Portland Public Schools has released six scenarios of suggested changes to schools in parts of North and Northeast Portland that have priority enrollment to Jefferson Middle College for Advanced Studies. This enrollment balancing process is tasked with resolving issues due to overcrowding at some schools and underenrollment at others.
King PreK-8, with 290 students in grades K-8 is the second smallest school in the cluster now that Humboldt was merged with Boise-Eliot and Tubman Young Women’s Academy was closed. A major consideration is whether to convert some schools back from K-8 to K-5 and add one or two middle schools. Some schools may be closed or merged, or be converted to split campuses, with different elementary grades in different buildings. While not necessarily intended as final options, the six scenarios were distributed to garner feedback from the public to help craft the final solutions. These, more refined proposals will be mailed to parents over winter break and posted to the PPS Enrollment Balancing page.
The deadline for feedback is this Wednesday, December 12th. The feedback form is available on the PPS site and can be returned to any PPS school or feedback can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After winter break, public comment will be taken in January. Then, the Superintendent will make a recommendation to the school board who must approve the changes. If there is not a delay, the changes will take effect in fall of 2013.
A facebook group was begun to give parents, community members, and some school board members a forum to discuss the proposals and the larger issue of educational quality, programming, leadership, and transfer policy in the Jefferson Cluster. You can join in at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/291158914333031/
Proposed changes to North and Northeast Portland schools were released last week in the form of six scenarios. These are available here: http://www.pps.k12.or.us/files/enrollment-transfer/Jeff_PK8_Cluster_EB_Scenarios.pdf
There are two meetings this week that are important, but something everyone can do (even if you cannot attend the meeting) is to give your input. The best way to give input is by filling out the feedback form at this web link:
Please, share this with community members. They do not have to have children at the schools to have an opinion or valid ideas. Specific points to think about were mentioned at the school board meeting last night:
- how do you feel about the timeline being proposed (final decision by February, implementation Fall 2013)?
- how do you feel about middle schools vs. K-8?
- how do you feel about neighborhood schools (defined as 20 minutes walking or less)?
- would you/do you send your child to your neighborhood school? Why? If not, why not?
- do you believe that re-balancing efforts will solve the capture rate problem that PPS is trying to address?
The last two community input meetings will be held tonight at Beach School, 1710 North Humboldt Street 6-7:30 (in Spanish), or on Wednesday at Faubion School, 3039 Northeast Rosa Parks Way 6-7:30. Many people of the general community, families with young kids who are not yet in school, etc., are not included in this conversation.
From Portland Public Schools:
You are invited to a Community Forum
So far: During October, schools in the Jefferson cluster hosted community meetings to talk about enrollment challenges and opportunities.
Now: PPS is seeking additional input at a community forum on such key issues as how and whether to convert some schools back to K-5 and 6-8 structures.
Why is this important? Schools in your area may be changed, beginning next year, so that all students have access to a full academic program. Changes could include moving boundary lines or special program locations, changing a school’s grade structure, and—only as a last resort—consolidating or closing schools.
Forum Details: School representatives will share information about their programs from 5:30-6 pm. General presentation begins at 6 pm. Refreshments, interpretation services and free child care for children ages 3-12. Child care space is limited. Please call 503-916-3205 to sign-up in advance.
Next Steps: PPS will release several scenarios for change in mid-November and invite feedback into December. Staff will incorporate feedback and present Superintendent Carole Smith with a single plan. The Superintendent will make a proposal to the School Board for a vote this winter with additional opportunities for community input.
Fall 2013: Changes implemented. Current board policy says that in the event of a boundary change, current students and younger siblings can stay at their current school. In the event of a closure, students are assigned to another school.
Stay informed: To read notes from the community meetings and keep up on what’s next, go to www.pps.net, scroll down and click on the “Enrollment Balancing” button on the lower left.
Questions? Call the PPS Enrollment & Transfer Center at 503-916-3205.
As Portland Public Schools begins its meetings at each of the North and Northeast Portland schools under consideration for boundary changes or possible closure, it has released a PPS student population density map of the area. The full document is here:
HSClusters_2012_Jefferson-DA with student density
Here is the template PowerPoint for the school-based meetings:
Enrollment Balancing meeting template
School-based enrollment balancing meetings start today at 8:45 am at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt. Next week has meetings at Woodlawn (6:30 pm, Monday, 10/08), Beach (6 pm, Wednesday, 10/10) and Vernon (6 pm, Thursday, 10/11). Later this month, there will be meetings at Faubion (10/15,10/30) Ockley Green (10/15), Chief Joseph (10/17) and King (10/19, 10/23).
Check the full schedule at: http://www.kingpta.org/2012/09/29/pps-releases-enrollment-balancing-meeting-schedule/
Two meetings this week will delve into the long-term changes planned for the schools in North and Northeast Portland that lie within Portland Public Schools’ Jefferson Middle College dual-enrollment zones. Although Jefferson was converted from a neighborhood comprehensive to a middle college focus program in the high school redesign, PPS administers this area separately from the neighborhood high school areas.
At issue is the wide variance in enrollment between various K-5 and K-8 schools in this area. PPS has already closed Humboldt School and Tubman Young Women’s Learning Academy this spring. PPS seeks to resolve the issue of persistent low enrollment at King School and Ockley Green schools while possibly changing some school configurations from K-8 to K-5 and/or creating a new middle school. King’s enrollment of 285 is far short of the district’s goal of 500. PPS also does not project any growth in the PPS student population in King.
On Wednesday July 25th, from 6-8 pm at the King Neighborhood Facility will be thhe enrollment balancing planning meeting. Director of Enrollment and Transfer at PPS, Judy Brennan, will meet with school community members to discuss the public outreach process and identify stakeholder groups in the reconfiguration process. Light dinner and child care will be provided.
The purpose of the meeting is for District staff to share information about enrollment challenges and opportunities at schools in the Jefferson Cluster, and to receive advice from community members on conducting a respectful and productive community process around these issues/opportunities this fall. The overall goal is to have recommendations for School Board action by winter that will be implemented in September 2013.
More than 20 parents and community members representing numerous schools, partner agencies, and neighborhood representatives have been invited to participate.
On Thursday, July 26th, from 6:30-8pm, the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods’ Schools Committee will meet at the King Facility as well. This meeting will follow up on the discussion of the previous night. Special guests will include Rep. Lew Frederick and his staffer and former school board member, Sue Hagmeier, for a discussion about how to support inner North and Northeast Portland’s neighborhood schools.