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Latest News: 3/9/2018

Community Conversations with Portland Public Schools Board Members

We have begun a series of conversations with community members in different parts of the city, to get an idea of community issues as well as identify key School Board initiatives around equity to help focus CPPS's Selective Support of public education.

The first conversation was the evening of Saturday, Feb. 10 at Lucky Lab on Killingsworth with new School Board members and former CPPS board members Scott Bailey and Rita Moore.  The discussion was frank and vigorous, not mincing words about problems at our schools as central office management gets reworked for stronger programs.  About 15 people came with a variety of questions and issues, though the largest group was from Pioneer school which is being split into two schools - an elementary/middle program and a high school program.  These parents were concerned about the effect on their kids of the split, but more significantly they felt that the district has treated them as second-class citizens. 

Equity issues concerned treatment of students with unusual needs and styles, like these Pioneer students who have problems in behavior in a standard classroom, low-achievers, non-English speakers and special ed as well as kids who are exceptionally talented or advantaged beyond the norm.

The second conversation was at 10 AM Thursday, March 8 at Fleur de Lis bakery and cafe in Hollywood with 2-year School Board member Amy Kohnstamm.  The main community concern there was setting school boundaries, specifically moving some middle school students to Madison HS instead of Grant.  The parents were joined partway through the conversation by nine 7th and 8th graders in a K-8 program who would be affected  by the change. 

The main equity issues raised were making the new middle schools and existing K-8 schools equitable across the city, and improving the transfer process to high school, especially in boundary changes.  A related issue was getting adequate funding in a time of change at the federal level, and continuing lower funding at the state level, and matching funding equitably among schools and student needs.

After review of these initial conversations, future conversations, and presentations to the School Board, will be scheduled for April.

CPPS in 2017-18 continues our focus on three main areas:

  1. District-wide Boundary Review -- still underway for Eastside schools, along with shifts  from K-8 to middle schools in some areas.

  2. Bond series - 2nd bond passed, 1st is still being completed, both needing parent and community input.

  3. Visioning -- The new Superintendent has a strong educational vision, which will need strong input, editing and support from the community to become reality.

About Community & Parents for Public Schools (CPPS)

CPPS is the Portland chapter of Parents for Public Schools, part of a nationwide network of grassroots organizations focused on increasing parent, family and community involvement in public education. Launched in January of 1999, our chapter is part of the only national organization that actively recruits parents to public schools and advocates for parents taking a role in decision-making, school improvement, and accountability. 

Please click here to join CPPS or make a donation today.

Our Mission

CPPS is committed to building a sustainable network of diverse parent, family, and community voices to ensure a high-quality education for all children in Portland Public Schools.

We believe excellent schools require the participation of the whole community – schools simply cannot do it without us. Community members and parents need to step up and take responsibility for owning our schools and ensuring that all of our students have every opportunity to succeed. CPPS works to mobilize parents and community members who reflect our diverse culture, to bring about systemic change in our school district.