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Schools welcome transitioning students

December 13, 2012
The annual school choice lottery is Feb. 1-22 for high schools and Feb. 8-March 15 for younger grades. The school choice period starts with open houses in January and is an important opportunity for families transitioning in Fall 2013 to kindergarten, middle and high school to visit their neighborhood school and learn about options.
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Most PPS families find a good fit close to home at their neighborhood school. Some like to explore focus schools or language immersion programs that go deep in a particular area such as the environment, the arts or a dual language. Some apply for limited transfer slots at other neighborhood schools.

The annual School Choice period, beginning with open houses in January and February, is a great time for transitioning families or those looking to make a change to explore what PPS has to offer.

Here's what you need to know:

Connect to Kindergarten/Open Houses in January, February
For children entering kindergarten in the fall, "Connect to Kindergarten" is the new name for the information sessions held at elementary and K-8 schools to tell incoming families about their program. PPS suggests that you attend your "Connect to Kindergarten" at your neighborhood school and, if you choose to, at other schools that interest you.

Middle schools, K-8s, high schools, alternative and charter schools also hold open houses or information sessions starting in January to give prospective families an overview of their programs.

To find your neighborhood schools, go to: www.pps.net/departments/enrollment-transfer/6478.htm

To learn the dates and times of all the information sessions, please go to PPS Ready, Set, Connect. A brochure with this information will also be available at elementary, K-8 and middle schools as well as library branches in early January.

Other information sources

The School Choice lottery
Families who wish to apply to a focus school or apply for limited transfer slots to another neighborhood school need to enter the School Choice lottery. Lottery dates are:

  • The high school lottery is open Feb. 1 - Feb. 22
  • The elementary/K-8/middle school lottery is open Feb. 8 - March 15

To learn about the lottery, go to the School Choice page: www.pps.net/schoolchoice 

Other important pieces
At the high school level, eighth graders can choose to apply to one of two focus schools:

  • Benson Polytechnic High School provides core academic and college-preparatory as well as career technical coursework. A wide range of industry partnerships provide students rich hands-on experiences in the workplace. Benson also maintains a student-run website and the radio station KBPS. Students apply in the lottery and also fill out a Benson application, both available when the lottery opens at www.pps.net/schoolchoice
  • Jefferson High School - Middle College for Advanced Studies offers a full high school experience and the ability to take as many as two years worth of college courses for fully transferable college credit at Portland Community College-Cascade Campus. In addition, Jefferson has partnerships to provide full tuition scholarships to University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University and Warner Pacific College to complete a bachelor's degree.

    Students who live in the Jefferson attendance area are guaranteed access to Jefferson or to a comprensive neighbrohood high school (Roosevelt, Madison or Grant) determined where the student lives. Jefferson area 8th graders make their choice by signing an intent form with their counselor. Eighth graders outside the Jefferson attendance area can apply to the high school in the lottery.

Other high school options include the Leadership & Entrepreneurship Public Charter High SchoolAlliance High School; and Metropolitan Learning Center, which is a K-12 school. Other alternative schools are listed under PPS Education Options.             

Enrollment balancing
PPS is currently working with the PK-8 schools in the Jefferson attendance area to balance enrollment among the schools. Because the number of students determines the number of teachers and therefore the strength and depth of an academic program in a school, the school district wants to balance enrollment across schools so that all have strong offerings for students.

Decisions on any changes at Beach; Boise-Eliot-Humboldt; Chief Joseph; Faubion; King; Ockley Green; Vernon or Woodlawn are expected this winter. PPS will work with families to insure informed choices for Fall 2013. Learn more about this process on the Enrollment Balancing webpage.


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