Hundreds of parents gather over Beaverton school boundary change - KPTV - FOX 12

Hundreds of parents gather over Beaverton school boundary changes

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A mother holding a sign at Tuesday's boundary meeting. A mother holding a sign at Tuesday's boundary meeting.
The current proposed boundary changes. The current proposed boundary changes.

Hundreds of people gathered at Southridge High School Tuesday night to voice their thoughts and concerns over proposed high school boundary changes in the Beaverton school district.

It’s the latest meeting in a long process that began in the fall.

Boundaries for all five high schools are being changed to some degree, to make way for a sixth high school already under construction at SW 175th and Scholls Ferry Road. South Cooper Mountain High School is expected to open in the fall of 2017.

Under the current proposal, significant changes could come to neighborhoods currently in the Westview High School boundary that would be moved miles away to Aloha High School.

“I was shocked that toward the end of a lengthy, thoughtful process, the public hearing map has us suddenly placed at the top of a narrow boundary for Aloha High School – the third farthest school from our own neighborhood,” parent Elizabeth Merino told the committee.

“Looking at this tortured map, I see a disconnect and I’m very concerned about that,” said parent Robert Jones, voicing concerns about transportation and safety.

The latest proposal also moves roughly half of Sunset High School’s current geographic area to Beaverton High School, Beaverton to Southridge, and Southridge to South Cooper Mountain. A significant section currently under Aloha High School boundaries would also move to South Cooper Mountain.

“In my school, I want to get involved,” said one 8th grade student at Tuesday’s meeting. “Having to transfer and going to three schools over three years makes this very difficult.”

The boundary committee has already received thousands of public comments since its work began in the fall, over a range of concerns from enrollment and diversity to transportation and keeping communities together.

“The pain is – it’s heart wrenching to watch little pockets of the neighborhood [be moved to new schools], said parent Susan Finch. “Across the street, I have Christmas dinner with you, but sorry, you’re going over there and I’m going over here.”

Discussions are also underway about keeping juniors and seniors enrolled in their current schools to finish their high school careers, along with other measures to smooth the transition.

“We’re going to be better than okay, we’re going to be great, and I know that's difficult to hear right now, especially when these discussions create upcoming and current turbulence,” Superintendent Jeff Rose told the crowd Tuesday. "I believe in every one of our high schools."

The boundary committee is expected to forward its recommendation to Superintendent Rose by mid-March. His decision is expected to be presented before the board sometime around late April. Whatever is decided won’t go into effect until the fall of 2017.

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