June 5th, 2008 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

Hurray for Ramona and Ribsy! Northeast Portland School to be named for Beverly Cleary


As a parent of a student at Hollyrood-Fernwood K-8 School, I just got an email with the latest on the re-naming of the school. While the results aren't of this magnitude, I do know from sources (my daughter and her friends) that feelings ran just as high among students about the new name.

And the new name unsurprisingly appears that it will honor author Beverly Cleary, whose kids' stories were set in the school's Northeast Portland neighborhood (the nearby Hollywood branch of the Multnomah County library as well as Grant Park both also have monuments to Cleary.)

Portland Public Schools' School Board on June 9 is expected to approve the recommendation by a board committee and Superintendent Carole Smith to name the school after Cleary with one of the school buildings designated the Hollyrood Campus and the other designated the Fernwood Campus.

Here's the text of the superintendent's memorandum to the committee:


Date: May 28, 2008

To: Student Support & Community Relations Board Committee

From: Carole Smith

Re: Renaming Resolution for Hollyrood-Fernwood K-8 School

Hollyrood Elementary and Fernwood Middle School merged beginning in the 2007-2008 school year to create a single school serving kindergarten through eighth grade. School board policy requires a name to be chosen for the newly created school that is currently named Hollyrood-Fernwood K-8 School.

In accordance with Administrative Directive 2.20.011, a naming committee formed to solicit feedback and provide me with recommended choices and supporting information including their level of interest, and significance to the community.

The committee worked diligently to conduct an open and inclusive process resulting in four recommended names. The committee did not identify a clear favorite as each choice had its pros and cons but Beverly Cleary received the highest number of votes in the community survey. The Cleary name has special significance, as she is an alumnus of Femwood and based many of her well-known children's stories on her experiences in the Fernwood neighborhood.

Based on this input I recommend Beverly Cleary School as the name for the merged K-8 school. Because the school currently utilizes two sites, I recommend that the buildings be referred to as Fernwood and Hollyrood campuses of Beverly Cleary School.
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