Starting in Fall 2023, many Montavilla schools will shift enrollment criteria as part of the SE Enrollment & Program Balancing intuitive. The approved plan adjusts school attendance boundaries, relocates language immersion programs, and redefines grade levels served at each location. Although potentially disruptive, these changes intend to create predictable enrollment within these schools and better serve a changing community demographic. Vestal is the only neighborhood School unaffected by these changes.
On May 24th, the Portland Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the Deputy Superintendent’s recommendations. That proposal resulted from a multi-year planning process by the Southeast Guiding Coalition and community members. Harrison Park will convert to a middle school at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, and its Kindergarten through 5th Grade students will move into the Clark campus on SE 92nd Avenue, which currently houses Creative Science School. The Harrison Park Chinese Immersion program will also relocate to Clark for younger students. Children will feed into Harrison Park Middle School from Vestal and Atkinson attendance areas.
PPS will relocate the Creative Science School from the Clark campus to Bridger at 7910 SE Market Street. Those students will join the neighborhood program at the school, creating an additional curriculum strand and helping stabilize enrollment. The Spanish Immersion program currently at Bridger will relocate to Lent Elementary School at 5105 SE 97th Avenue. Bridger staff created a Powerpoint presentation outlining the expected adjustments to the school and providing greater context to why these changes were necessary.
PPS staff will send parents information about the rebalancing in early June. Over the next year, a detailed migration plan will provide a roadmap to the new school boundaries and school options. PPS will work to accommodate families during the transition. In some cases, allowing families already enrolled to choose when to transition to a new school. Parents and guardians should receive information about options and what these changes mean for their students within the coming months.
This week, Portland Public Schools (PPS) released an Invitation to Bid for Harrison Park’s conversion into a Middle School. Staff submitted building Permit applications for updates to the 70-year-old education facility. Work will change interior and exterior elements of the property as it removes features constructed during its elementary school past.
Outside the school building at 2225 SE 87th Avenue, PPS plans to construct a new freestanding trash enclosure and a covered bike parking shelter. Improvements to the front entrance include new landscaping and possible hardscape changes. Other exterior work will replace sidewalks and driveways around the property.
Inside the soon-to-be Middle School, crews will perform minor demolition while remaking the school’s main entry and office area. The updates to the Cafeteria will better accommodate the older student’s needs during their mealtime. Workers will refresh ceilings, flooring, plumbing, and electrical systems throughout the facility. In a separate permit application, PPS proposes to update the school’s heating and AC ventilation systems. Restrooms will become more ADA compliant, and some bathroom facilities will convert to single-user gender-neutral spaces. Crews will create a dance studio by installing a wood floor, sound system, mirrors and replacing the partition system with a permanent wall.
This renovation work accommodates phase 2 of the current Enrollment & Program Balancing efforts within PPS’s southeast schools. In the current plans, Harrison Park will convert from a K-8 school to a middle school, and its Kindergarten through 5th Grade students will move into the Clark campus on SE 92nd Avenue, which currently houses Creative Science School.
Contractors will perform these building upgrades without closing the school for additional days, making for a tight summer construction timeline. School staff prepared a comprehensive list of planned updates occurring during the multi-phase renovation project. Look for exterior work to begin when City staff approve permits and increased activity at the site during the summer months.
Construction on updated curb ramps along SE 92nd Ave is nearing completion. The project replaced existing ramps in three areas near the Creative Science School. These ramps provide crosswalk access for SE Main Street and SE 92nd Ave.
Although the intersection had existing ramps, they did not have modern accessibility features. The old corners used a center ramp design that sloped into traffic. Moving the ramps to the side and adding one for each crossing makes the ramps slope in the direction of travel. The older design required users to transition to the street level and then turn 45-degrees before crossing the street. On the west side of 92nd Ave, the sidewalk now slops down in the direction of travel along the sidewalk. This ramp design makes a level waiting area for the transition between the crosswalk and sidewalk. On the ramp edges, new yellow truncated domes complete the ADA upgrades.
Although the updates look minor to many, some users of this intersection will appreciate the safety these changes provide.
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