PPS super Smith lays out Jeff cluster re-alignment plan

PPS super Smith lays out Jeff cluster re-alignment plan »Play Video
There were only a few empty seats at the meeting Monday evening.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Schools Superintendent Carole Smith laid out her plan for realignment in the Jefferson Cluster at a meeting Monday night.

She said her goal for the district is to "re-balance enrollment." The plan could lead to the closure of a school in the Jefferson cluster.

"My recommendation to you is to do a single K-8 [Kindergarten through 8th grade]... that combines the Chief Joseph and Ockley Green communities," Smith said. "I am leaving that as the recommendation that I'm putting in front of you right now with discussion still in front of us that engage those two communities in the specifics."

The merger between the schools would likely take place in 2014. Ockley-Green, a magnet school, could be shut down in the process.

However, on the Portland Public Schools website, a note under the heading "Superintendent's recommendation" reads "Superintendent Carole Smith is recommending no neighborhood school closures at this time, merging Chief Joseph and Ockley Green, co-locating ACCESS Academy and King School and reviewing the school transfer policy district-wide."

At the meeting Monday night, Smith said the combined school may be renamed and have "new leadership."

Many people making up the large crowd in attendance held signs opposing closures.