June 11th, 2010 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

Majority of PPS Board Turns to Closing Jeff as Neighborhood School (UPDATED with community meeting)

Carole Smith's High-School Redesign

The latest development in the constantly evolving re-design of Portland Public Schools' high schools is that a majority of the school board now wants to close Jefferson as a neighborhood school.

That's sure to make for some serious community pushback from Jefferson's defenders at the board's next work session on June 16 from 5:30 pm to 8 pm, and then before the board's expected vote on the entire high school redesign at its June 21 meeting at 7 pm.

Defenders of Jefferson won't be alone in protesting. If the board holds to the latest course, Jefferson would join Marshall — which has its own group of angry residents urging it remain a neighborhood school — on the list of closed neighborhood schools. Meanwhile, Benson High, the tech school that's fate had been threatened earlier, would remain as is.

UPDATE: The PTA's of the schools in the Jefferson cluster (Beach, Chief Joseph, Faubion, Humboldt, King, Ockley Green, Vernon, Woodlawn, Harriet Tubman and Jefferson) are holding an open house and forum Monday, June 14 at 7 pm in the cafeteria at Jefferson High (5210 N. Kerby) about the high school's fate.

They have asked board members to attend the forum.

“The public input sessions thus far have focused on the overall school redesign program, where parents and students from all of the Portland schools have been given an opportunity to speak," Beryl Morrison, president of the Portland Council of PTA's, said in a news release. "This session will be focused on schools that feed into Jefferson only. The school board has stated that they have the votes to close the school. Before the decision becomes final, we need to have further input into this very critical matter that affects the future of all of our families.”
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