Tuesday, January 21, 2014

PPS Overcrowding Mtg Min 1/16/2014

Beverly Cleary Overcrowding Meeting
Tuesday, January 16, 6:45 – 8:15 PM
Fernwood Cafetorium

PPS staff came to BCS to talk to parents about the options on the table for reducing overcrowding at BCS for the 2014-2015 school year.

Issue: Beverly Cleary continues to grow at an unsustainable pace. This year’s increase of 83 students has already filled the spaces that were repurposed into classrooms last year to accommodate more students. A longterm growth management plan will be part of the upcoming districtwide boundary review. However, those changes will not take place until 2015. Additional shortterm strategies are needed for 201415. No feasible facilitybased solutions remain, so other types of enrollment changes must be considered.

Enrollment change goal: Move enough students to free up at least one—and preferably two —
classrooms at Hollyrood; free up at least one—and preferably two or more—classrooms at Fernwood. Reducing the number of students on each campus would also alleviate overcrowding in common areas.

Community’s role in decision: Community input is valuable to help identify the strengths and
weaknesses of several options for change. The final decision will be made by Superintendent Carole Smith and possibly (depending on the scope of change), the PPS School Board. Ideally, a decision will be made in February, since kindergarten registration and the annual school choice lottery happen that month and school staffing occurs soon after.
PPS staff developed the options for shortterm enrollment relief shown below. Several other types of change are not under consideration at this time:
• Adding modulars to the Fernwood campus: Cost prohibitive, would not be complete by
September, would not address overcrowding in common areas.
• Adding classrooms in gym or lockerroom space on the Fernwood campus: cost prohibitive,
would not address overcrowding in common areas.
• Moving grade 8 to Grant High School: Requires City code review, significant instructional
program changes.
• Changes to high school assignments: Shortterm relief for Beverly Cleary will NOT impact
student’s high school assignment.

Criteria for evaluating enrollment relief options
All of the options listed come with challenges and tradeoffs. The following factors should be
considered when evaluating the relative merits and weaknesses of each option:
• Maintain strong, consistent instructional program for all students
• Provide adequate relief for both campuses
• Minimize disruption for students, teachers and families
• Align resources needed for temporary change with longterm directions

Three types of shortterm enrollment relief:
1. Create a third Beverly Cleary campus at Rose City Park School, sharing space with ACCESS.
• Any grades could be considered for the move, but grades K1 are least likely to go to RCP
• 1st grade would likely move in whole or part to Fernwood
• All other grades could move to Rose City Park, alone or in combination. Examples:
  1. Grades 2 & 3 to Rose City Park, Grade 1 to Fernwood
  2. Grades 7 & 8 to Rose City Park, part or all of grade 1 to Fernwood

• Frees up six to eight classrooms across both Beverly Cleary campuses
• If this option is selected, additional specifics will be determined by school leaders, with input
from community members:
  1. Actual grade levels to move
  2. Linkages with ACCESS (staffing for electives and supports, child care, etc)
  3. Start times, transportation, etc

• This type of change does not require School Board approval
• Option benefits: Keeps current community together, provides plenty of relief
• Option challenges: Operating three sites, professional development limitations, logistical
challenges for families with students on multiple campuses, possibility of splitting 1st grade
between Hollyrood and Fernwood.

2. Assign some students to nearby schools based on address (temporary boundary change).
• Makes the Beverly Cleary boundary smaller for 201415. Incoming kindergartners and
students at Hollyrood who live in the boundary change area would move to another school
next year. They would be allowed to remain at the new school through 8th grade, or could
return to Beverly Cleary in the future.
• Two examples:
  1. Students in grades K2 who reside west of 28th Street would attend Irvington instead of Beverly Cleary beginning next fall: Approximately 56 students, frees up 1classrooms at Hollyrood and up to one classroom at Fernwood.
  2. Students in grades K2 who reside east of 47th Street would attend Roseway Heights or Rose City Park beginning next fall: Approximately 78 student, frees up 2 classrooms at Hollyrood and one classroom at Fernwood.

• If this option is selected, a boundary change process would occur, involving potential
receiving schools and community members and resulting in recommendations for actual
areas for reassignment, sibling provisions, etc.
• The School Board would make the final boundary change decision
• Option benefits: Students move to less crowded schools but keep access to excellent
programs, may be the starter of a new neighborhood school for Rose City Park
• Option challenges: Highly disruptive to a small number of families, no assurance that
boundary change will be permanent, provides a minimal amount of relief

3. Cap enrollment, nonneighborhood students transfer back to neighborhood schools
• Kindergarten enrollment would be limited to 81 students next year (27 students x 3
classrooms), overflow students would be assigned through a lottery to nearby schools with
• All new neighborhood students at other grades would be assigned to nearby schools with
• All nonBeverly Cleary neighborhood students, except for those assigned for special
education services, would move to their actual neighborhood schools next year.
• If this type of change is selected, followup work will be done to determine which schools
will serve as overflow sites, when a kindergarten lottery will be run and whether any
preference will be given for siblings
• The School Board would have to approve this type of change
• Likely to free up one kindergarten classroom and possibly one 1st grade classroom. Class
sizes would be reduced at all other grades, but change may not free up any classrooms in
grades 28.
• Option benefits: Burden of change is spread across those who do not attend Beverly Cleary
now or do not live in the Beverly Cleary neighborhood
• Option challenges: Overflow assignments add uncertainty for community and other schools,
moves many students to other schools, but provides only minimal classroom spaces

What you can do next
-       Review the information packets: available tonight, online and at tables tomorrow and Tuesday.
-       Share your questions: tonight, at the info tables or online. A Q & A will start tonight, and will be added to over the course of this process.
-       Share your comments, concerns and ideas: Respond on paper or online:
-       Responses received through 1/22 will be included in summary presentation on 1/23.
-       Help others learn about the options: Share information with other families not in attendance tonight
-       PPS staff will be on hand in the coming school days at both campuses to answer parent questions.
-       Come back next week: We will meet here again next Thursday, January 23, to share the results of the feedback we received to date and provide any additional information available.
-       Stay involved: In the coming weeks, staff will make a recommendation to the Chief Academic Officer and Superintendent regarding the type of change we believe is the most viable. Our recommendation will be influenced by the feedback you give, and by input from school and central department leaders.
-       A summary of tonight’s Q&A will be on the district website.

Recommending a type of enrollment change is the first step. More detailed work will be needed to develop a full proposal. There will be more opportunities for input as the process continues.

The Superintendent and (depending on the scope of change) the School Board will make the final decision.

Like you, we recognize that all of these options mean loss and change for the Beverly Cleary community.

We pledge to work with you to come up with a plan for shortterm enrollment relief that is best for all the children who attend this school.

Beverly Cleary Shortterm Enrollment Relief Options Feedback:
Please provide brief responses to the questions below or respond online:

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