Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Image of Lincoln logoLincoln High School

Home of the Cardinals

1600 SW Salmon St | Portland, OR 97205
Phone: (503) 916-5200 | Fax: (503) 916-2700

LHS Long Term Development Committee

Long Term Development Committee



The Long Term Development Committee is charged with finding a long-term solution to the facilities issue at Lincoln. The Portland Public School District authorized the formation of the Lincoln High School Long Term Development Committee (LTDC) in November 2006. The committee has consisted of experts from the Lincoln community in such fields as architecture, construction, education, law, project management, public transportation, urban planning, public relations, non-profit work and educational facilities management.


Summary of the Lincoln Community Meeting- Re-Imagining Lincoln for Learning
On January 12th, approximately 200 people attended this meeting and discussion, including Carole Smith, Superintendent of PPS, Bobbie Regan, PPS Board member, Peyton Chapman, Lincoln H.S. principal, state legislators, local leaders, officials, teachers (5 LHS and 1 from another school), and students.

Peyton welcomed the participants to a discussion outlining some of the challenges for teaching and learning presented by the building constraints at Lincoln High School, and some of the opportunities that the school has already created for partnerships that enhance education.

Kate Willis summarized the history and work of the Lincoln Long Term Development Committee. In 2008, with extensive outreach to the Lincoln Community, the LTDC developed an ambitious vision for a dynamic urban high school, designed for 21st Century learning. This vision leverages community assets with partnerships that enhance learning, and develops Lincoln High School to become a center of the community supporting a 24-7, vibrant neighborhood. Between the completion of the report and now, an entire generation of high school students and their parents has passed through Lincoln. Now with the School Board considering the timing and content of a new Bond Measure, the LTDC wanted to assemble the Lincoln community, including all the feeder schools to review the vision created in 2008, and see if it still has validity. Kate emphasized that the issues and opportunities Lincoln faces are not unique. This is a district-wide challenge and opportunity and we believe that the 21st Century model, as translated to Lincoln, can help to serve as a model for the District and beyond.

Kate introduced Will Dann and Dick Spies to present the concepts of a 21st Century School, regional and national precedents, and the proposals developed in the 2008 report. Will began by describing how teaching and learning have changed over the past 150 years and how the buildings have supported or constrained success. Will described a 20th Century classroom where education was teacher focused, relying on lectures with students as passive receptors of knowledge. Research has shown retention in this model is about 5% but increases with the degree of student engagement, achieving 50-75% retention with active, collaborative learning. Learning through collaboration, with the teacher as a guide, has become much more common in the elementary grades and in higher education. This is also the model for much of what happens at Lincoln today, but it is severely limited by the space constraints. Classrooms need more space for students, movable lightweight furniture, additional breakout space within and adjacent to the classroom, and ubiquitous technology. Rapidly changing technology is also changing how student learn, supporting collaboration and peer to peer learning, and allowing the teacher to focus on thinking and reasoning skills, rather than delivery of content which can now be easily accessed electronically. Will reviewed a number of new classroom designs that support this kind of education.

Dick Spies summarized the development options in the 2008 report, which ranged from renovation and addition to the existing building, to a robust development of the site with a 21st Century school and compatible partnerships. He presented examples that illustrated different aspects of 21st Century schools, many with outside partnerships related to technical industries, performing arts, business and other community assets. He concluded by highlighting several local examples of partnerships including the successful Rosa Parks School in North Portland, which is a partnership with Portland Public Schools, the Parks Department and the Boys and Girls Club.

The presentation concluded by emphasizing that the issues facing the Lincoln Cluster are common for the entire District. They are a community issue, an economic issue, a safety issue and most importantly a student issue. The question is do we want schools that are just warm, safe, and dry, or do we need to leverage this opportunity to create 21st Century schools that go beyond safety to create new models of teaching and learning and community partnerships?

Dick Withycombe then facilitated a discussion with the community with a wide-ranging dialogue on the hopes and concerns regarding the building of a new Lincoln high school. There was general agreement that we needed a new high school. The current facilities are inadequate and we are “proud of LHS, but embarrassed by facilities.” We are not alone; indeed Oregon ranks in the lowest quartile for the condition of school facilities amongst all the states. There was excitement at what is possible – a new school with classrooms designed for collaborative and group learning, technology that enhances and accelerates learning, in other words a 21st Century high school. A Lincoln teacher encouraged us to “Get the students the tables/chairs/technology and let’s get going. The collaborative approach works.” On the other hand, students cautioned, “We don’t have to go to school in a palace” and not losing the Lincoln “grit.”

There was also frustration and apprehension. Several commented that they were here four years ago and heard the same presentation but nothing has happened since then. Others expressed frustration with PPS, our city (“sidewalks vs. schools”), and our state. Do we have our priorities right and where is the accountability? There was also concern about what’s next: “nervous about another bond measure,” “will Lincoln be a priority in the next bond measure, “parents of PPS kids represent only 20% of the voters; we need to get the other 80% excited.”
There was also a robust discussion about partnerships. So what do partnerships mean in the context of a new Lincoln High School? Traditionally school districts built new schools by passing a bond and using the proceeds for capital projects; the district is the sole owner and user of these facilities. Partnership means the school district builds and uses a school facility along with others. The last school built by PPS, Rosa Parks Elementary School, was built with partners – the Boys and Girls Club and Portland Parks and Rec. Many at the meeting supported partnerships, not just to fund a new high school but also to engage the 80% who don’t have children in PPS. There were concerns with partnerships as well – “partnership has to be a ‘natural fit,’ more synergies beyond funding.”

So what’s next?

The Lincoln Long-Term Development Committee supports pursuing a dual-track strategy to address the need for updated facilities. We believe that Lincoln has a unique location and community and offers options to partner with private and public entities, to achieve our goal of a 21st Century high school that can best educate our students. We will work with the mayor and city (http://www.portlandonline.com/mayor/) other educational organizations, and private companies to find those synergies. However, we believe this goal can only be achieved if PPS and indeed the whole city are successful. To this end, we support an idea that was raised during the meeting: “Every PPS kindergartener today will be in a new 21st Century high school in 8 years.” We believe this is the kind of bold visionary endeavor that can excite and energize the whole city. Partnerships can be explored at each school to find that “natural fit” (some ideas are already circulating for Roosevelt and Benson). We will work with PPS, city officials, civic, parent, and community organizations across the city to promote these ideas.

If these ideas excite you, here’s how you can help:

  • Spread the word amongst your community and school. We are more effective as a community when we are informed, unified and connected.
  • Look for the next meeting at Lincoln to discuss the progress of the committee.
  • Contact the LTDC if you would like to get more involved with the work of the committee. Our email is lincolnltdc@gmail.com.

Thank you to all who attended. We welcome additional feedback. Please contact us through our website (http://www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/lincoln/397.htm).

- LIncoln Long-Term Development Committee


Almost two years in the making, here is the LTDC's report on the future of Lincoln High School and public education in Portland. The report contains a vision for 21st century schools, innovative funding solutions, and numerous architectural renderings of what LHS could look like in the future. Become a part of the community conversation and read the report.

Download the report


For two years, the Lincoln Long-Term Development Committee (LTDC) has been working hard to represent the community in all of PPS’ discussions about the future of the high school system. With the number of decisions being made in the year ahead, we need your help! The LTDC is looking for 3-4 new board members. Below are the qualifications we’re looking for in prospective new members:

Qualifications -

  • Demonstrated expertise in strategic planning, urban planning, government relations, finance, public/private partnerships, or collaborative civic engagement
  • Ability and willingness to attend monthly LTDC meetings, prepare documentation as may be required, and liaise with city, PPS, community, or other public/private partners
  • Ability and willingness to liaise with LHS community, including with current parents, student, alums, and prospective parents
  • Ability to spot issues and opportunities, research, and collaborate with LTDC members on position papers, communications, and media issues, etc.
  • Ability and willingness to network and collaboratively influence adoption of LHS vision in context of PPS, City, and other concurrent events or interests
  • Ability and willingness to be on-boarded to LTDC, including reviewing a wide range of information related to the LTDC mission, work product, and engagement model
  • Current or prospective connection with Lincoln High School, the LHS/Goose Hollow community, or a clear interest and demonstrated in the stated LTDC mission and LHS vision

To apply, please contact a member of the LTDC or send an email to lincolnltdc@gmail.com .


View committee members


We value your feedback. Please contact us at our email address: lincolnltdc@gmail.com .