pm

Timeline for Kindergarten Enrollment:

April 12 - May 28th Registration window for online and paper registration

June 3, 5:00 - 5:30 pm Kaler’s Virtual Kindergarten Informational Share (need to be registered to attend)

September 7th - 10th Kindergarten screening and placement

September 13th 1st day of school for Kindergarteners

Principal Hicks

Здравствуйте, Семьи

Bonjour les familles Kaler


Hola Familias Kaler

Olá famílias Kaler

Hello Kaler Families, 3/19/2021

For the last two weeks, during this cold and dreary month of March, we have been celebrating HAPPINESS. Kaler education technicians generated happy learning activities that focused on 4 key areas of happiness; play and creativity (dances and poetry writing), physical wellness (exercise, healthy eating videos), mindfulness (yoga, meditation,) and kindness (writing notes, random acts of kindness). All included connections with staff and students through great songs, themed in-person and video read alouds, and student whole school announcements. Every Kaler student created artwork that showcases what makes them happy and every student and staff contributed to a clothespin wreath of happiness which will now grace our main foyer for all to see and share.

We welcomed back almost a dozen Cohort C students. We still have a handful of Cohort C students who are working closely with their remote teachers and who are experiencing enhanced programming that is even more engaging, like the fourth grade planting unit.

We wrapped up our second trimester last week, progress reports are being sent home and spring parent conferences are set to begin soon. As usual, Kaler is eager and proud to keep the 100% participation when teaming up with families to review student progress and set future goals. Conferences will again be done via Google Meet.

The following video (Video) thanks you all for your efforts in keeping your child engaged in learning from home and provides tips for parents, staff and students while participating in Google Meets. Please let me know if you find it helpful. Always feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher with questions about our efforts to maximize our Google Meet opportunities.

The “Specials” schedule changes again on Monday 3/22. Please see below for the new rotations for the next two weeks.

Stay healthy and warm.

March 12, 2021

A quick video where Principal Hicks explains the principles of a successful Google Meet

March 5, 2021

Dear Kaler Families,

Here is a reminder of the specials schedule. We are looking for increased participation if students are available, they should hop in and see all the fun activities being presented. Grades K and 1 have gym, grades 2 and 3 have music and grades 4 and 5 have art! See login information below.

Click here for the recent Specials Schedule


Learning Works Translations












This is also the LAST CALL for those students in Cohort C who are interested in returning to the in-person hybrid model. You only need to email me (hicksbo@spsadme.org) that you are interested in returning for the third trimester. I will have teacher and cohort assignments for families on Monday, March 8.

Enjoy the weekend!

Principal Hicks

January 7th, 2021

Dear Kaler Families,

Happy New Year! While everyone I have spoken to is eager to put 2020 in the rearview mirror, we must remain optimistic about 2021 although it may not be as much of a reprieve as we hoped, with continued increases in Covid numbers (outside of school), political upheaval as well as a week of fully distant learning. By all accounts distant learning was significantly better than last spring and went as well as could be expected. We were happy many students and families were able to join and support the online learning. I had the pleasure of teaching grade 1 literacy small groups and LOVED seeing the kids and it is clear that many of them are very technologically savvy (I have got some learning to do). I am grateful to be back to school in-person next week and see our hybrid students. The fully distant teachers are reporting loving to get to know and work with students directly and more often synchronously, so win-win.

Hopefully, families found comfort in Superintendent Kunin’s letter to the community on 1/6/2021 in regards to the disruption of the democratic process of transitioning presidential power. His eloquence regarding public education’s goal in these times bears repeating…

“While we are already striving to continue our students’ learning through a year of pandemic, we now have the job of supporting our learning communities through an additional challenge. …. (we will continue to provide) resources and support to our faculty and staff appropriate to the age level of their students. Students will have questions, worries and anxieties. Here also are some resources to support parents in discussions with your children from Common Sense Media and from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). We hope you find them helpful.

We must and will be prepared to answer questions and have discussions with students in a manner that is balanced, factual and appropriate to a student’s age and understanding. Also, we do this aware of our students’ need to maintain a sense of safety and security, already strained by the pandemic ( I bolded). We will maintain the familiarity and comfort of routine, while being ready to answer the questions that students may have and to recognize their need to process what is happening in the world around them.

As we engage with our students we are ever mindful that the sacred purpose of public school, since its very founding, is and has always been to educate our youth to be active participants in our democracy. We educate our students to read critically, think mathematically, write clearly and engage across differences with respect and kindness I bolded) . In uncertain times, our shared task is more important than ever.

Please know that … (Kaler) staff will continue to do all we can to support our students and each other in the days ahead. We know that the ripples of our collective impact will strengthen us all in the days, months and years ahead. Please reach out to any of us if you have any questions (or just want to have further dialogue).”


Its’ time to consider and take advantage of more online opportunities for kiddos! Now that we are stuck inside with a cold winter, what could my child do “after school” but from home? … LEARNING WORKS! Here is a description in various home languages of this very cool, hands- on “Club” for grades 2-5.

LearningWorks Afterschool Registration Kaler Elementary


We are happy to invite your child to join LearningWorks Afterschool this year. LearningWorks afterschool partners with the South Portland School District to provide free afterschool programming to 2nd-5th grade students at Skillin and Kaler Elementary Schools. Our goal is to give students an academic boost to help them be confident, successful learners. We do this through hands-on projects that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). We promote healthy self-esteem, youth leadership, and positive relationships, and inspire students to think, create, and have fun!

This year, LearningWorks Afterschool meets online on Monday-Thursday from 4pm-5pm on Google Meet. We also provide home kits with materials and activities for students to do offline. You can see this short video with some of the program’s fall highlights!

Please click this link to register your child online. If you have any questions or need help enrolling your child, please contact April Prinsen (aprinsen@learningworks.me 207-650-0751).


យើងរីករាយក្នុងការអញ្ជើញកូន ៗ របស់អ្នកឱ្យចូលរួមក្នុងកម្មវិធីសិក្សាអេសហ្វកអេហ្វត្រេសនៅឆ្នាំនេះ។ LearningWorks បានចាប់ដៃគូសហការជាមួយសាលា South Portland School ដើម្បីផ្តល់កម្មវិធីបន្ទាប់ពីការសិក្សាដោយឥតគិតថ្លៃដល់សិស្សថ្នាក់ទី ២-៥ នៅឯសាលា Skillin និង Kaler Elementary School ។ គោលដៅរបស់យើងគឺផ្តល់អោយនិស្សិតនូវការជំរុញផ្នែកសិក្សាដើម្បីជួយពួកគេអោយមានភាពជឿជាក់និងរៀនពូកែ។ យើងធ្វើកិច្ចការនេះតាមរយៈគម្រោងដែលបានរួមបញ្ចូលវិទ្យាសាស្ត្របច្ចេកវិទ្យាវិស្វកម្មសិល្បៈនិងគណិតវិទ្យា (អេមអេមអេម) ។ យើងលើកកម្ពស់ការគោរពខ្លួនឯងភាពជាអ្នកដឹកនាំយុវជននិងទំនាក់ទំនងវិជ្ជមាននិងជម្រុញសិស្សឱ្យគិតបង្កើតនិងមានភាពសប្បាយរីករាយ!

ឆ្នាំនេះ LearningWorks Afterschool ជួបគ្នាតាមអ៊ិនធរណេតពីថ្ងៃច័ន្ទដល់ថ្ងៃព្រហស្បតិ៍ចាប់ពីម៉ោង ៤ រសៀលដល់ម៉ោង ៤ ល្ងាចនៅលើ Google Meet ។ យើងក៏មានផ្តល់ជូននូវសម្ភារៈផ្ទះនិងសម្ភារៈសម្រាប់សកម្មភាពរបស់សិស្សធ្វើនៅក្រៅបណ្តាញ។ អ្នកអាចមើលវីដេអូខ្លីនេះជាមួយគំនួសពណ៌របស់កម្មវិធីមួយចំនួន!

សូមចុចលើតំណនេះដើម្បីចុះឈ្មោះកូនរបស់អ្នកនៅលើអ៊ីនធឺណិត។ ប្រសិនបើអ្នកមានសំណួរឬត្រូវការជំនួយក្នុងការចុះឈ្មោះកូនរបស់អ្នកសូមទាក់ទង April Prinsen (aprinsen@learningworks.me 207-650-0751) ។


يسعدنا دعوة طفلك للانضمام إلى LearningWorks Afterschool هذا العام. يتعاون موقع LearningWorks بعد المدرسة مع منطقة مدارس جنوب بورتلاند لتوفير برامج مجانية لما بعد المدرسة لطلاب الصف الثاني وحتى الصف الخامس في مدارس سكيلين وكالر الابتدائية. هدفنا هو إعطاء الطلاب دفعة أكاديمية لمساعدتهم على أن يكونوا متعلمين واثقين وناجحين. نقوم بذلك من خلال المشاريع العملية التي تتضمن العلوم والتكنولوجيا والهندسة والفنون والرياضيات (STEAM). نحن نشجع احترام الذات الصحي ، والقيادة الشبابية ، والعلاقات الإيجابية ، ونلهم الطلاب للتفكير والإبداع والاستمتاع!

هذا العام ، تلتقي LearningWorks Afterschool عبر الإنترنت من الاثنين إلى الخميس من الساعة 4 مساءً حتى 5 مساءً على Google Meet. نوفر أيضًا مجموعات أدوات منزلية مع مواد وأنشطة للطلاب للقيام بها في وضع عدم الاتصال. يمكنك مشاهدة هذا الفيديو القصير مع بعض أبرز أحداث فصل الخريف في البرنامج!

الرجاء الضغط على هذا الرابط لتسجيل طفلك على الإنترنت. إذا كانت لديك أي أسئلة أو تحتاج إلى مساعدة في تسجيل طفلك ، فيرجى الاتصال بـ April Prinsen (aprinsen@learningworks.me 207-650-0751).


Nous sommes heureux d'inviter votre enfant à rejoindre LearningWorks Afterschool cette année. LearningWorks Afterschool s'associe au district scolaire de South Portland pour offrir un programme extrascolaire gratuit aux élèves de la 2e à la 5e année des écoles élémentaires Skillin et Kaler. Notre objectif est de donner aux élèves un coup de pouce scolaire pour les aider à devenir des apprenants confiants et performants. Nous y parvenons par le biais de projets pratiques qui intègrent les sciences, la technologie, l'ingénierie, les arts et les mathématiques (STEAM). Nous encourageons l'estime de soi, le leadership des jeunes et les relations positives, et nous incitons les élèves à réfléchir, à créer et à s'amuser !

Cette année, LearningWorks Afterschool se réunit en ligne du lundi au jeudi de 16h à 17h sur Google Meet. Nous fournissons également des kits à domicile avec du matériel et des activités que les élèves peuvent faire hors ligne. Vous pouvez voir cette courte vidéo avec certains des points forts du programme pour l'automne !

Veuillez cliquer sur ce lien pour inscrire votre enfant en ligne. Si vous avez des questions ou si vous avez besoin d'aide pour inscrire votre enfant, veuillez contacter April Prinsen (aprinsen@learningworks.me 207-650-0751).


અમે તમારા બાળકને આ વર્ષે લર્નિંગ વર્કસ આફ્ટરસ્કૂલમાં જોડાવા આમંત્રણ આપતાં ખુશ છીએ. લર્નિંગ વર્ક્સ સાઉથ પોર્ટલેન્ડ સ્કૂલ ડિસ્ટ્રિક્ટ સાથેના આફ્ટરસ્કૂલ ભાગીદારો, સ્કિલિન અને કાલર એલિમેન્ટરી સ્કૂલોમાં 2 થી 5 ગ્રેડના વિદ્યાર્થીઓને મફત આફ્ટરસ્કૂલ પ્રોગ્રામિંગ પ્રદાન કરવા માટે. અમારું લક્ષ્ય વિદ્યાર્થીઓને વિશ્વાસ, સફળ શીખનારાઓની સહાય માટે એક શૈક્ષણિક ઉત્તેજન આપવાનું છે. અમે વિજ્ -ાન, તકનીકી, ઇજનેરી, આર્ટસ અને મ Mathથ (સ્ટેમ) નો સમાવેશ કરતા હેન્ડ-onન પ્રોજેક્ટ્સ દ્વારા આ કરીએ છીએ. અમે સ્વસ્થ આત્મગૌરવ, યુવા નેતૃત્વ અને સકારાત્મક સંબંધોને પ્રોત્સાહન આપીએ છીએ, અને વિદ્યાર્થીઓને વિચારવા, બનાવવા અને આનંદ માણવા પ્રેરણા આપીએ છીએ!

આ વર્ષે, લર્નિંગ વર્કસ આફ્ટરસ્કૂલ સોમવાર-ગુરુવારે સાંજે 4 થી 5 સુધી ગૂગલ મીટ પર meetsનલાઇન મળે છે. અમે વિદ્યાર્થીઓને offlineફલાઇન કરવા માટેની સામગ્રી અને પ્રવૃત્તિઓ સાથે હોમ કીટ્સ પણ પ્રદાન કરીએ છીએ. તમે પ્રોગ્રામની કેટલીક પતન હાઇલાઇટ્સ સાથે આ ટૂંકી વિડિઓ જોઈ શકો છો!

કૃપા કરીને તમારા બાળકને registerનલાઇન નોંધણી કરવા માટે આ લિંકને ક્લિક કરો. જો તમને કોઈ પ્રશ્નો હોય અથવા તમારા બાળકની નોંધણી કરવામાં સહાયની જરૂર હોય, તો કૃપા કરીને એપ્રિલ પ્રિંસેન (aprinsen@learningworks.me 207-650-0751) નો સંપર્ક કરો.


Temos o prazer de convidar o seu filho a juntar-se à LearningWorks Afterschool este ano. AprenderWorks colabora com o Distrito Escolar de Portland Sul para fornecer programação pós-escolar gratuita aos alunos do 2º-5º ano das Escolas Skillin e Kaler Elementary. O nosso objectivo é dar aos estudantes um impulso académico para os ajudar a serem alunos confiantes e bem sucedidos. Fazemo-lo através de projectos práticos que incorporam Ciência, Tecnologia, Engenharia, Artes, e Matemática (STEAM). Promovemos uma auto-estima saudável, liderança juvenil, e relações positivas, e inspiramos os estudantes a pensar, criar, e divertir-se!

Este ano, LearningWorks Afterschool encontra-se online de segunda a quinta-feira das 16h às 17h no Google Meet. Também fornecemos kits caseiros com materiais e actividades para os estudantes fazerem offline. Pode ver este pequeno vídeo com alguns dos destaques do programa do Outono!

Por favor, clique neste link para registar o seu filho online. Se tiver alguma dúvida ou precisar de ajuda para inscrever o seu filho, contacte April Prinsen (aprinsen@learningworks.me 207-650-0751).


Nos complace invitar a su hijo a unirse a la escuela LearningWorks Afterschool este año. LearningWorks Afterschool se asocia con el Distrito Escolar del Sur de Portland para ofrecer programas extracurriculares gratuitos a los estudiantes de 2º a 5º grado de las escuelas primarias Skillin y Kaler. Nuestro objetivo es dar a los estudiantes un impulso académico para ayudarles a ser estudiantes seguros y exitosos. Lo hacemos a través de proyectos prácticos que incorporan Ciencia, Tecnología, Ingeniería, Artes y Matemáticas (STEAM). Promovemos una autoestima saludable, liderazgo juvenil y relaciones positivas, e inspiramos a los estudiantes a pensar, crear y divertirse!

Este año, LearningWorks Afterschool se reúne online de lunes a jueves de 4 a 5 de la tarde en Google Meet. También proporcionamos kits de hogar con materiales y actividades para que los estudiantes hagan fuera de línea. Pueden ver este corto video con algunos de los puntos más destacados del programa en el otoño!

Por favor, haga clic en este enlace para inscribir a su hijo en línea. Si tiene alguna pregunta o necesita ayuda para inscribir a su hijo, póngase en contacto con April Prinsen (aprinsen@learningworks.me 207-650-0751).


Chúng tôi rất vui khi mời con quý vị tham gia LearningWorks Afterschool trong năm nay. LearningWorks hợp tác với Học khu Nam Portland để cung cấp chương trình ngoài giờ học miễn phí cho học sinh lớp 2 đến lớp 5 tại các Trường Tiểu học Skillin và Kaler. Mục tiêu của chúng tôi là mang đến cho học sinh sự thúc đẩy trong học tập để giúp các em trở thành những người học thành công và tự tin. Chúng tôi thực hiện điều này thông qua các dự án thực hành kết hợp Khoa học, Công nghệ, Kỹ thuật, Nghệ thuật và Toán học (STEAM). Chúng tôi thúc đẩy lòng tự trọng lành mạnh, khả năng lãnh đạo của giới trẻ và các mối quan hệ tích cực, đồng thời truyền cảm hứng cho sinh viên suy nghĩ, sáng tạo và vui chơi!

Năm nay, LearningWorks Afterschool họp trực tuyến vào Thứ Hai-Thứ Năm từ 4 giờ chiều đến 5 giờ chiều trên Google Meet. Chúng tôi cũng cung cấp bộ dụng cụ ở nhà với các tài liệu và hoạt động cho học sinh thực hiện ngoại tuyến. Bạn có thể xem video ngắn này với một số điểm nổi bật trong mùa thu của chương trình!

Vui lòng nhấp vào liên kết này để đăng ký cho con bạn trực tuyến. Nếu bạn có bất kỳ câu hỏi nào hoặc cần trợ giúp ghi danh cho con mình, vui lòng liên hệ April Prinsen (aprinsen@learningworks.me 207-650-0751).

Wishing everyone a healthy, productive and loving new year!

Bonnie Hicks, Principal

December 17, 2020

Dear Kaler Families,

Remote Snow Day

Our first almost SNOW DAY! I hope students were able to connect with their teacher for a REMOTE SNOW DAY google meet and checked out SeeSaw or Google classroom for learning expectations for the day. There are light expectations for today and hopefully it will be warm enough as the storm tapers off to go out and play in the snow.


For Cohort A and B (Hybrid Students), there will be a “CHILLFEST” on Monday and Tuesday before December Break. Students are allowed to wear pajamas (kids love it!) to school, but are asked to please wear appropriate clothes for snow play and outside activities. Again, a reminder to please label your child’s outwear- all of it. We have a pile of some nice sweatshirts, hats, gloves, and a new winter coat! All Lost and Found items will be sent to quarantine and then Goodwill during break. If you know your child is missing a specific item, please contact me directly and I will help look for it.

Anticipate a messy drop off and pick up tomorrow, so please continue to use your excellent driving skills and patience as you have demonstrated all fall. We are appreciative of the kindnesses we are affording each other during this busy time of day.

Changes to Hybrid and Distant Programming. I have copied and linked Superintendent Kunin’s 12/17/2020 letter here that outlines some changes to better support ALL of our learner cohorts as we begin our second trimester.

PE, ART, MUSIC Progress Report Update for All

This trimester for PhysArtMu (PE/Art/Music) specials, your student was graded based on completion and submission of Seesaw (K-4) and Google Classroom (5th Grade) assignments in their Habits of Work scores. Google Meet workshops are not graded, nor are they detrimental to your students' grade. They are supplemental for community building, questions about assignments, how-to's on how to complete assignments, and strengthening skills. If your student has been attending Google Meet Workshops, but has not been completing Seesaw or Google Classroom assignments, this is reflected as a "1" under Preparation for Learning. We love seeing and communicating with your students in Google Meets, so please try to attend if possible!

Some classes have been able to assess an Essential Learning Target based on the activities assigned, and have been graded accordingly.

Please remember that students usually are in PhysArtMu classes for about 14 weeks. With the hybrid scheduling, we have seen some students a minimum of 4 times, and others a maximum of 8. We learned a lot about what is working and what needs adjusting in Trimester 1, and we are excited to continue to grow with you in Trimester 2.

As a reminder, K-4th grade PhysArtMu assignments can be accessed on SeeSaw PhysArtMu by clicking on the student name and toggling down to PhysArtMu. Assignments are archived after each 2 week cycle. 5th Grade assignments are posted to the 5th Grade PhysArtMu Google Classroom. Click for the Specials rotation schedule (Nov 16th-Jan 15th).

December Break- NO SCHOOL- Wednesday, December 23 - Sunday, January 3

“Tis the season to enjoy many religious, cultural and societal celebrations and recognitions. Here is a link that gives interesting facts about each event and it's significant for those who celebrate. I found Hannakuh, Arabic Language Day, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hogmanay, and New Year’s interesting and a quick refresher of their importance. Today is National Maple Syrup Day, tomorrow is International Migrant’s Day, and the 19th is National Wreaths Across America Day. These are all recognized events given they are close to home regarding Maine’s economic and cultural future. Knowing that December 28 is National Call a Friend Day, I remind people to reach out given the isolation the pandemic has caused. What a wonderful time of year to share some love!

May you all experience peace, joy, and health over the break.


Mrs. Hicks

Oct. 16

Hello Kaler Families,

We remain in awe of everyone’s hard work at figuring out academic schedules, meetings, and the technology to stay connected. I was so happy to see some fully distant students on Picture Day and will schedule a retake shortly. Vision screenings went very well and we look forward to flu shots next week (Tuesday- B Cohort and Thursday- A Cohort) if you have completed and turned in the forms.

Please see the updated Pre-screening Tool below:

https://www.maine.gov/doe/sites/maine.gov.doe/files/inline-files/Pre-Screening Tool_11.pdf

We are excited to invite your child to LearningWorks Afterschool! We offer fun, hands-on learning to South Portland students in grades 2, 3, 4, and 5 who attend Kaler and Skillin elementary schools. This program is offered at no cost to families. Our goal is to give students an academic boost to help them be confident, successful learners. We do this through hands-on projects that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). We promote healthy self-esteem, youth leadership, and positive relationships, and inspire students to think, create, and have fun!

This Fall, due to health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering a fully remote program.

If you have any questions or if you would like to enroll please call, text, or email Joe Kosnow jkosnow@learningworks.me 207-615-6354.

Lastly, if you need childcare before or after school on your child’s cohort day, call or email Lindsay Larsen, Rec Program Kaler Supervisor. (207) 303-2280 or llarsen@southportland.org.

Thanks, too, for everyone being patient, slow and careful during drop off and pick up. Remember your masks and please do NOT bring dogs onto school grounds for the safety of the children.

Be Well!

Principal Hicks

October 9, 2020

Hello Kaler Families,

Finally, fully distant learning is up and running for families. We appreciate the patience while we continue to build a more engaging and rigorous platform for your child(ren). We have had many unintended roadblocks to address and anticipate more along the way. Please know that we are working hard to assist you with your questions and concerns and appreciate your patience as we move forward. PS We miss your child, so if they are interested in “pen paling” through email with ANY staff member they feel close to … last year’s teacher, specialist, me??, we would love to stay connected- just have them send an email!

For in school learners, we are pleased to have the intimate learning atmosphere with the smaller cohorts to address student needs. Please remember that LEARNING for ALL SOUTH PORTLAND STUDENTS is five days a week, even Wednesday when we are in professional development and planning (with up to 5-6 Google meets from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm). We only had half of our in person students sign on this Wednesday indicating they completed work. Please check to see that your child IS logging in, IS doing work and IS hitting the attendance button, Monday - Friday.


NO SCHOOL MONDAY, October 12 Indigenous Peoples' Day


Parents are required to pick up the child from outside the main office door. If a child is in an outside learning space or playground area, office personnel will retrieve your child for you. Also, notifying the teacher and office of any changes is most helpful in keeping track of your child’s whereabouts.


  • Please do not use your cell phone while picking up and dropping off in the parent loop.

  • Do not double park as this is causing a jam up. Simply have your child get out and on the sidewalk wherever you are in line and wait for the cars ahead to go.

  • Keep an eye out for people who have chosen to park in the office parking area and walk their child to/from. They are not easily seen (people and the cars as they back out).

  • If parking in the staff parking, please use all walkways marked and hold your child’s hand when crossing the bus loop.


We use outdoor learning spaces as much as possible and keep class windows open air circulating, so please dress your child in layers (with the child’s name on the labels). Also, it is getting to be that time of year and our Family Closet has lots of winter snow gear. If in need, just email me your child’s name and sizes and I will try to find a match!

Enjoy the long weekend! Stay well!

Bonnie Hicks

September 3, 2020

Dear Kaler Families,

It was so GREAT to see the families and students who were able to come to Meet and Greet, to include our fully distant learners. Superintendent Kunin has sent a letter explaining the continued work being done to solidify distant learning days, both partial and fully. His letter in full is here; however, highlights include:

  • We will have a full start to distance learning when the devices go home on in September (see tentative chart below) to allow teachers to better prepare students to effectively use the device). We will use the time until devices go home to solidify and communicate plans for our distance learning.

  • Once devices are home, we will start the synchronous specials and the full distance learning activities.

  • Our focus, and our energies, are on managing the safe and positive reopening of our schools and classrooms as shown in the wonderful SPSD welcome to elementary school video.

  • A few spots are left at the Boys and Girls Club program on student’s distance days. See flyer for details: SoPo Reopening flyer.jpg

Tentative Roll Out of Technology:

School Calendar

During the School Committee meeting on August 5th, the board approved the revised calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. Based on the hybrid model, the first student days are as follows

First Days of School

Lunch Program

The Government has extended free breakfast and lunch for all families until December 31, 2020. Therefore, no one needs to pay for lunch. HOWEVER, please note we do not have a system for students to pay for milk separately to have for their home lunch; therefore, families will need to supply a beverage for lunch if their child wants something different then water.

It is important that ALL families sign up for Free and Reduce as soon as possible in order to be eligible for the October 1 count. You can access this online (no paper copying required!) at https://www.spsd.org/district/food-service/free-reduced-lunch Click on https://www.myschoolapps.com.

Great work is happening at Kaler School for a safe, successful, and engaging school start. I CAN NOT wait!

For those coming in person, I will see cohort B on Tuesday!


Bonnie Hicks