A few months ago, I posted about the possible boundary changes that were coming to Portland Public Schools. Over the last months, the District-wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee (DBRAC) has worked to put together a recommendation for Superintendent Carole Smith’s review. She is now in the process of putting together a proposal for the School Board, and if it is accepted, may be implemented as soon as this coming 2016-17 school year.
For a full report of the proposed changes, you can visit the PPS website . The report addresses criteria and implementation guidance for reconfiguring K-8 schools, criteria and implementation guidance for siting middle schools, and West Side boundary changes and program relocation to address overcrowding. The recommendations are quite thorough and it appears the many months of debate on what the best course of action will be have at the very least given Superintendent Smith a lot to consider.
At this point in time, the Superintendent is reaching out to the community to participate in two enrollment balancing meetings in the coming weeks. The first is tonight, 2/25 (late notice, I know, but there will be food and child care provided!) from 6-8 PM at Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Highway. This meeting will be held in Spanish with English interpretation to review the West Side boundary and program changes, including moving the K-5 Spanish immersion program from Ainsworth to East Sylvan. All are encouraged to attend, but the is hope is to hear from Spanish-speaking families that may not have had an opportunity to have their voices heard so far in the process.
The second meeting is Tuesday, 3/1, at Ockley Green, 6031 N. Montana Ave. Part of the DBRAC proposal is to make Ockley Green (which currently houses grades 4-8 of Chief Joseph/Ockley Green K-8) into a standalone middle school. This meeting will be cohosted with the Jefferson Cluster Middle School visioning group. Again, all are encouraged to attend, but the idea is to hear from those in the immediate community this change would impact. Food, childcare, and Spanish language interpretation will be provided.
If you have not had a chance to look at the proposed changes, do yourself a favor and take a look. There is a lot going on, but it’s worth it if you’ve got school-aged children, especially middle school. If there’s a chance you are moving to or within the city, it’s doubly important for you to know about these possible changes; as boundary lines change, your dream home may no longer put you at your kids’ dream school. Educate yourself, and make sure your voice is heard before it’s too late!