Updated: Audit of Jefferson High School's Student Funds Shows "Lack of Internal Controls"


News
The departure of Jefferson High School's principal and business manager came on the same day that Portland Public Schools completed a financial audit of Jefferson's student-body funds. [PDF] PPS put Cynthia Harris, Jefferson's principal since June 2007, and Reis Wilbanks, the school's part-time business manager, on paid leave on Thursday. Also on Thursday, PPS's accounting office completed ...   More
 
Friday, May 21, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Portland Superintendent Proposes Eliminating Physical Education, Art or Music in Primary Grades


News
Portland Public Schools' Superintendent Carole Smith has proposed the wholesale elimination of either physical education programs or a combination of other electives like art, music and foreign language to balance next year's budget for the district's elementary, K-8 and middle schools. And the cuts to the district's $445 million general fund don't end there. As PPS struggles to fill a sudden ...   More
 
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Portland School Board and Superintendent Suspend the High-School Redesign


News
Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith announced tonight that district administrators, with the support of the School Board, would suspend all decisions about the high-school redesign until at least September. That means there will be no votes on any aspect of the redesign, which has been in the works for 30 months, until the start of the next school year. The School Board had been ...   More
 
Monday, June 21, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Special Education Administrator Files Suit Against Portland Public Schools


News
Stacey Sibley, a popular former administrator at Pioneer School, a Portland Public Schools' program for children with severe behavioral conditions, filed suit [PDF] against the school district on Friday. She claims in her suit that she was the victim of defamation and retaliation after she complained about threats to student and staff safety at Pioneer. According to the lawsuit, the problem started ...   More
 
Monday, June 21, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Portland Superintendent Asks PPS Teachers for Wage Freeze


News
Less than four months after ratifying a new teachers contract for 2010-11, Portland Public Schools wants its 3,000-plus teachers and guidance counselors to give up their 2 percent cost-of-living increases to save jobs. The district also wants the union to freeze members' ability to make salary gains based on "steps" and "columns." (Steps are increases based on years of experience. Columns are pay ...   More
 
Friday, June 18, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Key Architect of High-School Redesign to Leave Portland Public Schools


News
Xavier Botana, Portland Public Schools' chief academic officer and one of the architects of the pending high-school redesign, is leaving the school district after just one year. In an email to PPS staff today, Superintendent Carole Smith said Botana's departure was due to an illness in his family. Carla Randall, principal of Madison High School, will replace Botana on Aug. 10, his last day with ...   More
 
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Another Administrator Leaves Jefferson at Crucial Juncture


News
Aurora Lora, the top administrator at Jefferson's Young Women's Academy, announced today [PDF] she is leaving the district June 30 for a job as an executive director of K-12 education with Seattle Public Schools. Her departure after three years at the Young Women's Academy comes at a difficult time in the history of Jefferson High School. Last week, a majority of the Portland School Board said ...   More
 
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

High-School Redesign: Jefferson Supporters Voice Frustration, Disappointment


News
In front of depictions of tombstones that carried the names of short-lived Jefferson High School principals and even shorter-lived Jefferson reforms, Superintendent Carole Smith told a crowded cafeteria full of Jefferson supporters tonight that "people are still listening" and "your voices matter." The decorations for the evening's PTA session -- which also included a classroom skeleton dressed ...   More
 
Monday, June 14, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

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


News
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 ...   More
 
Friday, June 11, 2010 HANK STERN

Facebook Fans Urge PPS to "Save Portland PE!"


News
Pressure is building at Portland Public Schools following Superintendent Carole Smith's announcement last week that the school district might eliminate wholesale programs like physical education or art, music and other electives at elementary, middle and K-8 schools. The superintendent proposed those cuts to help fill the district's $19 million budget hole for next year. And now, a new Facebook ...   More
 
Monday, June 28, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

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