Parents push back against proposal to merge two schools - KPTV - FOX 12

Parents push back against proposal to merge two North Portland schools

Posted: Updated: Feb 4, 2013 10:07 PM

Parents pushed back against a proposal that would merge two schools in north Portland, eventually closing one of the campuses.

Superintendent Carole Smith's plan would merge Chief Joseph Elementary, a K-5 school, and Ockley Green, a K-8 school, into a single neighborhood K-8. It would close the Ockley Green magnet program.

The schools would initially operate as a shared campus, with students attending both schools. Eventually, the Chief Joseph campus would close.

If approved, the district would still have to determine details, such as how long the process would take, the distribution of grades between the two schools and which staff members would work at each school.


Smith presented her proposal to the school board Monday evening in front of an audience packed with Chief Joseph Elementary parents and students.

Some waved Chief Joe pennants. Others held signs imploring the district to keep the campus open.

The proposal is an effort to address uneven enrollment in the schools that feed into Jefferson High School, known as the Jefferson cluster.

District officials have held a series of meetings discussing with parents in the district.

Smith also proposes co-locating the ACCESS program at King PK-8, initiating a review of the school district's enrollment and transfer policy and consideration of a district-wide review of school boundaries and student assignment policies.

The board will hear public testimony Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Jefferson High School auditorium. Members of the public can also address the board on this issue at their Feb. 11 board meeting at 6 p.m.

A vote on the proposal is scheduled for Feb. 25.

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