Pressure pays off, Chief Joseph school to remain open

Pressure pays off, Chief Joseph school to remain open »Play Video
KATU photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Public School board took the advice of parents and chose not to close a North Portland school.
    
The school board approved the merger of Ockley Green and Chief Joseph schools into one neighborhood school, but that school will operate in two buildings.
    
Originally, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith proposed closing Chief Joseph and combining it with Ockley Green to balance enrollment.

But parents questioned what it would mean to the neighborhood surrounding Chief Joseph, and why the district had previously released two options for school closures, neither of which included Chief Joseph.

The outcry appears to have had some effect.

At a recent school board meeting, three board members opposed closing Chief Joseph, leading Smith to amend her recommendation.

"Parents are not going to back down," Becca Russell, the parent of a first grader at Chief Joseph said back when the school's future was in doubt. "We are going to fight for our school. Whatever it takes, we are going to fight to keep our school open because we love it that much."