Family Handbook


Principal’                        Principal’s Letter                                                                        Page 3

Profile of a Deering High School Graduate                                        Page 4

Core Values                                                                                Page 5

Student Services                                                                        Page 6

Academics and Student Schedules                                                        Page 7

Positive Behavior Philosophy                                                         Page 12

Attendance and Tardiness                                                                Page 17

Deering Library                                                                        Page 19

Health Services                                                                        Page 20

Transportation/Parking                                                                Page 22

Enrollment and Student Records                                                        Page 23

Personal Property                                                                        Page 24

School Cancellation or Delay                                                        Page 25

School Safety                                                                        Page 26

Codes of Conduct                                                                        Page 27        

Other Important Information                                                        Page 32

National Honor Society                                                                Page 34

Co-Curricular Activities                                                                Page 35

Interscholastic Athletic Offerings                                                        Page 39

Please note:  If there is a conflict between Deering’s handbook and the Portland Public School policies, the PPS policies govern.  Administrators reserve the right to change the terms of this handbook at any time, without notice.

Principal’s Letter

Dear Students,

Welcome to school year 2018-2019. I’m happy to be back at Deering for my second year, and I am hopeful about everything we might accomplish together as a school.

But what we accomplish, and how it affects Deering both now and into the future, is up to you and to me and it’s based on every decision that we make starting now.

Hope, optimism, working to improve ourselves and our community isn’t easy and it involves balancing our own needs against the needs of others. There are times when each of us should put another person above ourselves. That’s not easy, and we can fall short, though when we are able to do it we experience happiness and satisfaction to see things improve for someone else.

Spend a moment reading about or listening to The Zomba Prison Project. Two albums, one recorded in 2015 and a second in 2016, were recorded inside the country of Malawi’s maximum security prison, called Zomba Central Prison. Prisoners, many of them with no musical experience, have written honest, often painful songs about their experiences and thoughts of loved ones. Sometimes guards play or sing alongside them.

Malawi has been rated as the poorest nations on earth, and Zomba Prison is crumbling structure and overcrowded; designed to hold 340 people there are now over 2,000. The majority of prisoners have life sentences, some there since they were children and others on crimes including “witchcraft” or having been falsely accused by people who actually victimized them. At times inmates go three days without eating because of delayed government funding. Due to the overcrowding tuberculosis, HIV, and AIDS are at a crisis level.

From all this has emerged music and hope. The country’s only Grammy nominated record remains The Zomba Prison Project. Sung mostly in the Chichewa language, the two albums are a reminder about the need to care about and help other people. Since the records’ release three women at Zomba have been cleared of all charges against them and freed.

Similarly, in the late 1940’s folklorist Alan Lomax went into the Mississippi State Penitentiary Parchman Farm to record the stories and music of the mostly black prisoners who were being kept in what amounted to slave like conditions with some of the inmates being literally worked to death.

If Deering High School is going to be about diversity and how diverse communities can succeed, it seems as if the only road to that success involves knowing the truth about the world and embracing one another in the face of those facts. Let’s not allow ourselves to turn away from what has happened or what is happening, today, instead choosing to join together in the name of making hope true.


Mr. Palmer

Profile of a Deering High School Graduate

The goal of Deering High School is that every graduate possesses the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind necessary to succeed and contribute in the 21st-century global environment. It is a goal for each and every Deering student; our mission is excellence and equity in the global era. The following is a profile of the attributes we strive to develop in each Deering graduate.

Deering graduates are ready for college. They:

• Earn a high school diploma by completing a college-preparatory, globally-focused course of study requiring the demonstration of college-level work across the curriculum.
• Have the experience of achieving expertise by researching, understanding, and developing new knowledge about world culture or globally relevant issues.
• Learn how to manage their own learning by identifying options, evaluating opportunities, and organizing educational experiences that will enable them to work and live in a global society.
• Graduate with all options open for post-secondary education, work and service.

Deering graduates have the knowledge required in the global era. They understand:

• Mathematics as a universal way to make sense of the world, solve complex, authentic problems, and communicate their understandings using the symbols, language, and conventions of mathematics.
• Critical scientific concepts, engage in scientific reasoning, and apply the processes of scientific inquiry to understand the world and explore possible solutions to global problems.
• How the geography of natural and man-made phenomena influences cultural development as well as historical and contemporary world events.
• The
history of major world events, economies, and cultures and utilize this understanding to analyze and interpret contemporary world issues.
• Arts and literature and use them as lenses through which to view nature, society, and culture as well as to express ideas and emotions.

Deering graduates have the the skills they need to succeed in a global environment. They:

•Are “literate for the 21st century” – proficient in reading, writing, viewing,
listening, and speaking in English and in other world languages.
•Demonstrate creative and complex thinking and problem solving skills by analyzing and producing viable solutions to problems with no known or single right answer.
•Use digital media and technology to access and evaluate information from around the world and effectively communicate, synthesize, and create new knowledge.
•Make healthy decisions that enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well- being.

Deering graduates are connected to the world. They:

•Effectively collaborate with individuals from different cultural backgrounds and seek out
opportunities for intercultural teamwork.
•Analyze and evaluate global issues from multiple perspectives.
•Understand how the world’s people and institutions are interconnected and how critical international economic, political, technological, environmental, and social systems operate interdependently across nations and regions.
•Accept responsibilities of global citizenship and make ethical decisions and responsible choices that contribute to the development of a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.


Deering High School believes that there are key, universal values that promote hope and connection. While these ideals can be expressed using different language, their meaning coheres.


We are proud of our diversity, therefore we:


We are committed to our unity, therefore we:


We are creating a global community, therefore we:


Teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, the school nurse, and administrators are available and committed to supporting students in success at school.  We invite any student who has a question or concern to meet and confer with any of these staff members before or after school, during lunch or during a study hall.  Unless a concern is truly urgent, a student should make an appointment with a staff member, and plan to meet during times other than scheduled class time.  If you schedule an appointment during a study hall, report first to the study hall teacher for attendance purposes with your appointment pass before you attend your appointment.


Mr. Gregg Palmer, Principal  

Ms. Alyson Dame, Assistant Principal  (Grade 9)

Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed, Assistant Principal  (Gades 10, 11, and 12)

Ms. Melanie Craig, Co-Curricular Activities Director

Guidance Department   (Student schedules include the name of the guidance counselor assigned to student.)        

Ms. Tracey Moore                  Grades 9-12, A-E

Ms. Anastasia Alexis          Grades 9-12, F-L

Ms. Libby Heselton          Grades 9-12, M-N

Mr. Farausi Cherry                 Grades 9-12, O-Z        

Social Workers                 

Ms. Melissa McStay

Mr. Robert Carroll        

School Nurse

Ms. Deb Tanguay

Natural Helpers are students trained and available for peer counseling. 

Peer Mediators are students trained and available to assist students in resolving conflicts.  

The Student Support Team is made up of guidance counselors, social workers, school nurse, administrators, a special educator and our alternative education teacher.  The group meets weekly to review student programming, planning and how to further assist students who struggle in school.  Any teacher may refer a student to the SST by contacting any member of the SST.  

Student Government

Any student who wishes to have an idea or issue addressed by this student governing body should contact the Student Body President Salar Salim, or attend a class senate meeting.  Listen to announcements for meeting times! All students are encouraged to attend senate meetings whenever possible.

Problem Resolution Between Students and a Teacher or Other Staff Member

There is a procedure for securing equitable solutions to conflicts or other problems between a student and a staff member.  If an attempt to resolve a difference or misunderstanding between a student and staff member does not succeed, the following steps should be followed:

  1. The staff member meets with the student in private to resolve the issue.
  2. The student may present the problem to their guidance counselor or social worker for assistance.
  3. If the problem remains unresolved, the student or the staff member may present the problem to their administrator for assistance to resolve.
  4. An administrator shall not resolve a difference or problem between a student and a teacher or other staff member without a consultation between administrator and the student, teacher or other staff member involved.
  5. The administrator shall notify in writing all parties of the resolution of an appeal within two days of consulting with the staff member and the student and family.


Academic Honesty

Students are expected to be honest.  Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, cheating or helping others to cheat on school assignments, is the most serious violation of the social contract between a student and a teacher.  When a student is found to have cheated, their parent or guardian will be notified. A teacher may deny credit for the work submitted. Further disciplinary action may be taken by the school administration. School Board Policy JICD, Academic Honesty Policy will be provided with teacher course requirement sheets on the first day of each class, each semester.  

Graduation Requirements

The Portland School Committee has established (IKF) that each student must earn a total of forty-one (41) credits and meet a computer proficiency standard to participate in graduation exercises and receive a high school diploma.  The 41 credits are typically earned over a four-year period, barring extenuating circumstances such as serious illness or academic failure.  The computer proficiency standard is typically met by the end of middle school.  All course credits and requirements must be completed in order for a student to participate in graduation exercises. Also, students will present their learning to authentic audience to demonstrate and share their learning by taking one credit course known as Capstone  (IKF-R2). The capstone course is part of the 41 credits. Students are expected to select their courses in consultation with their parents/guardians, teachers, and guidance counselors.  Credits are awarded upon successful completion of a course.  Full-term courses at Deering High School and year-long courses at Portland High School are worth two credits each.  Half-term courses at Deering High School and semester courses at Portland High School are worth one credit each.  Course credits required for graduation are as follows:

4 courses of English                8 credits

3 courses of Social Studies                6 credits

3 courses of Mathematics                6 credits

3 courses of Science                6 credits

1 course of Health                1 credit

1 course of Physical Education                2 credits

1 course of Fine Arts                2 credits

*Elective courses                10 credits

Senior Capstone Experience                ________

Total for graduation                       41 credits

*** Portland Public Schools is in the process of implementing new graduation requirements that reflect students having met core learning standards in order to be better prepared for life after high school. The graduation requirement will expressed as 21 Units of Proficiency (UPS) for current freshmen and sophomores, instead of the old 41 credits.  For example, in the past a student would earn 2 credits for freshman English. Now, the student will earn one unit of proficiency for the course, indicating they have met each of the core learning standards instead of having received an average of 70. A student must earn 1 unit of proficiency for health class, but it remains a one-quarter course at Deering.

To be eligible for any privileges that accompany a grade level, a student must have earned at least 10 credits every year (or be on track with their UPS). No student may participate in the graduation ceremony without having all the required credits for graduation.

Early Graduation

If a student wants to accelerate their high school program and graduate in less than four years, they must have the plan approved by a guidance counselor and the principal by the end of the sophomore year.  The number of credits approved from other institutions, summer school, and independent study are limited and require prior approval.  Before a plan is approved, a conference must be held with the students, a parent/guardian, the student’s guidance counselor, and the principal.  Written approval from the student’s parents/guardians endorsing the plan is also required.  If a student graduates a year or more before their class graduates, the student will receive a class rank based on their standing in the original class.  The student will not have a rank in the class with which they graduates.  They can participate in all activities with the senior class.  

Course Selection Guide

Deering offers a variety of courses to match student interests, preparation, and goals.  A detailed description of these courses is available in the Course Catalog, published each winter for the following academic year.  Copies are available on the DHS website.

Independent Study  

Deering High School will allow up to four credits of independent study to be counted as elective credit toward graduation.  An Independent Study Plan must be approved in advance by the principal. The principal will not approve for credit any activity sponsored by a business or organization that is strictly for profit. When a student wishes to earn independent study credits, the following procedures must be followed:

1. The student initiates the request through their guidance counselor. The counselor ascertains the student is within the total

    number of independent study credits allowed.

2. Together the certified teacher and the student will complete an Independent Study Plan, and submit that plan to the

    cluster coordinator for that subject.  If the cluster coordinator approves the plan, they will submit it to the principal.  

    The principal will return the plan to the guidance counselor who will forward a copy to the supervising teacher.  

3. The guidance counselor will assist the student throughout this process to ensure that all procedural requirements are

completed and to verify that the student’s transcript is accurate.  Upon completion of the Independent Study Plan the supervising teacher will enter the student grade and sign and return the course approval from to the guidance counselor to verify completion of the independent study.

Early College Programs

Early College Programs allow high-school students to engage in college-level academic work at a local college campus, gain valuable college-preparatory experience, and earn college credit while still in high school.  Generally, tuition costs are waived for one course per semester; students are expected to purchase required books and pay non-tuition fees.  Each program has different academic eligibility requirements.  See your guidance counselor for more information and about how courses impact credits, GPA, class standing and your high school transcript.  

Course Requirement Sheets

At the beginning of each semester your teachers will give you course requirement information.  This will include information about the class, including core content standards, means of assessment and grading, frequency and kinds of homework that will be assigned, information about attendance, their make-up and late assignment policy, and when they are available for extra help.  The Academic Honesty Policy will also be included.  

Final and Midterm Exams

All courses in grades 9 through 12 include final exams.  Full-term courses may include mid-term examinations.  In full-term courses, the final and the mid-term may be replaced by a research project that requires the student to analyze a substantial portion of the course content.  The length, format, and weight given to any examination shall be determined by the teacher, except that no midterm or final exam may exceed more than 20% of the grade.  School Committee Policy governs final examinations.

Progress Reports and Online Access

        Students and parents may follow student progress and attendance online using their Infinite Campus login.  Teachers are required to update grades at least every two weeks.  After the sixth (6th) week of each grading period teachers may mail a progress report if a student's work has declined significantly. The report must be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to the sending teacher.

        If you don’t have or have forgotten your login information, please call (207)874-8260 and ask for Ms. Evans in the main office.

Report Cards

Fully updated grades can be viewed in Infinite Campus at the end of each semester (or at the end of the quarter for quarter courses); they are reviewed with students in their Deering Coaching (DC) group.  Parents/guardians can contact teachers, school counselors, or administrators with any questions.  Current grades can be viewed at any time on Infinite Campus, but they may not be fully updated on a given day.

For quality of work:

Traditional Scale:                                                                                 New Scale:

A+           99-100                        C+         83-84         *           4.0                   100                         Exceeds

A           95-98                        C          80-82         *           3.75                   96                         Exceeds

A-        93-94                        C-         78-79         *           3.50                   93                         Meets

B+         91-92                        D+         76-77         *           3.25                   89                         Meets

B          87-90                        D          72-75         *           3.0                     85                         Meets

B-        85-86                        D-         70-71         *           2.50                   79                         Approaching

                         F          < 70           *           2.0                     74                         Approaching

                                                                                  *            1.0                     60                         Beginning


This school year (2018/2019) Deering High School teachers will implement assessing Habits of Work in Learning (HOWLS). The three categories of HOWL are Preparation and Engagement. The grading will be on a 1-4 scale.

Academic Letter

An Academic Letter is awarded in May to all Deering students in grades 9 – 12 who have maintained a grade of 93 or higher in all their courses for the first three consecutive quarters of the school year.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian Selection

The valedictorian is the student who has earned the highest grade point average, and therefore, class standing, over their high school career.  The salutatorian is the student with the second highest grade point average.  Grade point averages are determined by calculating a weighted average of student grades for the first seven semesters of high school.  Only students who have been enrolled and are attending Deering High School for two consecutive years (four semesters) prior to graduation are eligible for either of these designations.

Student honors, scholarships, and awards are made under specific guidelines.  For more information, please contact the Principal or School Counselor.

Class Ranking

Class rank/standing is used to determine the class valedictorian and salutatorian.  At the end of the junior year, students are asked to review their grades for accuracy.  Grade point average (GPA) that is used to determine class standing is determined by calculating the average of all courses taken by the student in grades nine through the end of first semester senior year.  A system of weighted grades is used in which grades from AP and Honors classes receive more weight than those from other courses.  Guidance counselors can provide students and parents/guardians with more detailed information about how class rank/standing is calculated.  

Home-Schooled Students

Students who are home schooled will not be computed in class rank/standing.

20-Year-Old Students

Any student who will turn 20 years of age prior to July 1st, of the upcoming school year according to established practice, would not be eligible to enroll at Deering High School.  The student would be eligible to enroll at Adult Education.  

If a student has earned 37 or more credits prior to turning 20 by July 1st, they would receive a Deering High School diploma upon successful completion of the remaining course work.  The course work would need prior approval by the high school principal and could be completed at Adult Education, USM, or in a variety of programs.  The student would not be eligible to participate in the high school commencement exercises - however, the diploma would be issued from the high school.        

If a student has earned 25-36 credits prior to turning 20, they would be directed to Adult Education and receive a Deering High School/Adult Education diploma upon successful completion of the remaining course work. Course work would again need prior approval by the high school principal.  The student would not be eligible to participate in the Deering High School commencement exercises.  

If a student has earned fewer than 25 credits prior to turning 20, they would be directed to Adult Education and would receive an Adult Education diploma upon successful completion of the remaining course work.

Withdrawal from Class Protocol  

A student may only withdraw from a class if their remaining schedule leaves them with at least 12 credits.  In order to change or drop a course, a student must arrange a conference with their guidance counselor.  Written parent approval is necessary. 

If a student withdraws from a class during the first two weeks of the semester, there shall be no record of this withdrawal on the student’s transcript.

If a student withdraws after the second week of the term and before the final four weeks of the semester (final two weeks for half-semester courses), the following procedure shall be followed:

  1. Fail Withdrawal (FW) – Students who withdraw from a class they are failing during the above mentioned time frame shall have FW placed on their transcript, signifying a failing grade at the time of withdrawal.
  2. Pass Withdrawal (PW) – Students who withdraw from a class they are passing during the above mentioned time frame shall have PW entered on their transcript, signifying a passing grade (no credit) at the time of withdrawal.

If a student withdraws during the final four weeks of a semester (final two weeks for a half semester course), the following procedure shall be followed.

  1. A student who withdraws from a class they are failing will have the grade at the time of the withdrawal placed on their transcript.  This grade will be counted in the student’s Grade Point Average.
  2. A student who withdraws from a class they are passing during the above time frame, shall have PW placed on their transcript, signifying a passing grade (with no credit) at the time of withdrawal.  

Textbooks must be returned to the teacher upon withdrawal from the class.

Change of Schedule

We support a student’s choice of courses.  A student must also respect the disruption to a teacher’s class when students move in and out of classes.  The following protocol honors both:  

Prior to the start of each term, students will have their schedules to review.  Once a new semester begins students will not be able to make schedule changes except for level changes and in cases where an error has been made.  Once the new semester has begun, any changes will need to be approved by the student’s School Counselor, the student’s parent/guardian, and both the teacher of the course that the student is leaving and the teacher of the course that the student is planning to enter.  

Passes for Appointment with Counselor

Students may meet with their guidance counselors during study halls, during lunch, and before and after school. An appointment should be made, and a guidance pass obtained in advance.  A Counseling pass must be submitted to your study hall teacher prior to a scheduled visit to the School Counseling office.  A student may miss classes to visit the School Counseling office only in case of an extenuating circumstance.

Academic Labs and Study Hall

Academic Lab provides a more focused setting for a smaller group of students where support in academics will be offered to students. Teachers supervising Academic Lab establish the procedures that include direct assistance to students in math, assistance with writing, and in any academic area.

The rules governing class attendance and behavior also apply to ALL study halls.  An unexcused absence from an assigned study hall will be treated the same as an unexcused absence from a class.  Attendance in study hall is required.

A major school goal is to improve reading for all students.  In the interest of this goal, the first 25 minutes of every study hall shall be committed to having each and every student engaged in silent reading.  Study hall teachers may provide, with the assistance of the librarian, materials for this purpose.  Card playing or other game playing is not allowed in study hall.

Research passes are required to use the library. Students can obtain a research pass before school from one of their subject teachers or from the librarian. Students should return to study hall from the library ten minutes before the end of the block. Study hall teachers can only give a ten-minute pass to the library to check out a book.


Requirements for assigned homework vary widely from class to class.  Students are expected to complete all work in a timely fashion, and teachers are authorized to enforce deadlines for all assignments.

Make-Up Work

Deering has  a school-wide approach when it comes to retakes of the same or an equivalent assessment of a given standard.

Each student will be given at least one opportunity to retake a summative assessment or its equivalent for a given standard. Students can retake regardless of the original score. Students must demonstrate additional study and/or support prior to retaking a given summative assessment.

Students must remediate summative assessments within two weeks unless there is a contract with the teacher for a different remediation timeframe due to illness, medical appointment that must occur during the school day, family emergency, religious holiday, educational disruption, or a pre-planned and/or an approved reason exists.

Extra Help

Students may always seek extra help from teachers when they do not understand an assignment, if the work is difficult, or if they have missed assignments and/or class discussions.  A teacher may request or require a meeting with a student as well.  Extra help may be arranged during WINN period,  before or after school, or at a convenient time during the school day.

Open House

        An open house for parents/guardians is scheduled in the beginning of the school year. Specific information is sent home through the mail, email, via phone call and with students.

Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences

Parent conferences are scheduled in October and March during the school year. Specific information is sent home through the mail or with students about the schedule; both afternoon and evening times are available. Students set up appointments for conferences at a time when the parent and teacher are available during conference time.  Parents may always request additional conference time by calling the guidance office, assistant principal's office, or  their student’s teachers. Interpretations and translations are available for parents as needed.


Deering High School (DHS) believes that all people make mistakes and that  error can be the catalyst for learning and growth. Further, we believe that all people are capable of self-regulation, and that having everyone understand the disciplinary consequences for behavior before, during, and after an event occurs increases the likelihood of being able to self-regulate.

It is Deering High School’s responsibility to provide consistent and appropriate responses to student behavior in a manner that encourages growth and offers both process and support to that end. Further, we believe any two people in equivalent circumstances should be treated the same when it comes to disciplinary consequences and access to restorative justice.

At DHS, we recognize the importance of community building through relationships with students, their teachers, and their families. When appropriate, the school’s response to negative, anti-social behavior should involve key community stakeholders.

Students are always afforded due process, with school district representatives hearing their perspective as well as being committed to gathering information and evidence from all relevant parties.

All Deering High School community members are expected to maintain the following:

  • mutual respect along with physical and emotional safety among all DHS community members
  • respectful treatment of school property and the property of DHS community members
  • regular, timely attendance to school and classes; work completion; and cooperation in the school and classroom

Preventative Interventions

Classroom Management (CM)

Teacher-assigned discipline that may include appropriate classroom restitution, a teacher-supervised detention, or other discipline. Consider a Classroom Intervention Strategies option. Parental notification (email, text, call, etc.) is expected for disciplinary actions beyond typical, momentary corrective action.

Administrative Disciplinary Levels

Level 1:  Referral to the office for administrative action, most often resulting in a block or more of in-school restriction potentially coupled with other restrictions, such as during lunch or other free time. Students will not be able to participate in any co-curricular activity the day of the in-school detention, and should leave campus immediately at the end of the day unless a meeting is scheduled. The student cannot participate in sports practices and games, rehearsals and productions, or be an audience member/spectator.

Level 2:  Administrative action removing a student from their regular academic program for all of one school day in an in or out of school suspension. Students will not be able to participate in any co-curricular activity the day of the in school suspensions. This includes participating in or being an audience member/spectator at any sports related activities, rehearsals, and/or productions.

Level 3:  Administrative action removing a student from their regular academic program for two to ten days, some of which will be categorized as out of school suspension.

Restorative Justice Tools

Low Level (LL) Options

Mid Level (ML) Options

High Level (HL) Options

Sample Disciplinary Violations & Corrective Actions

  1. Excessive Tardiness:  Failure to be in the assigned place of instruction at the assigned time without a valid excuse.  Level 1 minimum (LL)

  1. Absent from School Unexcused:  A student is to attend school, including all classes and study halls, each day of the school year.  In addition, a student is expected to report to school on time. Below are reasons for being absent that are sanctioned by the State of Maine and recognized by Deering High School.

The Maine Department of Education has defined the following as legal excuses for tardiness and/or missing school, if the student is:

  1. is ill,
  2. has a health care appointment that can only be made during school hours,
  3. has a family emergency,
  4. has a personal or educational absence that was planned and pre- approved by the school,
  5. is observing a recognized religious holiday when observance is required during school hours, or
  6. experiences an educational disruption due to homelessness, unplanned hospitalization, foster care placement, youth development center placement, or other temporary placement that is not part of the student’s educational plan or district agreement.

Failure to report to school without proper permission, knowledge, or being excused by the school or teacher.  Level 1 minimum (ML)

  1. Insubordination:  Failure to comply with the reasonable direction of any staff member while in school or participating in a school activity.  Level 1 minimum

  1. Disruption:  No student may disrupt any class or school activity.  CM or Level 1 minimum depending on location and severity. (LL/ML)

  1. Bullying/Harassment including civil rights violation, or racial slurs of another individual or group:  A student will not engage in any behavior that infringes upon the rights of other individuals to be educated or to work in an atmosphere free of intimidation, ridicule, hostility, and/or offensiveness.  Level 2 minimum. (ML/HL)

  1. Threatening:  A student will not threaten another person.  Level 2 minimum. (HL)

  1. Fighting:  Exchanging mutual physical contact between students by pushing, shoving, or hitting with or without injury is prohibited.  All parties engaged in physical contact will be disciplined.  All students engaged in instigating and planning a fight will also be disciplined as participants.  Level 3 minimum. (HL)

  1. Reckless Behavior on District Transportation or in a Vehicle on Campus or at a School Event:  A student will not behave in a manner that jeopardizes safety while on district transportation or operating any motorized or self-propelled vehicle on school grounds or at a school event in a manner that is a threat to health or safety.  Level 1 minimum. (ML)

  1. Vandalism:  A student will not willfully or maliciously damage or destroy property belonging to another, including both school and private property.  A student or parent/guardian will be held financially responsible for willful destruction of property.  Level 1 minimum. (ML)

  1. Theft:  A student will not steal or knowingly possess stolen property.  Level 2 minimum. (HL)

  1. Criminal Trespass:  A student will not be on school property or at a school sponsored event without permission.  Level 2 minimum. (HL)

  1. Alcohol, Tobacco and other controlled substances:  A student will not use, purchase, sell, distribute, possess or be under the influence of any kind of controlled substance as defined by state law.  Level 2 minimum. (HL)

  1. Use/Under the influence:  Students may not be on school property under the influence or have their person the residue of any controlled substance.  Level 2 minimum. (HL)

  1. Weapons:  A student will not possess, handle, transport, or use any weapon, dangerous object, object that can be reasonable considered a weapon, or substances that could cause harm or irritation to another individual.  Level 2 minimum. (HL)

  1. Academic Honesty:  Refer to Academic Honesty, Policy JICD. Here is a sample protocol.

  1. Willful misrepresentation/lying to staff. A student presents information (or omits it) that is purposefully designed to mislead staff. Level 1 minimum (ML)

*For all disciplinary infractions administrators reserve the right to suspend students up to ten days in order to maintain the peace and usefulness of the school.  

Possible Disciplinary Actions

  1. Detention – When other efforts have failed to change behavior, a staff member or an administrator may assign detention for the infraction of any of the school rules or policies, in accordance with our Positive Behavior Philosophy.  

Detention is an inconvenience, a reminder that a student must take responsibility for following school rules and regulations. We prefer to have a student serve detention rather than suspend them for breaking school rules. Work, not having a ride or the need to babysit are not acceptable reasons for missing a detention. 

A student who fails to report to and serve an assigned detention will still need to serve that detention, and may face additional consequences. We will excuse a student from detention only when we receive a note or other notification from a guardian or parent.

  1. In-School Restriction – Block 2 during the school day. Location room 202.

  1. Out-of-School Suspension – Students may not be present on any PPS property for any reason while serving a suspension. Students serving suspensions may not participate in co-curricular activities, nor be present at school-sponsored events. These days do not count against a student’s attendance record in regard to the Attendance Policy.  Upon returning to school, a student must make arrangements with each teacher to make up work missed during the suspension period.

District policy requires that a student be informed orally (including telephone) or in writing of the charge against them and the basis of the charge.  The names of witnesses or plaintiffs need not be revealed at this time. Before suspending a student, an administrator shall provide the student an opportunity to tell their side of the story.

If the presence of a student in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or a continuing threat of disrupting the academic process, an administrator may immediately suspend a student and comply with the procedure for suspension in the immediate future. State law authorizes a school district to suspend a student up to 10 days “for infractions of school rules.”   In assigning suspension, an administrator weighs the right of a student to attend school against the rights of other students and staff members to a safe and orderly school environment, conducive to learning. When school rules are broken, it detracts from a safe and orderly school environment conducive to learning, and interferes with the education of other students.

After suspension, the administrator shall promptly notify the superintendent and the student's parent(s) or guardian(s) of the suspension. The superintendent shall report the suspension to the Portland School Committee. Either the School Committee or the superintendent may reinstate the student.  

School Committee policies on Student Discipline (JK), Student Suspension (JKD), and Expulsion of Students (JKE) may be found in the policy book and on the Community section of the Portland Schools website: 

Other Disciplinary Consequences

In addition to any specific consequences listed above, students who violate School Committee policies and/or school rules are subject to discipline ranging from consequences determined by classroom teachers, detention, suspension, to expulsion from school.  Violations of laws will be referred to law enforcement authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.    See Codes of Conduct for additional information.


Regular and punctual school and class attendance are essential to a student’s success.  We expect students to attend school every day unless they have an “explained” absence.  Excused/explained absences are defined by Maine law and School Committee policy as follows:

        A. Personal illness;

        B. An appointment with a health professional that must be made during the regular school day;

        C. Observance of a recognized religious holiday when the observance is required during the regular school day;

        D. A family emergency;

        E. A planned absence for a personal or educational purpose that has been approved;

        F. Education disruption resulting from homelessness, unplanned psychiatric hospitalization, unplanned hospitalization

            for a medical emergency, foster care placement, youth development placement or some other out-of-district

            placement that is not otherwise authorized by either any individual education plan or a superintendent's’ student

            transfer agreement. “Education disruption” does not apply to a student who is out of school for 10 or more

            consecutive school days as a result of a planned absence for a reason such as a family event or a medical absence for

            planned hospitalization or recovery.

Upon returning to school following an absence, a student must report directly to the Attendance Office, with a note from their parent or guardian providing a reason for the absence.  Students with a note explaining a legitimate absence will be marked “EXPLAINED” (EA) for attendance records.  Absences without a note will be marked “UNEXPLAINED” (UA).

We expect students and their parents/guardians to know the attendance requirements at their school.  


Students are expected to be on time and in class when the block begins.  Students arriving late cause disruptions to the educational environment both in class and by lingering in areas outside of class.  In an effort to curb continued tardiness on the part of students, the following procedures – which are linked to the school attendance policy - will be in place:

Students coming to school late must report directly to class.  If a student has already been marked absent, it is the student’s responsibility to – with verification from a parent – have the attendance code changed from absent to tardy.   A parent note is required to change an attendance code.  

Students that are present at the start of the school day and do not report to class promptly will be considered tardy to class.  Support is available for students who are repeatedly tardy through the school’s Positive Behavioral Intervention System.

Any student who misses more than half of the class time will be considered absent from that class.  This is not an excuse to remain in the hallways or outside of the class, as the student is still responsible for doing the work for that class.

It is at the teacher’s discretion to allow a student to make up missed work from an unexplained absence.  

Late Arrival/Early Dismissal

The Deering High Administration approves student schedules providing for late arrival and early dismissal based on the following criteria.  The student must:

               be a member of the Junior or Senior Class (barring an approved extenuating circumstance),

       meet academic and behavioral expectations,

       provide a written request signed by parent/guardian,

       be enrolled in at least 6 courses (3 every semester)

Students are responsible for taking heed of all notices and other business that is communicated during Deering Coaching.  They may always check with their Deering Coach about any announcements they missed.


Students are asked to check out with the attendance office prior to leaving the building and to have parent permission for dismissal.  As a reminder, any student who misses more than half of a class will be considered absent from that class. 

Planned Absence Form

The Planned Absence Form is used for students who know they will be out of school for a planned period of time.  This form will allow the student to have the absence explained ahead of time and will also serve as notice to the teachers that the student will be out.  The form can be picked up in the Attendance Office.

Student IDs

For the safety and security of all students at Deering High School, all students and staff, while on school property, must have an ID with them during the school day. Students will only be required to show IDs when leaving and returning to the building at lunchtime, and must be able to produce one upon request of a staff member.  School IDs are made possible by the school photographer.  There is a minimal fee for a replacement ID.  Students IDs are also used as a student’s Metro Transportation Pass.

Hallway Passes 

Students must have a pass if they are out of class.  Students who do not have passes will be sent back to their class/teacher.  

It is a student’s responsibility to ask for a pass. Students who do not have a pass will be sent back to their class/teacher.


Library Hours 

The library is open from 7:45 – 2:30 Monday through Friday. On early release Wednesday, the Library will close the same time as student dismissal.  Students may use the library freely before and after school depending on the hours.  The library is closed during lunch. No food or drink (except water) is allowed.

Quiet study is expected in the library to ensure an academic atmosphere.  Assigned seating may be required to maintain order.

Library Research Passes

To use the library during a study hall, students must obtain a library research pass from the librarian.   After obtaining this pass, the student needs to check with their study hall teacher, and sign in when they reach the library.  When leaving the library the student needs to get their pass stamped and return to study hall.  (Passes will not be issued if a class is signed up to use the library during a particular block.)  **Students with senior and junior privileges must obtain a research pass from the librarian and sign in at the front desk.  

Overdue Library Books

Books are checked out for a 3-week period.  If a book is not returned after 3 weeks, the student will get an overdue notice in Deering Coaching. Students with overdue books will not be allowed to check out additional books until the overdue books are returned.  The DHS Library does not charge “fines”, but does charge replacement costs for lost or damaged books.  Seniors who have not resolved outstanding overdue or missing book responsibilities may not participate in graduation ceremonies.  

Library Volunteers

Please see the librarian if you are interested in volunteering to help out in the library during a free block.  


Our school nurse is available on a full-time basis.  Students who wish to see the nurse should obtain a pass from their classroom teacher and have that pass signed when they return to class.

Emergency Information Forms

It is very important that parents/guardians promptly return the Emergency Information Forms so that school staff is aware of a child’s medical information and knows how to contact you during the school day.  Let us know as soon as possible whenever you have a change in address, telephone number, place of employment or emergency contact person.

Administration of Medication

It is the policy of the Portland Public Schools that all student medication be administered by a parent at home.  Whenever possible, the schedule of medication administration should be changed to allow a student to receive all prescribed doses at home.

If, under exceptional circumstances, it is necessary during school hours and the parent cannot be at school to administer the medication, the nurse or designee will administer the medicine. If this is the case, students must see the nurse to obtain a parent and physician permission form and to review procedures as outlined by Portland Public Schools Policy.  Please see Portland Public Schools policy JLCD.

Illnesses and Injuries at School

Students who become ill during the school day should report to the attendance office or nurse’s office.  If it becomes necessary for a student to go home, a parent/guardian will be notified and regular dismissal procedures will be followed.  If a student leaves school without permission, the student will be given an unexcused absence for classes missed and will need written verification of the absence.  

Accident reports are completed for injuries that occur on school grounds.  Parents/guardians will be notified by telephone or note describing the accident, the extent of the injury, and the treatment provided.

If for medical reasons the use of the elevator is required, students must make a $5 deposit for a key.  The $5 will be returned to you once the key is returned.  Ms Evans in the front office can assist you.  

Health Screenings and Physical Examinations

Students must have a physical examination every two years in order to participate in school-sponsored athletic programs.  Evidence of a physical exam must be signed by a healthcare provider and given to school staff before a student will be allowed to participate.  Physical examinations can be scheduled at the Deering High Student Health Center.  Please see the school nurse to check enrollment status and to make appointments.

Vision screening is conducted in grades 9 and 11.   Vision, hearing, or spinal screening may be conducted at the request of staff, students, or parent/guardians.

Deering High School-Based Health Center

The School Based Health Center is a medical clinic in partnership with Greater Portland Health which provides more accessible physical, dental and mental health care to students.  A parent or guardian-signed enrollment form is required each year to be seen at the Health Center: enrollment forms are part of yearly paperwork for parent or guardians to fill out, and can also be obtained from the school nurse.

The School Based Health Center is located on the first floor, next to the drama classroom.  It is staffed by pediatricians from Maine Medical Center and Portland’s Public Health Division, and is open for varying hours five days a week.  The Health Center is not intended to replace the services of a student’s regular doctor or health care provider but will work in tandem with them to better coordinate care.  Please complete the enrollment form and return to the Health Center or the school nurse, who coordinates scheduling.  The School Based Health Center has a student outreach group. All are welcome to join!  Contact the Health Center on the 1st floor.


Maine law requires all students to receive the following immunizations: three polio (one after the first birthday); three DPT (diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus); rubella (German measles); mumps and measles.  Non-immunized students are not permitted to attend school unless the parent/guardian provides a written statement from a physician that immunization against one or more diseases may be inadvisable or the parent/guardian provides a written statement that immunization is contrary to their religious, moral or philosophical beliefs.  The Superintendent and/or public health officials may exclude non-immunized students from school if there is a health threat to the student or others.  Questions concerning these requirements may be addressed to the Principal or school nurse.



Students who have morning classes at PATHS will use the METRO to arrive there and Portland Public Schools will provide transportation from PATHS back to the student’s school. PPS will also provide transportation to and from PATHS for those students who have afternoon classes. All transportation by school buses is provided from PATHS to the student’s school only. Students can ride the METRO home from any school. Metro Students Transit Pass is provided to high school students by the Portland School District based on a partnership with the Greater Portland Transit District (Metro). The cost to replace a lost, stolen or damaged card (including excessive wear) is $5.00.  Riding the bus is a privilege and not a right.  Students who do not follow the Metro Code of Conduct may be disciplined and/or lose their transportation privileges.  If this happens, parents/guardians will be responsible for transporting the student to and from school. Portland Public Schools will provide transportation to high school students who have specialized transportation.


Parking at Deering High School is reserved for seniors on a first come basis.  Seniors wishing to park on school grounds must fill out a Parking Registration form in the Attendance Office.  At that time seniors will receive a parking permit display for vehicles that they wish to bring to school. The cost of a parking permit is $10.00.  Replacement stickers will require a $10.00 fee.  A lottery for seniors may be held to determine students who may park on school grounds.  All students must provide the vehicle registration # of all vehicles they will be driving to school.  If during the school year a new vehicle needs to be added, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the office.  Failure to do so may result in ticketing or fines.  Unauthorized vehicles on school grounds are subject to fines and immediate towing at driver’s expense.  A list of approved off-campus areas for parking will be made available in the office.  


Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides certain rights to parents and eligible students (18 years of age or older) with respect to the student’s education records.

A. Inspection & review of educational records

B. Request an amendment of the student’s education records to ensure they are not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right to privacy.

C. Consent to disclosure of educational records, except in circumstances as permitted by law.

D.  School officials with legitimate educational interests may disclose to school officials with a “legitimate educational interest.”

E. Military Recruiters/Institutions of higher education are entitled to receive the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of secondary students.

F. Complaints regarding school department compliance with FERPA who believe that the School Department has not complied with the requirements of FERPA have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of


The Portland Public Schools shall comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and all other federal and state laws and regulations concerning confidentiality and maintenance of student records and information.

A. Directory Information

The Portland Public Schools designates the following student information as directory information:

        1. Name;

        2. Participation and Grade level of students in officially recognized activities and sports;

        3. Height and weight of student athletes;

        4. Dates of attendance in the school unit; and

        5. Honors and Awards received.

Portland Public Schools may disclose directory information if it has provided notice to parents (and eligible students over age 18) and has not received timely written notice refusing permission to designate such information as directory information.

Under federal law, military recruiters and institutions of higher education are entitled to receive the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of secondary students, and the Portland Public Schools must comply with any such request, provided that parents and students have been notified of their right to request that this information not be released without prior parental consent.

Students Transferring to Portland

Parents/guardians of students transferring to Portland from outside the school system are required to complete a registration packet and to provide all required documentation.

Students Transferring out of Portland or to Another Portland School

Parents/guardians who move to another Portland school or out of town are required to complete a registration packet at the new school.   The Portland school office will then send the student’s educational records to the new school.  All library books, textbooks, and other school property assigned to the student must be returned before the student transfers or the parents/guardians will be billed for them.  In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, we request that parents/guardians notify the school office of a transfer at least one week in advance.

Students wishing to transfer between Portland high schools have the opportunity to do so during the summer months. Students will be asked to fill out the MPA Transfer Eligibility form.  A student transfer between the high schools during the school year requires administrative approval from both high schools.  


The Portland Public Schools are not responsible for theft or damage to students’ personal property, including money and electronics.  We urge students to leave at home items of significant value that are not needed during the school day.  Personal belongings should be stored in assigned school lockers for safekeeping.  Do NOT put any valuables in lockers in the locker room in the gym.

Student Lockers

Freshmen are issued lockers at the beginning of their freshman year.  Students keep the locker they are assigned until graduation.  Locker assignments are made by the guidance department.  

Physical education teachers will issue lockers and combinations to students.  One locker is for books and personal articles; the other is in the gymnasium for the purpose of keeping gym clothes.  Guidelines for use of these lockers:

  1. Keep all lockers locked at all times.
  2. Do not keep large sums of money or valuables in a locker.  The school is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged property.
  3. Report immediately to the teacher in charge and to the Main Office any loss of money or property.
  4. Report to the Guidance Office any lockers that do not work properly.
  5. Bring any found items immediately to the Office so that the owner can be located.
  6. Remember:  there is no district insurance to cover losses from lockers.
  7. LOCKER CLEAN OUT will be held on the last full day of classes in June.
  8. Two weeks following the close of school in June, all lost and found items will be donated to charity.
  9. Lockers, desks and other school storage facilities are school property, and remain under the control, custody and supervision of the school even when they are assigned to individual students.  Students have no expectation of privacy in school storage facilities or for any items placed in such facilities.  School officials have the authority to inspect and search storage facilities and their contents on a random basis, with or without reasonable suspicion and without notice or consent.  Only locks provided by the school may be used on lockers and all other locks will be removed.  


Lockers, desks and other school storage facilities are school property, and remain under the control, custody and supervision of the school even when they are assigned to individual students.  Students have no expectation of privacy for school storage facilities or for any items placed in such facilities.  School officials have the authority to inspect and search storage facilities and their contents on a random basis, with or without reasonable suspicion, and without notice or consent.  Only locks provided by the school may be used on lockers and all other locks will be removed.

School officials may also search students’ wallets, purses, backpacks, pockets, automobiles, and other property when they have a reasonable suspicion that the search will reveal evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law, School Committee policies, and/or school rules.

Illegal and/or prohibited items such as firearms, weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, stolen property, or other items determined to be a threat to the safety or security of the school will be seized and the student’s parent/guardian notified.  Evidence may be forwarded to law enforcement as deemed appropriate by school officials, even if the search was initiated for school purposes.  See School Committee Policy JIH.


In the event of emergency or weather-related school delay, cancellation, or early closing, announcements are made on local radio and television stations, including Channel 3, the school channel.  Please do not call the school office for this information, as telephone lines are very busy during these times.  School delays or cancellations are announced beginning at approximately 6:00 a.m.  Early school closings may require announcements during the school day.  The information is also posted on the district web site at


Crisis Plans / Safety Policies

The Portland schools take the issue of student and staff safety very seriously.  Many preventive and crisis response measures are in place in our school system to provide for the safety of our students and staff.  School Committee policy requires each school to have a crisis plan in place that is very specific and thorough.  These plans follow guidelines established through a joint effort of the Portland School Department and the Portland Police Department.  Each school is also required to conduct practice drills to make sure that staff is familiar with the crisis plan.  More information about the school’s crisis plan is available in the school office.  Contact the office if you would like to view the entire policy.  

Fire Drills/Securing the Building

Fire drills are required by law.  When the alarm sounds, all students and staff must vacate the building immediately in a quiet and orderly manner.  All alarms should be assumed to signal an actual fire or emergency.   No one should re-enter the building until an administrator directs them to do so.  Directions for evacuation are posted in each room and office.

Setting off false fire alarms is illegal and endangers the safety of everyone in the building.  The Portland Police and Fire Departments will investigate false fire alarms, and any student involved in setting off a fire alarm will be subject to school discipline.  Staff members are also prepared for procedures used when securing the building for emergency purposes.  The procedures will be reviewed with students and practiced during the year.  Student cooperation is essential during any drill or practice session.  


School Committee Policy JICIA  

The Portland School Committee believes that students and staff are entitled to learn and work in a school environment free of violence, threats and disruptive behavior.  Students are expected to conduct themselves with respect for others and in accordance with Committee policies, school rules, reasonable unwritten behavior expectations, and applicable state and federal laws.

School staff is required to immediately report incidents of prohibited conduct by students to the Principal for investigation and appropriate action.

Prohibited Conduct

Students are prohibited from engaging in the following conduct on school property, while in attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity, or at any time or place if such conduct directly interferes with the operations, discipline or general welfare of the school:


A.        Possession and/or use of articles commonly used or designed to inflict bodily harm and/or to threaten, intimidate, coerce or harass another person.  Examples of such articles include but are not limited to firearms, BB guns, pellet guns, any other kind of gun, ammunition, explosives, firecrackers, crossbows, brass knuckles, switchblades, knives, chains, clubs, Kung Fu stars, nunchucks, and symbols of hate;

B.        Use of any object, although not necessarily designed to be a weapon, to inflict bodily harm and/or to threaten, intimidate, coerce or harass another person.  Examples of such articles include but are not limited to bats, belts, picks, pencils, compasses, objects capable of ignition (e.g., matches, lighters), files, tools of any sort and replicas of weapons (including toys);

C.        Violent or threatening behavior, including but not limited to fighting, assault and/or battery, taking hostages, threats to commit violence against persons or property (e.g., verbal or written death threats, threat of bodily harm, bomb threats);

D.        Verbal or written statements (including those made on or through a computer) which threaten, intimidate, or harass others or which tend to incite violence and/or disrupt the school program;

E.        Willful and malicious damage to school or personal property;

F.        Stealing or attempting to steal school or personal property;

G.        Lewd, indecent or obscene acts or expressions of any kind;

H.        Violations of the school committee’s drug/alcohol and tobacco policies;

I.        Violations of state or federal laws; and

J.        Any other conduct that may be harmful to persons or property.        

Additional Information

Further, the School Committee has adopted several policies on student conduct.  The policies may be found on the Portland Schools website. They include: Bomb Threats; Co-Curricular Code of Conduct; Harassment; Student Bus Conduct Code; Student Conduct; Tobacco; Drug and Alcohol Use; Weapons, Violence and School Safety; Dress Code and Student Hazing.  

In addition to the behavior prohibited by School Committee policies, the following student conduct is prohibited by school rules on school property, in attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity, or at any time or place that directly interferes with the operations, discipline or general welfare of the school.  Any specific consequences for violations of a particular rule (in addition to possible detention, suspension, expulsion, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities) are included in parentheses.  Most importantly, when a staff member addresses you, you must stop, identify yourself and respond to the staff member.  You may not respond disrespectfully or discourteously to a staff member in public or in private.  Examples of prohibited behavior include:  

  1. Any behavior that is determined to be dangerous or disruptive to the peace and usefulness of the school.
  2. Breaking classroom rules
  3. Cheating, plagiarism, or assisting another student to cheat or plagiarize (Consequence: no credit for the work and parent notification.)  Repeat incidents of plagiarism will result in increased consequences including but not limited to loss of credit for the course.  (See School Board Policy JICD.)
  4. Damaging or failing to return school property, such as textbooks, uniforms, and library books, laptops  (Consequence: students will be liable for damages and parents/guardians for damages.  Participation in graduation exercises may be denied unless all fees and fines are settled.)
  5. Disorderly behavior such as shouting, pushing, fighting, throwing food, littering, etc.
  6. Forging or altering school documents, records, or passes
  7. Lying and/or providing false information to school staff, including forging notes from home
  8. Misuse of computers and/or Internet privileges (Consequence: may result in loss of privileges and/or restitution for damage.)
  9. Participating in any activity that disrupts the school, classes, or the educational process
  10. The use of any device or game for the purpose of gambling
  11. Spitting in public places
  12. Setting off false fire alarms (Consequence: referral to law enforcement authorities)
  13. Vandalizing, damaging, or tampering with school property or the property of others
  14. Violating any law.
  15. Presence at Portland High School or Casco Bay High School without permission (Consequence:  possible referral to law enforcement and suspension.)                                         

Disciplinary Action

Principals may suspend and/or recommend expulsion of students who violate this policy, based upon the facts of each case and in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.  Conduct which violates this policy is deliberately disobedient and deliberately disorderly within the meaning of 20-A MRSA § 1001(9) and will be grounds for expulsion if found necessary for the peace and usefulness of the school.  Such conduct may also be grounds for expulsion under other provisions of 20-A MRSA § 1001(9) and 9(A) that specifically prohibit the use and possession of weapons, infractions of violence, and possession, furnishing and trafficking of scheduled drugs.

Students who are found to have brought a firearm or to have possessed a firearm at a school (as both terms are defined by federal law), shall be expelled for a period of not less than one year, unless this requirement is modified by the Superintendent on a case-by-case basis in writing.  

All firearms violations shall be referred to law enforcement authorities as required by law.  Other violations of this policy shall be referred to law enforcement authorities at the discretion of the Superintendent.

Students with disabilities shall be disciplined in accordance with applicable federal and state laws/regulations and School Committee policy JKF.

Harassment, Assault and Battery  (School Board Policy ACAA)

Students are prohibited from engaging in physical or verbal harassment of other students or staff members, whether the harassment is direct or indirect through electronic media or through other persons.  Prohibited harassment includes, but is not limited to, intimidation or disparagement on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, ancestry, age or disability. Prohibited harassment includes the sort of verbal abuse - (e.g. name calling, use of profanity, ethnic or racial slurs, derogatory statements addressed publicly to others), that interferes with an individual student's education or the educational purpose of the school.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and gestures and comments of a sexual nature are prohibited and will be construed as sexual harassment. Non-consensual touching, including physical fighting, will be construed as assault and battery. Students who are harassed, assaulted and/or battered should report such occurrence to an administrator immediately. Disciplinary action for acts of harassment, assault and/or battery may include up to a 10-day suspension or expulsion.


School Board Policy JICK applies to bullying that takes place at school or on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity or event, or while students are being transported to or from school or school-sponsored activities or events. It also applies to bullying that occurs at

any other time or place that substantially disrupts the instructional program, operations of the school, or welfare of students.

Examples of conduct that may constitute bullying include, but are not limited to:

  A.         Physical contact or injury to another person or their property;

  B.         Threats of harm to a student, to their possessions, or to other individuals, whether transmitted verbally, in writing, or through cyberspace;

  C.         Blackmail, extortion, demands for protection money, or involuntary loans or donations;

  D.         Non-verbal threats and/or intimidations such as use of aggressive or menacing gestures;

  E.         Stalking;

  F.         Blocking access to school property or facilities;

  G.         Stealing or hiding books, backpacks, or other possessions; and

  H.         Repeated or pervasive taunting, name-calling, belittling, mocking, put downs, or demeaning humor relating to a

            student’s race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, religion, disability, or other personal characteristics, whether or not the student actually possesses them, that could reasonably be expected to result in disruption of the instructional program or operations of the schools, or that results in a hostile educational environment for the student.

For the purpose of this policy, bullying does not mean mere teasing, putdowns, “talking trash,” trading of insults, or similar interactions among friends, nor does it include expression of ideas or beliefs so long as such expression is not lewd, profane, or does not interfere with students’ opportunity to learn, the instructional program, or the operations of the schools. This does not preclude teachers or school administrators from setting and enforcing rules for civility, courtesy, and/or responsible behavior in the classroom and the school environment.

The determination whether particular conduct constitutes bullying requires reasonable consideration of the circumstances, which include the frequency of the behavior at issue, the location in which the behavior occurs, the ages and maturity of the students involved, the activity or context.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Students are prohibited from:

1.        selling, supplying, giving or attempting to sell, supply or give to any person any of the substances listed in this policy, "look-alike drugs", or any "drug paraphernalia"

2.        possessing, procuring, or purchasing, or attempting to possess, procure, or purchase the substances listed in this policy, "look-alike" drugs", or any "drug paraphernalia"

3.        being under any degree of influence of (legal intoxication not required), or using or attempting to consume, any of the substances listed in this policy.

Prohibited substances:

        1.        alcohol or any alcoholic beverage

        2.        any illegal substances or dangerous drugs, including but not

                limited to marijuana, narcotics, hallucinogens, stimulants,

                depressants or "look-alike drugs"

        3.        any abusable glue or aerosol paint or any other chemical

                substance, including but not limited to lighter fluid and

                reproduction fluid, for inhalation

4.        any prescription drug, medicine, or other chemical including but not limited to pain relievers, diet pills, pep pills, "no-doze"pills, depressants, and sleeping pills not taken in accordance with authorized use.  Authorized use will consist of the school nurse's (or a designee's) administration of a medicine or drug to the student in accord with a parent's or guardian's written request and physician authorization.  See the Medication Policy (JLCD).

Students exhibiting behaviors that may indicate drug or alcohol possession or use must be reported to an administrator and excluded from class, instructional areas, or programs in progress. The student's parent or guardian will be notified immediately. Should the student need medical attention, MEDCU will be notified. If the student appears to be dangerous to others, Police Department assistance will be requested. Should the student not need medical attention and not present an imminent danger to themselves or others, the student will be released from school in the custody of their parent or guardian. School authorities shall confiscate any substances and paraphernalia.  

Use of Tobacco

A student under 18 may not possess tobacco or tobacco products at school. Use of tobacco products by any person on school grounds or at a school sponsored event is a violation of Maine State Law (MRSA22-1580. A,3; 22-1578.B).  The consequence for using tobacco on school grounds or at a school function may include:  detention, suspension, referral to the School Resource Officer.  Resources on how to quit tobacco can be obtained from the school nurse, a school administrator, or a teacher.  See policies ADCA-R, ADCA, ADC-R, ADC.

Rules for Student Use of Phones and Other Electronic Devices

        1. These devices may not be used in any manner that disrupts the educational process, is illegal, or violates Board

             policies and/or school rules.

          a. During classes and school activities, all such devices must be turned off and out of sight.

         b. The only exception to this rule is when a teacher specifically authorizes students to use such a personal electronic

             device for a specific purpose (such as entering an assignment in a PDA).

         c. If this rule is violated, the teacher may immediately confiscate the device for the remainder of the school day, and

             discipline may be imposed as provided below.

         2. Students may use electronic devices between class periods and during lunch periods. Cellular telephones must be

             kept on "vibrate" mode to avoid disrupting others.

         3. Students may use electronic devices on field trips and during extracurricular activities only if authorized by the staff

            member in charge.

        4. The use of cameras in any type of electronic device is strictly prohibited in locker rooms and restrooms.

         a. In other locations and at times when students are allowed to use electronic devices, students are required to obtain

         permission before taking a photograph or video of any individual. Students must also obtain permission from any        

         individual appearing in a photograph or video prior to posting on any social networking site or other Internet site such

         as YouTube.

         5. Any use of cellular telephones and other electronic devices that violates any Board policy/procedure or school rule is

              strictly prohibited. In addition, accessing, viewing, posting, forwarding, downloading or displaying any materials that are

              defamatory, abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, sexually suggestive, threatening, discriminatory, harassing

              and/or  illegal is prohibited.

         6. Student cellular telephones and other electronic devices may be subject to search if there is reasonable suspicion that a

             student is violating Board policies/procedures and/or school rules.

         a. A building administrator may maintain possession of an electronic device as long as is reasonably necessary for

                    evidentiary  purposes

         7. Students violating these rules will be subject to discipline, which may include:

         a. Not being allowed to bring electronic devices to school;

          b. Sanctions ranging from detention to expulsion from school depending upon the nature of the offense and the

                 student's disciplinary record.

         8. Evidence of illegal activities involving electronic devices will be referred to appropriate law enforcement authorities and

             a building administrator may give a device to law enforcement authorities upon request.

Conduct in the Cafeteria  

Inappropriate behavior in the cafeteria may be grounds for losing those privileges and may be grounds for discipline.  We expect students to behave courteously to staff members and to each other.  Each student is responsible for cleaning up and recycling any trash s/he may generate.  When a staff member corrects a student's behavior or requests a student to clean an area where s/he has been eating, we expect courteous and prompt cooperation.  Students are well advised to support each other in maintaining a civil cafeteria environment, and to avoid being co-opted into behaving inappropriately by others. In case of loss of privilege to use the cafeteria, a student will have to provide for lunch on their own, and will be allowed to eat only in a designated place.

Dress Code

The basis for our student dress code is School Board Policy JICA on Student Dress Code. While the dictates of fashion may pressure students to wear certain items of clothing, these items may, in fact, be disruptive in a school setting.  For this reason, students are not permitted to wear the following:

Students in violation of the dress code will be asked to change clothes or cover whatever is causing the violation.  Continued violations may result in disciplinary consequences including parent contact.

Computer/Internet Use

Use of the Portland Public Schools computer network and the Internet is a privilege, not a right.  Inappropriate use will result in cancellation of privileges.  (Each student will receive orientation and training in the proper use of the computer network and the Internet.)   Based upon the acceptable use guidelines outlined in Policy IJNDB, the Superintendent and/or their designee will deem what is inappropriate use and their decision is final.  In addition, the Superintendent and/or their designee may revoke use privileges at any time as required.  The administration, faculty and staff of the Portland Public Schools may request the system administrators to deny, revoke, or suspend privileges.  See the complete policy Student Computer and Internet Use Policy (IJNDB).

Before You Put Something on Social Media:

Before communicating digitally about someone else or with someone else...

Remember Yourself:  Make sure your online reputation doesn't ruin your “real” reputation.

Remember the Human:  Would I and should I say it to the person's face?

Remember your Mom:  Would I want my parent  to read this?

Remember your Future:  Would I want my employer or college admissions officer to read this?

Remember to Breathe:  Would I respond the same way if I took a five minute break? Remember to Breathe.

Do No Harm to Others:  Before communicating digitally about or with someone else, consider...

Is this my business?

Am I causing drama?

Am I making the situation better?


Religious Holidays

Please refer to the Portland Public Schools Holiday Observances Guidelines and Holiday Calendar available in each school office.

Prayer in School

Students are allowed to pray in school. For Muslim students wishing to pray during school hours, the following protocol has been devised (in coordination with DHS students, administration, and local Imams). During standard time (March to November), students wishing to pray may be excused at 12:50 for ablutions and daily prayers. These students should return to class by 1:00. During daylight savings (November to March), participating students may be excused from class at noon and are expected to return by 12:10. Any student leaving class should follow the teacher’s typical sign-out procedures and should check in with the teacher about any missed activities.  Students who abuse the accommodation will not be allowed to leave the class.

Special Education & Section 504

The Portland School Committee has adopted a complete set of policies related to special education services.  If you need more information, please contact the Principal, your child’s teacher or School Counselor. Referrals for Special Education services may be made at the school.  Any student who has a disability or has a mental or physical impairment, which substantially limits a major life activity, may be referred for services under Section 504.  

Programs for Students with Limited English Proficiency

To ensure equal educational opportunity for all students, Portland Public Schools shall provide appropriate programs for students with limited English proficiency to assist them in attaining English proficiency and meeting state and local academic achievement standards in compliance with applicable federal and state requirements. To accomplish these goals, Portland Public Schools has developed and implemented a plan to meet the needs of such students. The District’s Lau Plan details the procedural requirements and services to be provided to language minority students, including identification, registration, assessment, placement, exit from the multilingual program, and monitoring of student progress in mainstream classrooms.

The Portland School Committee has adopted policies related to English Language Learners (ELL) services.  Contact the Principal for additional information. You also may contact guidance counselors and teachers for more information.

Visitors/Deliveries to Students at School

In order to ensure the safety of our students and staff, visitors to the school must report directly to the Main Office upon arrival at the school.  Visitors will be asked to sign in and will be issued a visitor’s badge.  Visitors who are not wearing a badge can expect to be approached by staff members and escorted to the office.  Any delivery of flowers or gifts to students while at school must go through the main office.  

Lunch Privileges

All students have open campus privileges during lunch.  If a parent does not wish for their child to be allowed to leave at lunch, they need to contact the secretary in the Assistant Principals’ office to inform the school of their desires.  To leave at any other time during the day, a student must be a junior or senior with privileges.  Administrators reserve the right to rescind these privileges from any student whose decisions violate our core values or result in missing class time.

Senior and Junior Privileges

Senior Privileges allows for a senior to leave school grounds during the school day when they have a study hall.  Senior Privilege permission forms are available in the Assistant Principals’ office. When completed, the forms must be returned to the Assistant Principals’ office.  Forms MUST be returned before a senior is allowed to leave a study hall.  A senior or junior must be enrolled in six courses to qualify for senior privileges.  The form details specific eligibility requirements.

Exemptions from Instruction

Requests for exemption from instruction must be made in writing to the building Principal and are subject to the approval of the Principal. The Principal shall notify the Superintendent as soon as practicable of any request for exemption from instruction and of their decision. If the Principal denies an exemption request, the parent(s)/legal guardian may appeal to the Superintendent.

Field Trips

All field trips shall be approved in advance by the principal. In addition, out-of-state or overnight trips shall be approved in advance by the superintendent. Field trips shall be coordinated with the goals and objectives of the curriculum, and there shall be appropriate preparation and follow-up activities. Students will be appropriately supervised. Parental permission forms shall be required for school-sponsored educational trips and activities.

Messages for Students

We understand that at times it becomes necessary for parents to get messages to their students.  If this is the case, parents are asked to call the school office.  Messages for students will be delivered during lunch and if possible at passing time between blocks.  In order to limit distraction to learning, we typically will not interrupt class time for messages, but reserve the right to do so in cases of emergency.  Students may use an office telephone in an emergency and with permission.

Student Visitors

A student may host a friend’s visit to school and school classes for academic purposes.  A student who invites a visitor must take the following steps:

        1.  Obtain permission from their assistant principal at least a day in advance of the visit.  

2.  Take home a form for approval by the host student’s parent/guardian, with an OK from the host’s teachers and


3.  Have the visitor bring a note of approval from their parent or guardian including phone numbers where they may be

      reached in an emergency.

4.  Present the form and the visitor to the assistant principal before school on the day of the visit.

Visitors will not be allowed to stay in school if the appropriate documentation and approvals are not met.  

Student Pick-Up and Drop-Off Procedures

Students may be dropped off at school in the front of the building (Stevens Avenue) or in the back (off Ludlow Street).  Likewise students may be picked up in either location.  

Students will be released only to parents, legal guardians, and persons who are specifically authorized in writing by parents/legal guardians to pick up the student. If the building principal/designee has reason to question the authenticity of any written or verbal communication regarding the release of a student, the parents/guardians shall be contacted for confirmation. The building principal/designee has the authority to deny the release of students to unauthorized or unknown persons.

A custodial parent/guardian who wishes the school to comply with provisions of a court order to restrict access to a child is responsible for providing a certified copy of such order to the school.



The National Honor Society recognizes students who have demonstrated excellence in displaying the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership and service.

 Requirements for Membership 

Juniors are eligible for induction into the National Honor Society if they meet the following requirements:

1.   have an unweighted GPA of 93 or higher,

2.   have completed a minimum of five honors level classes by the second term of the junior year,

3.   be involved in at least four school activities with a multiple year commitment,

4.   complete the Student Activities form,

5.   document at least 30 hours of community service

6.   submit a letter of recommendation outlining level of involvement from each service activity outside of

      Deering.  Community service hours can sometimes take the place of school activities for students who have

      more than three times the requested 30 hours.

7.   submit a National Honor Society application and all materials by the set deadline.

In addition, students’ qualities of leadership and character are rated by the faculty at large.  Involvement in school activities is rated by coaches and advisors.

The Faculty Council, a committee of five teachers appointed by the principal, meets in March to consider all applicants for candidacy based on the criteria of scholarship, character, leadership and service. The Faculty Council reviews teacher ratings and comments carefully before making any decision.

Students who do not meet the requirements for membership in the National Honor Society during their junior year can reapply in the fall of their senior year.  Students not accepted for membership in the National Honor Society may appeal the decision in writing.  The appeal must be received in the week after notification of denial of membership.

Selection Process and Timeline

  Spring – Junior Eligibility

        1.  1st Week of February – Initial Letter of Eligibility.  

        2.  2nd Week of February - Informational Meeting with Eligible Candidates by Assistant Principal.

        3.  Beginning of Last Week of February  - Application materials due from Students.

4.  March Faculty Meeting – Staff fills out Student Ratings sheet on students who have applied for acceptance.

5.  2nd Week of March – Faculty Council meets to vote on applicants.

        6.  2nd Week of March – Accepted Students are notified – Rejected Students are informed of appeals process.

        7.  4th Week of March – Appeals are voted on.

        8.  Last Thursday of April – Induction Ceremony

A similar timeline will be used for the fall – Senior Eligibility

Note:  A student shall attend the induction ceremony in order to become a member of the National Honor Society.

Induction Ceremony

The induction ceremony will be held the last Thursday in April in the school auditorium.  Each inductee may bring as many guests as desired.  Following the ceremony there is a reception for the members and their family.  Participation in the National Honor Society induction ceremony is required for membership in the National Honor Society.  Students who do not participate remain candidates until an informal ceremony is conducted at a later date to be determined by the Faculty advisor.

After Induction

The chapter has a constitution that allows for three officers to help guide the work of the chapter.  The chapter holds twice a month meetings, conducts the induction ceremony and participates in community service and fundraisers.  The Deering chapter has a longstanding tradition of tutoring students at school, particularly in our English Language Learners department.  

Members are required to attend all meetings and participate in the activities of the organization.  Failure to attend meetings and to participate in the chapter activities may result in probation /or dismissal by the Faculty Council.

The prestige of the National Honor Society is reflected in the millions of members from across the nation.  Selection for membership in the Deering Chapter of the National Honor Society is more than just an honor.  It carries a responsibility of maintaining high standards in each of the four characteristics that define the National Honor Society:  character, leadership, service and scholarship.






                        SCHOOL COLORS:                        PURPLE & WHITE

                        SCHOOL MASCOT:                        RAM

                        YEARBOOK:                                AMETHYST

                        NEWSPAPER:                                RAMBLINGS


Be loyal to the purple!

                Be loyal to the white!

                Emblem of the noble

                And of truth and right, Fight!  Fight!  Fight!

                Bear your colors proudly,

                And raise them to the sky;

                We conquer by the might of the purple and white,

                For the honor of Deering High.




Students who participate in co-curricular activities benefit by making new friends, learning new skills, working with teachers outside the academic setting and having fun doing something they enjoy.  All students are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one club, activity or sport.  Students may sign up then or at any time by contacting an organization member or advisor.  (Some organizations, like the National Honor Society, have membership requirements.)

The following school-sponsored organizations are open to all DHS students unless otherwise stated.  For more information about these clubs and how to get involved, please contact the activities office, across from the main office on the 2nd floor.  Want to start a new activity?  Ask Ms Craig!

Amethyst Staff (Yearbook)                        Mock Trial

Art Club                                        Model UN

Breccia (Literary Magazine)                        National Honor Society

Chess Club                                Natural Helpers

Debate Team                                Outing Club

Deering Players (Dramatics)                        Peer Mediators

Environmental Club                        Photography

French Club                                Rams and Lambs

Future Teachers of America                        Robotics

Gay Straight Alliance                        World Language  Club

Handbells                                Computer Tech Team

Key Club                                        Student Government

Kindred Spirits                                The Sisterhood

Math Team                                Unity Project


The Portland Public Schools are committed to providing a balanced, inclusive, and diverse program of co-curricular activities as an important dimension of student learning.  Co-curricular activities are defined as programs or out-of-class activities that are supervised and/or financed by the Portland Public Schools.  Participation in co-curricular activities is voluntary.  These activities are not part of the regular academic curriculum, are not graded, and do not earn academic credits.  

The goal of these activities is life enrichment of each participant through development of good sportsmanship, citizenship, skills, health, strength, self-reliance, emotional maturity and social growth.  The School Committee intends co-curricular programs to be aligned with the Portland Public Schools’ Mission, Vision, and Beliefs, and honor the complex wholeness of each learner.  Since research indicates that co-curricular participation is a good predictor of students’ future success, we believe:  

That all students should be encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities;

That student interests and talents come in many different forms and all should be equally valued and supported;

That activities offered should reflect a broad spectrum of interests, talents, and learning modalities;

That equity in co-curricular learning opportunities is fundamental;

That high standards of performance are expected of all students and staff;

That schools set the conditions for success for students;

That success breeds success and influences esteem, attitude, and motivation; and

That school is the practice setting for future success.

The success of the programs is dependent upon a positive partnership between parents and the Portland Public Schools aligned with the above philosophy.  


Did you know that to be academically eligible for ANY Co-Curricular activity you must be passing 3 credit-bearing courses?

Are you aware that you MUST have a current physical ON FILE with the school nurse to participate in athletics?

Are you aware that you have until noon the next day to self report a drug, alcohol, tobacco violation?

Do you know that you can be removed from leadership positions in your activity if you violate the rules in the Co-Curricular Handbook?  

Did you know that you can be suspended or removed from Co Curricular Activities if you do not uphold positive citizenship both in and OUT of school?

Know the rules!                       Play by the rules!

If you are part of any activity at Deering you must know and understand  the entire Co-curricular policy!


can be found  on the Portland Public Schools website, the Deering High School website (click on the athletics tab), and a hard copy may be obtained in the athletic office at Deering.






Basketball – Boys’


Cross Country – Boys’

Basketball – Girls’

LAX – Boys’

Cross Country – Girls’


LAX – Girls

Field Hockey

Hockey – Girls’

Outdoor Track – Boys’


Hockey – Boys’

Outdoor Track – Girls’


Indoor Track – Girls’


Soccer – Boys’

Indoor Track – Boys’

Tennis – Boys’

Soccer – Girls’

Nordic Skiing

Tennis – Girls’

Swimming – Boys’

Swimming – Girls’