Deering News Letter

The Deering Weekly Update


Bridget Balanda's ELL class mapped their language acquisition in timelines. Here is one example of a student's gains in English and Spanish, but loss of her native language, Kichwa.

Vol. 4, December 9, 2019.  If you have news you'd like to share or questions about something you read here, please contact Sarah Shmitt at



Event and Info




Tuesday, Dec 10

Annual Poetry Out Loud! Contest

6:30 pm

DHS Library

All are welcome!

Tuesday, Dec 10

College Essay Workshop for Seniors



Sign up with Ms Toppan. Ms Benson and Mr Williams will assist.

For Deering's Sport Schedules, visit


And a NEW INSTAGRAM account: Deeringhighschool


SENIORS: Need to write/improve your college essay?


There will be an opportunity for SENIORS to work on their college essays during WINN on 12/10, 12/17, 1/7, and 1/14. Students just beginning the process must attend the first session in order to attend any of the last three sessions, which are designed to workshop ideas and drafts. Any senior already into the college essay process is welcome to attend sessions on 12/10, 1/7, and/or 1/14. Students should sign up with Ms Toppan. We will offer a similar experience for juniors later in the spring.




NEXT PTO MEETING: Monday, January 27th: Deering Library, 6:00-7:30. If you have agenda items you would like add, email,  


Currently scheduled PTO meetings for the year are Monday, Jan. 27, Monday, March 16, Monday, May 11, all 6-7:30 in the DHS library.  Hope to see you there! Questions, contact  PLEASE GET INVOLVED and SUPPORT YOUR SCHOOL! Contact us at  


**CLYNK bags are helping us raise money for our projects like books for teachers and the DHS community.    If you want any CLYNK bags, let us know and we’ll drop some off at your house.

Deering Consolidated Boosters NEXT MEETING: January 8

Are you a parent or guardian of a Deering Student Athlete? Come see what Deering Consolidated Boosters is all about! Please join us on Wednesday, January 8 at 6 pm in Room 219.  Can’t make the meeting? Email us at to find out how you can help.




Project Grad takes many hours of preparation by many volunteers. We even look to parents

of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to "pay it forward" so that when your student reaches 

senior year, you can relax and enjoy the event! Want to help but have limited time? No 

worries. We have many jobs that can be done at home on your own time, or you may volunteer for a shift on Project Grad night.

If you are interested in volunteering, email Farausi Cherry at Join our Facebook group at “DHS Project Graduation 2020“. Watch for Facebook posts, emails and/or mailings for additional information.

Yearbook Senior Ads Available Now!

These are the same as baby ads but will be advertised as Senior Ads, as we have had trouble in the past since students do not want their baby pictures in the yearbook! Baby photos will be accepted, but they are not required. Prices:

Full page ad: $200 Half Page: $100 Quarter Page: $50

We accept cash and checks made out to DHS Yearbook

Please send your photo(s), graphics and/or messages as attachements to:


Mail smooth, camera-ready copy to: 

DHS Yearbook, c/o Deering High, 370 Stevens Ave 04103.

2020 YEARBOOK: Purchase Today! 

The 2020 yearbook can be ordered online at and the id number is 11227420.  The yearbooks are on sale for $60 and the sale will end by November 1st.  The original price is $70.   


The 2019 yearbook can be purchased for $40.  See Mr. Lawless in Room 113 if interested.








Deering students at the State House in Augusta, attending the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute. Pictured are Emily Cheung, Nicole Quang, Mattea Lo-Spears, Hope Carroll and Sydney Walsh.



Do you have expertise in science or engineering?

Deering's Science Department needs mentors and experts in all fields related to science. If you or someone you know has a few hours a week that could be spent with us, please contact Sydney Williams at


As a capstone project, Seniors Justin Kashuba and Alex Sim are collecting bikes which they will repair and give away to needy students. If you have a bicycle you can contribute, please contact Barbara Dunham at

WEX Job Shadows: February and April Break

WEX will continue to offer job shadow opportunities to high school juniors and seniors who are able to commute to the Portland area over school break. In 2020, there will be two cohorts: one in February and one in April. Detailed information about the program - including a list of FAQs

Applications for both cohorts will be open until December 23, 2019.

Detailed information about the program - including a list of FAQs--as well as registraton information is available from Ms Willams in room 214.

Deering girls attended the STEM GOES RED! event at Maine Medical Center Research Insitute on December 5.

The event provides one day exposure to STEM careers by women for young women, with a group of 9th and 10th graders who have an interest in, but have had little exposure to, STEM careers. 

Week of 12.9.2019

STEM Newsletter Items

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year. 

Look for STEM ELOs & STEM Scholarship opportunities to be posted here each week.

If your student is new to Deering or new to the STEM Endorsement work, encourage them to join the Google Classroom for program requirements, ELO trackers and general announcements. Google Code: xa03aiv

Week of 12/08/19


  • Deering is hosting two “Hour of Code” activities during WINN this week. The idea behind this global movement is to offer an introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. Tuesday, Dec. 10th students can participate in the “Dance Party” coding event and Thursday, Dec. 12th students can learn the basics of “App Making.” No experience is needed. Students should book themselves to Mrs. Shibles in room 303 using

  • As part of its “Wildlife & Ecology Series” the South Portland Public Library is hosting a free event entitled “Women in Conservation at the Nature Conservancy” on Thursday, December 12th from 6:30-8:00 pm. “Women lead a wide range of science and conservation work at The Nature Conservancy in Maine—from stewarding ecological preserves, to conducting social science, to building healthy fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. Panelists Kelsie Daigle, Samantha Horn, Dr. Alix Laferrier, Tamara Lee Pinard, Molly Payne Wynne, and Dr. Jocelyn Runnebaum will discuss their work, their diverse paths, and their thoughts on the future of women in conservation.

  • Time is running out for entering the Maine State Science Fair. Deadline to register with Mrs. Shibles has been extended to December 13, 2019. Students should see Mrs. Shibles during WINN in room 303 to get started. 

  • The 2020 MERITS deadline is fast approaching. The MERITS (Maine Research Internships for Teachers and Students) Program provides summer research opportunities for highly motivated high school juniors who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers to experience “real-time” applications of STEM in a research-focused work world at host institutions conducting research and technology development.  This program seeks to expose students to career opportunities in Maine and to provide a direct way by which Maine businesses and research communities can attract young people with high potential for possible future employment. A limited number of research internships for the summer of 2020 are available. MERITS interns are paid a stipend for their six week summer research experience. Applications due by January 15, 2020. Application info, forms and details can be found at the MERITS link provided above. Deering is proud of Sarah Wriggins who was a MERITS intern this past summer.

STEM Scholarships:

  • University of Maine’s Pulp & Paper Scholarship for those studying engineering or engineering technology. DEADLINE December 31, 2019. This merit-based engineering scholarship is valued at $36,000. Application details and requirements can be found at the provided link

  • Jackson Lab is once again awarding a $10,000 scholarship to three graduating high school seniors from Maine, Connecticut, and Sacramento County, California who are pursuing a degree in biomedicine

    • Candidates must: demonstrate either significant financial need or status as a first-generation college student, including individuals whose parents have not completed a Bachelor’s degree; be on track to complete their high school diploma with a cumulative GPA greater or equivalent to 3.5 on a standard 4.0 scale; be nominated by a teacher, administrator, or guidance counselor

    • Teacher/counselor nomination deadline: February 1, 2020

    • Student application deadline: February 15, 2020

    • Students who are interested and believe they meet the above criteria can meet with Mrs. Shibles to discuss how to proceed. Learn more at the JAX  College Scholarship site.


⇨ Please check descriptions/deadlines from prior posts.

December 9, 2019

DHS Guidance News

Interested in Taking a USM Course for this Upcoming Spring 2020 Semester?


The USM Early College Application Portal ExplorEC is now LIVE with Spring 2020 courses!


We recommend searching and applying for classes no later than December 15, 2019 because classes for the USM spring semester fill quickly and Deering students should make the commitment to a college course prior to the Christmas break.   Students who register for USM courses that want Deering to reimburse them for the cost of tuition must complete a form that can be picked up with their counselor in Guidance.


If you have questions about course selection or prerequisites, please reach out to your DHS Counselor or to Jamie Austin, the Early College Coordinator at USM who works specifically with Deering High students.    Jamie can be reached via email at:>




PSAT scores for 10th and 11th graders will be released online by CollegeBoard between December 9 - 11.  Most sophomores and juniors took the PSAT here at Deering in October.   Your child can log in and/or create a College Board account online in order to see their scores starting the week of December 9th by clicking here:  (when creating an account, the student needs to use the same email they used when they took the PSAT). 

 If students are unable to get onto College Board or have trouble making an account, they can call the Toll Free line at Collegeboard for assistance.  That number is 866-756-7346

Ms Alexis and Ms Moore will be holding a workshop for any interested 11th grader who wants more in depth information on how to access and understand their PSAT scores during the WINN block in the cafeteria on Tuesday, December 10th.  SAT Prep options will also be discussed.



Important Upcoming PSAT and SAT 

Testing Dates

Click here for all 2019-20 SAT/SUBJECT TEST  dates, deadlines and registration info

 11th Graders will be taking the SAT at Deering in April, however any Junior can register for an SAT or Subject Test prior to that April date.  A number of Juniors choose to take the SAT one, two, sometimes even three times in order to get comfortable with the test. As they become more familiar with the actual test, they learn where their strengths and weaknesses are and can utilize Khan Academy for FREE practice in order to improve their test scores for college admission and heightened opportunities to get more merit scholarships.

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration 

                                                                            (Additional Fee)

MAR 14, 2020 FEB 14, 2020 FEB 25, 2020

MAY 2, 2020 APR 3, 2020 APR 21, 2020

**JUNE 6, 2020 MAY 8, 2020 MAY 27, 2020

** The June 6 Test Date is the last one for the 2019-20 school year 

Where Can Your Child Get In With Their SAT Scores?  

Students and Parents Can Search Colleges by Admission Test Score

College Simply

College Simply parsed admissions data from over 4,000 U.S. colleges and analyzed what SAT and ACT test scores get in where. Select your test score to find out where you may fit in best and estimate how likely you are to get accepted. The guide is organized by SAT and ACT score and presents the best colleges which have historically accepted students for each score.

 FAFSA: For Families of College Bound Seniors

The 2020-2021 FAFSA is now available- FAME has tools to help you file!

The FAFSA became available on October 1. Now is the time to get the FAFSA completed for the 2020-2021 academic year! There is no downside to filing early, and it is one of the best ways to maximize financial aid eligibility. 

The 2020-2021 FAFSA requires 2018 income information. We strongly recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA to transfer 2018 income information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. To make the process easier, be sure you have 2018 federal tax returns, including Schedules and W2s, in front of you when completing the FAFSA.

At least one school needs to be listed on the FAFSA, but additional schools can be added after the FAFSA has been submitted -- just return to 

Need help filing the FAFSA? Free help is available from FAME anytime:

1. Attend an In-Person FAFSA Help Session:

FAME will be offering 14 In-Person FAFSA Help Sessions statewide starting on Thursday, October 10.

Find and register for an event near you:

2. Use FAME's Online Help:

Prepare to file by reviewing FAME's Get Ready to File the 2020-2021 FAFSA checklist. 

View our Filing the FAFSA video.

Follow our 3-step guide: What You Need to File, Filling Out the Form and After You File

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

3. Contact a FAME expert:

 Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Phone: 1-800-228-3734; TTY 207-626-2717


Here is a Good Article on Legitimate Reasons to Appeal a College Financial Aid Package.


Scholarships and Resources for Finding Them


Here are some reputable resources for scholarship searches:

FAME (the Financial Authority of Maine) lists many scholarship and financial aid resources on their website (  Look through the Maine Scholarships list and have your student apply to several.  This is the best site we have found for advice on paying for college.  MES is another scholarship resource, as in the Maine Community Foundation.

We found a good resource for scholarship information from  This is a website “dedicated to conducting data driven and unbiased research about topics that can help make an impact in people's lives.”  Below is a link that covers the best scholarship search sites, what you should know about scholarships, and how best to apply, etc: scholarship search  

 LendEdU for scholarships and search tips:

Calling all Juniors with Leadership Experience!

Become a Bezos Scholar.

Bezos Scholars hail from rural Texas, Morocco, the Bronx, Zimbabwe, and even Portland,  Maine—and everywhere in between. What they share is a rich diversity of experience, thought, and passion for making a difference.

Applicant must:

1 Be a junior during the current academic year and a senior the following academic year.

2 Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have received DACA status.

3 Have a proven track record of demonstrated leadership in their school and/or community.

4 Have taken and received scores for at least one of these tests: PSAT, SAT, ACT, or ACT Aspire.

5 Be enrolled in, or have taken, one or more Advanced Placement (AP) classes, International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, or college-level courses.

6 Be available to fully participate in the year-long program and attend all dates for the Aspen Ideas Festival trip in Aspen, Colorado: June 27 - July 3, 2020. We apologize in advance, but no exceptions for late arrival or early departure (barring an emergency) can be made.

For More Information and to apply online, click here

Local Portland and Maine State Scholarships

More and more Local and State Scholarships are being added all the time on your senior child’s Home Page of their  Naviance Account this time of year! If you want to see that comprehensive list, ask your child to show you their Naviance Account.  The Scholarship List is on the Naviance Home Page in the left, bottom corner of the page.  (Students who may have forgotten their Username & Password for Naviance can always see Ms. Adams in Guidance to get refreshed on that information.)

2020 Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund 

The Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund offers renewable, four-year scholarships to students with financial need who display academic achievement, a commitment to serving others (in school, their community, or at home), a strong work ethic, and leadership qualities.

DHS class of 2019 graduate Salam Salir was the recipient of last year’s Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship. 


Application Process for Current Deering Seniors (Class of 2020):

Ø   New applications will be posted on the website in December 2019.

Ø   The New High School Application and New College Application are due at noon on May 1, 2020.

Ø   The Early Response Option for High School Students Application is due at noon on April 3, 2020.

Ø   We welcome questions! Please call 978-744-2111 or email


Summer 2020 Study Opportunities



DON'T FORGET--Your student can also study abroad!  Check out CIEE's Global Navigators Programs for high school students here

What Are The 25 Best Jobs of 2019?

Health care jobs dominate the list, but software developer wins the crown.

Click here to read the latest from the Money section of US News & World Report:


Do you know someone who is thinking about pursuing a career as a motorcycle technician? There's no time like the present to become a motorcycle tech! But what does a motorcycle technician do? How are they different from automotive technicians?

Let's look at just how great a career path motorcycle technician can be for students who like hands-on work, enjoy mechanics, and prefer variety.  Click on link below for more information:

Career Opportunities in Maine 



So. . . What do you want to do?  Destination Occupation is the place to go for an insider’s look at Maine’s best careers with some of the state’s most dynamic employers, from entrepreneurial ventures to Maine’s largest organizations!  This is a great site for teenagers wanting to know more about specific career fields as well as what job opportunities are available in Maine today. The site is also superb for adults as well.  Click here for more information.