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District approves contracts with 13 alternative programs

April 04, 2011

Portland Public Schools has approved contract renewals for 13 community-based alternative school programs to provide services to more than 1,200 students.

PPS based the decisions on an extensive “request for proposal” (RFP) process designed to ensure schools are meeting high standards in fulfilling students’ academic, social and emotional needs.

Community-based providers participate in the RFP process every five years. This year, PPS indicated shifts in expectations for alternative schools, including a sharpened focus on curriculum and instruction so that students catch up and excel as well as forge a clear path to postsecondary and career success.

After reviewing all proposals, PPS will continue contracts with the following providers:

  • DePaul Treatment Centers Inc.
  • Mt. Scott Learning Centers
  • Native American Youth & Family Center
  • New Avenues for Youth
  • Open Meadow
  • Outside In
  • Pathfinders of Oregon Inc.
  • Portland Community College
  • Portland OIC/Rosemary Anderson High School
  • Portland YouthBuilders
  • SE Works Inc.
  • Youth Employment Institute
  • Youth Progress Association

Students attending a school not chosen for renewal are expected to continue at their schools through the end of this school year.  However, PPS placement specialists will immediately begin meeting with these students to determine which school they will attend in the fall and to determine and provide supports needed to keep the students engaged for the remainder of this school year.

Students will have the option of attending a different PPS alternative school or, if appropriate, a traditional PPS school. The overall number of slots for alternative education is not decreasing at this time.

Students also can continue with their current alternative school if it has other funding to continue providing services.

“We have had long-standing relationships with many of these organizations, and they have served with deep dedication to our students,” said Sue Ann Higgens, director of Education Options for Portland Public Schools. “However, all across our school district, we are asking for a higher level of rigor and accountability for the success of all of our students. These decisions reflect that commitment to our kids.”

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