New curb ramps and pedestrian crossing improvements are planned near Harrison Park School. Funding from the Safe Routes to School project will bring a marked crosswalk and new ADA ramps to SE 87th Ave and Lincoln Street. Multiple curb ramps are coming to the sidewalk bordering the school, providing accessible access onto the school grounds. Initially planned for 2020, this project will begin soon, with traffic control devices already onsite.
Portland Public Schools (PPS) has one year to redraw school boundaries across Southeast Portland. With a new middle school opening and the depreciation of k-8 schools in the district, the countdown to student reorganization is underway. This month, PPS released the first draft proposal for grade configuration changes, boundary adjustments, and program movement.
Under the proposed plans, Harrison Park will convert from teaching K-8 to only accommodating grades 6-8. Students entering grades 6-8 will remain at the school. Harrison Park’s attendance zone will expand into Bridger and Vestal areas, accepting students moving up from those schools. K-5 students at Harrison Park will transfer to Bridger and Vestal. Grade 6-8 students from Bridger and Vestal will move to Harrison Park.
Additionally, Bridger students living north of Woodward Street will now feed into Madison High School if the plan remains as proposed. Many other dual-language based classes will also move around to other schools. However, all these changes are still in the planning phase. The proposal is currently up for discussion and changes.
The Southeast Guiding Coalition Meetings are still underway and will not complete phase one until December 17th of this year. PPS has set up a Google form to solicit comments regarding the proposed changes. That is just one way to provide feedback about their plan to balance student enrollment and programs across the district. PPS has made efforts to be transparent about the process, providing resource materials and videos of the meetings. On October 29th at 6 PM, the Coalition will hold an Open House to interact with the public regarding this process.
Changes regarding school assignments are always complicated and could be challenging as students get back to the classroom from distance learning. These changes are necessary to make way for work that is already in progress and adapt to modifications to k-8 schools. Hopefully, community involvement will lead to positive results as this process continues.
Discloser: The author has a child attending a Portland Public School
Harrison Park School is coming to the end of an usual school year. School construction projects often wait for the summer months and in that way, this year is no different. The building, located at 2225 SE 87th Ave, has a few projects planned for it this season.
Application 20-148819 outlines the work needed at the school. Most of the work centers around a reroof of the entire building. To support safe work, they will need to install new ladders and fall protection devices. On the roof there will be new guardrails and access hatches added to the rooftop. General ceiling electrical work will be performed during that time as well.
Inside the school building, some bathrooms will be remodeled. They also will install new stairway guardrails for the mezzanine.
Although the repairs are not overly exciting, they are a welcomed part of keeping our schools productive. Whenever the Kindergarten through eighth grade students return, they should have a better school to comeback to.