As lawsuit looms, PPS votes to divide ACCESS between Lane, Vesta - KPTV - FOX 12

As lawsuit looms, PPS votes to divide ACCESS between Lane, Vestal

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PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Gurrero (left). KPTV photo. PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Gurrero (left). KPTV photo.

Portland Public School officials have voted to divide the ACCESS Academy between two locations. 

ACCESS is a learning program for highly gifted children, but it has never had a permeant home. District officials Wednesday considered where the program might move for the fall and decided to divide the students between Vestal Elementary School and Lane Middle School. 

Students in first through fifth grades will go to Vestal, while those in sixth through eight will attend Lane. 

Previously, PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Gurrero had proposed moving the program to the district’s Holladay-Youngson building in southeast Portland, but the proposal was withdrawn earlier this year.

District officials said it would have meant moving the Pioneer Special School Program.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Gurrero said accommodating students with special needs is a top priority.

“Our intent would be to continue to not just comply, but actually think about how we enhance those supports to students who may not even be formally identified,” Gurrero said. "To make those supports available in a building where there are more students.”

A group associated with ACCESS announced Tuesday that they were suing PPS. The suit alleges discrimination against children with disabilities.

A spokesperson for the district said they can’t comment on pending litigation.

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