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/
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.