School district releases Jefferson Cluster enrollment options

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Public Schools on Monday released its two proposed options for balancing enrollment in the Jefferson Cluster of Northeast Portland.

Both options, according to the school district, address the cluster biggest need: Bolstering middle grade (6-8) enrollment so that all schools can best prepare students for high school and college.

OPTION 1: Larger, stronger PK-8 schools

  • Consolidates Chief Joseph K-5 and Ockley Green and Woodlawn PK-8 schools into one dual campus at Chief Joseph and Ockley Green.
  • Moves ACCESS Academy from Sabin to King PK-8 school.
  • Maintains PK-8 grade structures at Beach, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Faubion, King and Vernon PK-8 schools.

OPTION 2: Middle school/PK-8 blend

  • Establishes a junior middle college (grades 6-8) at Ockley Green.
  • Transforms Woodlawn, Beach and Boise-Eliot/Humboldt PK-8 schools into PK-5 schools.
  • Consolidates King and Vernon PK-8 schools and does not change Faubion PK-8 school.

“These two options represent different ways of improving educational opportunities for students,” noted Executive Director for School and Operations Support Harriet Adair. “These are not final decisions. We need feedback on these options so our superintendent can make an informed recommendation to the school board.”

Saturday, KATU spoke with a group of parents called the Chief Joseph Bucket Brigade, who were concerned their neighborhood school, Chief Joseph Elementary, would be targeted for closure to balance enrollment.

The school board will discuss the options at a work session Monday night. A feedback form and copies of the options will be available in school offices on Tuesday in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, according to the school district’s website.

A community feedback forum is scheduled for Jan. 26 at Jefferson High School at 1 p.m. The school district also posted an online survey on its website.

Superintendent Carole Smith will make a single recommendation to the school board after considering feedback on the options, the district said. The school board will hold a public hearing and vote on the recommendation next month.