If approved by Superintendent Carole Smith and the Portland School Board, the changes would take effect beginning next September.
The recommendations are:
Comment on recommendations
The proposals are online, and copies will be available at information tables at the six schools during conferences. The tables will be staffed from 8:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, and Tuesday, Nov. 22.
The purpose of the enrollment balancing process is to help ensure that no school is too large or too small. It is a "balance" because too many students creates crowded buildings, and too few result in underfunded schools.
PPS recently held eight meetings to discuss enrollment balancing. Within hours of each meeting, the school district posted summaries and notes, and updated a question-and-answer document.
Among the questions: Are siblings guaranteed enrollment at the same school? (Generally, yes — but the board can modify the sibling rule when making a boundary change.)
Many questions were school specific. At Alameda, some wanted to know if full-time special education classrooms could be affected; Sabin families asked if they could lose their IB program. (No and no)
Enrollment balancing is largely data-driven, but feedback is important, says Enrollment & Transfer Director Judy Brennan. "We all want the same thing: Schools that serve all of our families to the best extent possible."
PPS released the recommendations Nov. 18, and is notifying families through advisories and at parent-teacher conferences, with information about forums where they can provide input:
Families at affected schools should expect a phone call after the Thanksgiving holiday to remind them of the meetings. Also, neighbors who live in areas of proposed boundary changes will get a postcard.
Under school district policy, the proposed options will be evaluated based solely on educational factors, such as student learning and safety, program stability and best use of facilities. Impact on property values and historic neighborhood identification with one school or another are not criteria for assessing the options.
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