March 18th, 2010 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

High-School Redesign: PPS Speeds Up Process at Roosevelt

Roosevelt High

Portland Public Schools is speeding up the high school redesign at one campus.

This morning, the school district issued a letter of intent [PDF] to the Oregon Department of Education that says the district plans to apply for federal school improvement grants for the Roosevelt campus. All three "small schools" at the campus -- ACT, POWER and SEIS -- qualified for up to $2 million in federal "improvement" money next school year because they have a high number of low-income, low-achieving students.

The high school redesign has called for the elimination of "small schools." This new action by the school district opens four new possibilities for the Roosevelt campus in St. Johns. The campus could close entirely. It could re-open as a charter school. The district could implement a "turnaround" plan, which would require firing all of the principals and teachers -- just like the district did at Jeff in 1998. The district could then rehire no more than 50 percent of the fired staff.

The fourth option is the "transformational model" wherein the district fires the campus's three principals and then implements reforms that include changing teacher evaluations, creating new incentives for them and new instructional models.

The district will bring a plan to the School Board on April 22, in advance of the May 7 application deadline. If Portland Public Schools got the money, it would have to implement changes in fall 2010, one year ahead of the high school redesign's schedule. One of the three small schools at Marshall High could have sought this money, but the district wants Marshall to remain on the 2011 redesign timeline.
 
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