TODAY: Oct. 29, 2015 -Scenarios posted today from 5:45 pm to 8:45 pm from the District-wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee (D-BRAC) meeting; draft agenda is here. If you can’t attend the meeting, you can watch it streamed live here.
The recent population migration into Portland has prompted the city and school board to evaluate the enrollment boundaries for local schools. Future growth over the next 10 years is projected to bring another 5000 students from grades K-12.
Who is affected by this change?
Potentially, any student in the Portland Public Schools system could be affected.
Any boundary or current protocol that is in place is potentially up for review. Parents are concerned that their child may have to transfer to a different school, transfer from a higher performing school to a lower performing school, or be split up from siblings who are in different grades. Those looking to sell or purchase a home soon are diligently monitoring the situation to see where the new lines will be drawn.
Public testimony has already been gathered in the form of community forums. A survey was also sent out to over 4000 residents; their opinions are helping to create a value-based strategy moving forward.
When is the next opportunity for Public Testimony?
The tentative schedule from the District-wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee (DBRAC) is as follows:
Oct. 15: A Facebook Town Hall meeting will be held on this date from noon to 12:30 p.m. on the Portland Public Schools’ Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pps.homepage
Oct. 29: A draft of the boundary change proposal will be made public. Opportunity for public discussion will follow soon after.
Oct./Nov.: Multiple opportunities for discussion will be available at community meetings and Twitter and Facebook Town Halls. Further dates will be made available soon.
Portland Public Schools’ modus operandi for the enrollment balancing process is “to provide the best possible education at all schools for all students…to have strong schools in every neighborhood, which serves the health and vitality of the city as a whole.”
In years past, the school system experienced declining numbers. With a lack of funding, many schools were forced to condense to a K-8 system vs. having separate elementary and middle schools. The DBRAC will be reviewing whether it is possible to make the move back to the old system, which could potentially balance out enrollment between now overcrowded and under-enrolled schools. Many believe this would better distribute funds and resources across the district.
The bright spot for Portland Public Schools through all of this is the fact that the city is growing and so is the economy. This means that, with careful planning and distribution, the increase in revenue could help to rebuild programs and improve lower performing schools.
Superintendent Carole Smith is requesting that the DBRAC evaluate the current boundaries and make recommendations. The DBRAC is a group of 26 Portland Public Schools teachers, principals, administrators, community members, technical experts, Portland School Board Directors, and students.
Their proposals will be offered on Oct. 29, and then reviewed by the public. Final authority on the boundary changes will rest with the school board. Once a plan is approved by the school board, those changes could go into effect as early as Fall 2016, or they may be phased in over time.
For more information on the current PPS policy governing boundary review changes: www.pps.k12.or.us/files/board/4_10_049_AD.pdf
Parent-Teacher Conferences: Oct. 21-23, 2015
Home Sweet Home Realty is closely following the progress of PPS and the boundary assessments. Our team can assist you in selecting a home and neighborhood that is best for your family. Please feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (503) 515-2986.
Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.