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.
Enrollment balancing 2012-2014: What it means for your school
Each year a new group of children starts kindergarten at Portland Public Schools, and each year a senior class graduates. Families also move around. In addition, PPS enrollment is growing. These shifts result in schools with too many or too few students. Enrollment data from October show that many PPS elementary, middle and K-8 schools are smaller or larger than enrollment targets. PPS plans to balance enrollment over several years— possibly by shifting school boundaries, adding space or changing grade configurations. The Portland School Board must approve any changes.
Schools that may be affected
First up for consideration will be schools where enrollment discussions began last year: ACCESS Academy, Alameda Elementary School, Beaumont Middle School and Sabin, Rigler and Vernon K-8 schools. Changes at these schools may impact surrounding schools: Irvington, Roseway Heights and Scott K-8 schools. In 2012, enrollment balancing will expand to other schools with high growth or low enrollment, with changes taking effect in 2013.
Factors that influence enrollment balancing
Schools are different sizes — School buildings vary greatly, from eight classrooms to nearly 100.
School funding follows students — The state of Oregon regulates school funding, which is largely provided on a per-student basis. That means that the number of teachers is closely tied to the number of students.
School size targets: A guideline, not a rule — The district is working to develop target enrollment ranges for schools that will help ensure an adequate number of teachers. However, limitations of building size and geography mean that these targets can only be part of the answer.
Community input — Numbers don’t tell the whole story. Schools are important community centers, and Portlanders have strong feelings about their neighborhoods.
Details and latest information: pps.net (click “Enrollment Balancing” at bottom left)
Comments or questions: email@example.com
PPS invites questions and input at the following meetings.
For the latest meeting schedule, go to pps.net (click “Enrollment Balancing” at bottom left) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 27, 6-7:30 p.m. Sabin PK-8 School auditorium, 4013 N.E. 18th Ave.
Nov. 2, 6-8 p.m. Rigler K-8 School auditorium, 5401 N.E. Prescott St.
Nov. 3, 6:30-8 p.m. Alameda Elementary School cafeteria, 2732 N.E. Fremont St.
Nov. 7, tentative date, time to be determined Irvington K-8 School, 1320 N.E. Brazee St.
Nov. 8, time to be determined Beaumont Middle School, 4043 N.E. Fremont St.
Vernon PK-8 School, time and date to be determined
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.
From Portland Public Schools:
Portland Public Schools today launches the PPS Parent Academy, free workshops covering a host of topics in locations across Portland. Presenters cover everything from high school readiness to adolescent brain development to healthy cooking on a budget.
The Parent Academy is a collaboration of Portland Public Schools and community partners. Workshops are diverse but share a common purpose: promoting student achievement.
The academy leverages community resources. The Portland Police Bureau, for example, is helping with a workshop on redirecting kids to make positive decisions. PPS chooses topics based on current parent needs.
Families will receive a schedule of workshop dates and times in the mail. All events are free, and many include dinner and child care. Most are scheduled in the evening.
Pre-registration is encouraged for PPS-sponsored events. Call 503-916-3080 or print and complete this form and fax or mail it to the address listed.
From Portland Public Schools:
Northeast Portland families and neighbors are invited to a meeting Thursday, Jan. 13, to weigh in on two possible options — including potential boundary changes or grade reconfigurations — to address both low enrollment and overcrowding in several Grant neighborhood schools. The two-hour meeting will start at 6 p.m. at Beaumont Middle School, 4043 N.E. Fremont St.
The school district is focusing on:
•Low enrollment in grades 6-8 at Sabin PK-8 School (where the ACCESS Program also is located)
•Low neighborhood enrollment at Beaumont Middle School
•Overcrowding at Alameda Elementary School
A boundary advisory committee — including two parents from each of the schools (chosen by school principals and/or site councils), neighborhood association members and district personnel — has met three times since early December to consider solutions.
After reviewing a number of possibilities, the committee is forwarding two options for community consideration and feedback at the Jan. 13 meeting.