PPS High Schools Adopt ‘Exchange Slot’ System

From Portland Public Schools:

Effective this fall, students who want to attend out-of-neighborhood comprehensive high schools will be able to take the place of students who transfer from those schools. The King Neighborhood comprehensive school is now Grant High School. King residents in the King School attendance boundary also have priority to enroll in the new Jefferson Middle College.

Through an “exchange slot” system, Portland Public Schools will fill empty spots as students switch schools during the “transfer cycle” — the period ending Feb. 28 when families can apply to a high school not in their neighborhood or to a focus program. (Students in grades K-8 can apply to schools through March 11.)

Exchange slots are created when students apply to transfer out of high schools that are full. This opens up space for students who want in. As in past years, PPS also provides “general slots” for high schools not filled by neighborhood students.

Transfers limited

Even with exchange slots, families may not be able to get into their desired high school, particularly if it is a school with no general slots. (View general slots for the 2011-12 school year.)

Why are transfers limited?

In addition to space limitations, PPS limits transfers in order to ensure every neighborhood high school can provide a rigorous, high-quality experience. Money follows students, so fewer students means fewer school offerings (especially electives, including advanced classes and art and music).

Last year, PPS announced it would promote enrollment of between 1,100 and 1,350 full-time students at its seven comprehensive high schools by 2014-15 as part of the High School System Design plan.


How to go to a different PPS school

Every PPS student can apply to attend any PPS school. Incoming kindergartners can register for their neighborhood school while also applying for another school. Enrolled students who do nothing will “feed” to their neighborhood middle (if in a K-5) or high school.

When there are more applicants than a school can handle, PPS distributes spots randomly to applicants. (The school district gives preference to students in certain situations.)

Families that want their child to attend a school that is not in their neighborhood must apply by 5 p.m. Feb. 28 for high schools or by 5 p.m. March 11 for elementary, middle and K-8 schools.

In addition to submitting an application, families who apply for a “focus option” must also attend a meeting. (Focus options are schools and programs, such as the Creative Science School, that draw students from across the district and go deep into particular subjects.)

Applications are available on the PPS website and at the Enrollment & Transfer Office, first floor, Blanchard Education Service Center, 501 N. Dixon St. They must be submitted – online, by mail or in person – by the applicable closing date (Feb. 28 or March 11).

One thought on “PPS High Schools Adopt ‘Exchange Slot’ System

  1. Maureen Mimiaga

    Additionally, any student living within the PPS boundaries can apply to any charter school in the PPS system. Each charter school holds its own lottery if there are more applications than spots for incoming students. You can apply to any or multiple charters in addition to enrolling in the normal PPS lottery. Contact each charter individually to find out how to get an application and what their application deadlines are.

    Charters are federally mandated to conduct a blind lottery for prospective applicants. Charter schools are free, public schools that accept students from all over the district, regardless of geographic location. See link below for a list of PPS-sponsored schools.


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