PPS Proposes Boundary Change for Woodstock School

Next nearby community meeting: Monday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Lane Middle School, 7200 SE 60th Ave.

<em>PPS boundary-change map</em>
A detail from a PPS map, with dark gray
indicating the affected area.

Portland Public Schools (PPS) has proposed boundary changes that would route some children away from Woodstock School. The affected area — from approximately SE Martins south to Duke, and from SE 62nd east to 70th — lies outside the formal definition of the Woodstock neighborhood but contributes to neighborhood character and makeup nonetheless.

Woodstock School is home to a renowned Mandarin-language immersion program and has consistently high test scores among the city’s elementary schools, making it a coveted destination. PPS cites “balancing enrollment” among its reasons for the proposal. Woodstock students move on to Hosford Middle School and Cleveland High. The PPS proposal would route students in the affected area to Woodmere Elementary, Lane Middle, and Franklin High.

“Don’t Chop Woodstock!”

Parents in the affected area are understandably concerned, with many citing how they chose housing in the area based heavily on school boundaries. They have organized the “Don’t Chop Woodstock!” website to rebut the proposal. The website raises several points — including a claim that 35 children currently attending Woodstock would be removed from their cohort to attend Woodmere instead, and that the proposed boundary changes apparently would lead to overcrowding at Lane Middle School.

Parents, please share developments

One detail that seems less than clear so far is the full extent to which children would be uprooted. A PPS “Frequently Asked Questions” document relates that “current policy allows students already attending a school and their younger, incoming siblings to remain at that school following boundary change in most cases,” but also that “policy could be revised and other exceptions could be recommended.” Parents attending the meetings are warmly welcome to share the latest developments by adding comments below.

1 Comment on “PPS Proposes Boundary Change for Woodstock School”

  1. Stephanie

    Thanks for putting this article up Bill! I am a parent in the effected area that will be redirected to Woodmere, Lane MS and Franklin HS.

    The main issue is that the “chopping” of the Woodstock boundary goes against the stated goals of the redistricting plan. I will try to address the biggest ones here.

    1) Goal: Equity – balancing economically under served students with advantaged students.

    The Disconnect: Chopping Woodstock will actually increase the economic imbalance because the “chopped” section is the lowest income part of the Woodstock area. We would lose quite a few free lunch kids and because of this, Woodstock will lose .69 of a full time position.

    2) Goal: Minimum Volume – The volume of students moved should be large enough for the students to have a cohort of kids they know at the new school.

    The Disconnect: The area being sliced off Hosford will not be enough to create a large enough cohort of kids entering Lane MS or Franklin. It is only a few kids per year. I am worried about my son starting at a low performing school knowing almost no one. This could be a disaster for him.

    3) Goal: Ease overcrowding – Balance the population of students so all schools are at a optimal size.

    The Disconnect: Woodstock’s neighborhood (non immersion) classes are at 75% capacity. In other words, we don’t NEED to be downsized! In fact, chopping Woodstock will have the adverse effect of forcing Woodstock to only have 1 neighborhood teacher for Kindergarten–with a single, overcrowded classroom. A few more kids will allow us to split into 2 Kindergarten classes and be closer to the optimal class size!

    Hosford is pretty high at around 94% (don’t remember exact figure). Lane is very high and is close to 100% capacity. Lane is going to grow 1.5% or so and Hosford .6%. Moving students from Hosford to Lane will push Lane MS to 105% capacity. This does not serve to “ease” overcrowding at Lane. I am not sure of the figures for Franklin so if anyone wants to look into that… please do!