Portland Public Schools Press Release Oct 6, 2016
PORTLAND, Maine – Based on the recommendation of Superintendent Xavier Botana, the Portland Board of Public Education has voted to cancel classes for students at Deering High School and East End Community School on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. Those schools are designated polling places and the high voter turnout anticipated during this year’s general election could disrupt student learning.
The board’s vote came at its Oct. 4 business meeting.
At Deering, parking and traffic congestion on busy Stevens Avenue will be a problem on Election Day. Also, opening the school gym to voters will displace classes and activities there. In addition, the layout of the school does not allow for a physical separation of the public polling area from student areas.
At East End, an elementary school, the school’s Rise and Shine program and music, art and physical education classes won’t be able to take place because they’re held in the area of the building used by voters. Also, with a heavy turnout, polling lines will likely stretch into student areas. Classes were canceled at East End during the general election in November of 2008, when voter turnout also was very high.
Reiche Community School also is a polling place. However, voters at Reiche will be restricted to the community side of the building, closed off from student areas. Voting there is not expected to disrupt classes, so school will be held as usual at Reiche on Election Day.