March 7th, 2009 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Schools

PPS Unveils New High School Models

At a work session of Portland Public Schools' Board of Education this morning, staff and board members reviewed conceptual models for PPS's high-school redesign.

In what looks like an effort to keep the conversation from devolving into a possible school closures debate, the models don't specify how many schools they would incorporate.

Without further ado, here are the new concepts with PPS's descriptions:

Model A -- Large campuses with themes
• Lots of programs and courses on the actual campus
• Average size of campuses increased
• Students assigned to neighborhood school but can transfer when space allows
• High demand programs placed in currently under-enrolled schools

Model B -- Strong schools close to home
• Students attend neighborhood school unless they opt to attend one of several magnets with no attendance boundaries
• Slots to magnet schools are divided by geographic region and magnet enrollment is fixed
• Similar elective courses and programs are offered at every neighborhood school

Model C -- Regional flex

• Students access vast array of programs within their region
• Students can travel to schools within their region to access IB or AP and dual credit as well as all career programs
• Different types of schools offered in every region -- including a small thematic school and an alternative program
• Funding is allocated by student enrollment per cluster

Model D -- No attendance boundaries

• No attendance boundaries/No neighborhood guarantee
• Students enter lottery and choose from multiple schools
• No school has more than a specified percentage of a particular socio-economic subgroup (Side question from WW: How is that legal? [PDF])
• Enrollment is centrally managed -- all campuses are about the same size
• Schools have designated elective program offerings designed around two to three career pathways

Model E -- Magnet model
• All students have access to a comprehensive high school experience and are guaranteed their neighborhood school.
• Most comprehensives house a focused magnet program within their walls
• Small schools launched as stand-alone magnet programs co-located with a community partner

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