By Hazel Karon Snow, Franklin High School’s The Franklin Post
The Portland Public School district (PPS) is redrawing boundary lines and changing the way immersion programs are laid out all over the SE Portland. In June 2019, the PPS Board of Education began a plan to transform the way PPS schools are divided within neighborhoods. The SE section was steered in these decisions by the Southeast Guiding Coalition (SEGC), which was composed of parents and guardians, principals, students and teachers.
Progress on PPS’s plan started picking up in January 2021, when feeder schools and boundary changes were activated due to the addition of Kellogg Middle School. According to Resolution No. 6315, published by PPS in June 2019, plans were put into place to change Harrison Park K-8, one of two remaining K-8 programs in SE, to a K-5 and middle school system.
Resolution No. 6315 outlines how PPS will change the SE schools boundary lines, immersion programs and school feeder plans. Currently, changes are in phase two of the plan. Phase one was focused on rebuilding Kellogg Middle School and creating boundaries. All of the Resolution No. 6315 phase two changes will become effective in fall 2023.
The outlines for phase two include changing the “attendance area and special program assignments for Harrison Park Middle School,” then there is “a plan to relocate K-5 students and programs currently served at Harrison Park,” and “a plan to increase enrollment at Lane Middle School.” However, according to a press release issued by PPS board member, Julia Brim-Edwards, this phase was supposed to take effect in the 2022-2023 school year rather than the 2023-2024 school year. The changes to Harrison Park K-8 and the immersion programs and boundaries were pushed.
With the developments of Harrison Park Middle School, K-5 students will be relocating, too. It took the SEGC 19 meetings over an 11-month period to make the final decisions. They collected feedback from stakeholders representing the 20 different SE schools involved. However, the SEGC was unable to reach a final decision, causing the PPS Board of Education to vote to adopt the Deputy Superintendent’s plan for the SE community. The same press release outlines changes that families should be on the lookout for during the next few months for the fall 2023 school year.
K-5 students from Harrison Park Middle School will be headed to Clark Elementary School, along with their Chinese immersion program. With the addition of Clark Elementary, the current occupants of that building, Creative Science School K-8, will be headed to the Bridger Elementary School campus. Bridger students who are enrolled in standard English programs will stay at Bridger; this includes neighborhood students.
The Spanish immersion program will remain at Lent Elementary School, which will be converted into a fully Spanish immersion school, with standard English enrollment neighborhood students going to Marysville Elementary School.
The Chinese immersion program currently located at Hosford Middle School will relocate to Harrison Park Middle School. Additionally, the Spanish program formerly at Bridger K-8 will move to Mt. Tabor Middle School.
Atkinson Elementary School students will be headed to Harrison Park Middle Schools for grades six to eight, and the Vestal Elementary School students will be headed to Harrison Park Middle School. Creston Elementary School students will change to Hosford Middle School, with Woodstock Elementary School students going to Lane Middle School.
There will also be boundary changes to the following schools: Creative Science K-8 at Bridger campus, elementary schools Glencoe, Kelly, Lent, Lewis, Marysville, Whitman, Woodmere, Woodstock and Vestal; and middle schools Harrison, Kellogg, Lane and Mt. Tabor.
Vestal Elementary School and Harrison Park Middle School will be headed to McDaniel for high school, while the rest are feeding into Franklin High School. *
Seven schools will not see changes to boundary lines: middle schools Hosford and Sellwood and elementary schools Abernethy, Buckman, Duniway, Grout and Llewellyn. All of the schools without changes are located near the Willamette River and are feeder schools to Cleveland High School.
All these changes brought up questions about transportation. The Deputy Superintendent’s plan states that any student living in a location that would require said student to cross Interstate 205 will be provided bus transportation. There will also be transportation provided for students who are leaving their own neighborhood to attend Harrison Park Middle School’s Chinese immersion program, the Woodstock Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program and the Lent Spanish DLI.
Photo by Portland Public Schools
*CORRECTION: It was incorrectly reported that Vestal Elementary School and Harrison Park Middle School will be headed to McDaniel for high school, while the rest are feeding into Franklin High School. Rather, some students at Harrison Park Middle School will be headed to McDaniel while others will be going to Franklin. Parents and guardians, please be sure to double-check which elementary, middle and high school your child will be headed to this coming fall; you can find information at bit.ly/PDXHSlookup. The Southeast Examiner regrets the error.