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Options strengthen programs in Jefferson Cluster PK-8 schools

January 14, 2013
Following weeks of feedback on six potential scenarios, Portland Public Schools today released two options to balance enrollment and strengthen programs in Jefferson Cluster PK-8 schools. One option establishes a middle school and transforms some existing PK-8 schools into K-5s; the other maintains the existing focus on PK-8 structure.
The school board received an initial briefing on two options for balancing enrollment in Jefferson PK-8 schools Jan. 14. View the presentation here. View the full discussion and the rest of the board meeting. View the options.

The options – in different ways – address the cluster’s most compelling need: bolstering middle grade enrollment so that all schools can offer the program that prepares students well for high school and college.
Proposed changes at specific schools include:

  • Larger, stronger PK-8 schools – Consolidates Chief Joseph K-5 and Ockley Green and Woodlawn PK-8 schools into one, dual-campus at Chief Joseph and Ockley Green; moves ACCESS Academy from Sabin to King PK-8 School; maintains PK-8 grade structures at Beach, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Faubion, King and Vernon PK-8 schools.
  • Middle school/PK-8 blend  – Establishes a junior middle college (grades 6-8)at Ockley Green; transforms Woodlawn, Beach and Boise-Eliot/Humboldt PK-8 schools into PK-5 schools; consolidates King and Vernon PK-8 schools and does not change Faubion PK-8 School.

School boundary changes, consolidation options and challenges and opportunities associated with each option are included in a letter sent to families today.

“These two options represent different ways of improving educational opportunities for students,” noted Executive Director for School and Operations Support Harriet Adair. Adding, “These are not final decisions. We need feedback on these options so our superintendent can make an informed recommendation to the school board.”

PPS now wants to hear from students, school staff, families and community members, including: what they like or dislike about each option; if they prefer one over the other and why; and what would make the options work for them. Feedback may be given in multiple ways:

  • ESL Parent Feedback Meeting: Jan. 23, 6 p.m. at Ockley Green, 6031 N. Montana Ave.
  • Community Feedback Forum: Jan. 26, 1 p.m. at Jefferson High School – Middle College for Advanced Studies, 5210 N.Kerby Ave.
  • Information meetings at individual schools
  • Feedback forms in school offices
  • An online survey.

After considering feedback on the options Superintendent Carole Smith will make a single recommendation to the Portland School Board. The school board will hold a public hearing and vote on the recommendation at a meeting next month.

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