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Portland School Board Approves Significant Westside School Boundary Changes

After a long, somewhat contentious, 18-month process, the Portland Public School Board voted on Tuesday night to implement boundary changes for several Westside Portland schools. The wide-ranging changes are designed to relieve overcrowding issues at Chapman, Maplewood, Capitol Hill Elementary Schools and Lincoln High School. One of the main overarching goals is to provide sufficient space for the Odyssey focus-option program, and correct for under-enrollment at Hayhurst Elementary brought on by the relocation of the Odyssey program. Here are the proposed changes:

Bridlemile Elementary

The District created a “split-feed” elementary school that will send students “graduating” from Bridlemile Elementary to two different middle schools and high schools. Most of the students from Bridlemile Elementary will attend Robert Gray Middle School and Wilson High School. Students living west of Scholls Ferry Road and north of Patton Road will attend West Sylvan Middle School and Lincoln High School. Current West Sylvan Middle School students may attend Lincoln High School. Current Bridlemile 5th grade students may attend West Sylvan or Robert Gray in Fall 2016, however all of these students will attend Robert Gray in 2017. These changes will be effective beginning Fall 2017.

Chapman Elementary

Portions of the Chapman Elementary boundary will now be assigned to Ainsworth, Bridlemile and Forest Park Elementary Schools. Those changes impact primarily the Sylvan Highlands area north of Highway 26 and west of the Oregon Zoo. The changes will take effect for the Fall 2016. The Chapman Elementary kindergarten classes will move to a separate campus located in the Ramona Apartment complex located in the Pearl District, 1545 NW 13th Ave., where the District already operates a Head Start pre-school program. The District will build out 4 new kindergarten classrooms. The changes will take effect for the Fall 2016.

Maplewood Elementary

Maplewood Elementary will now feed to Jackson Middle School, and continue to Wilson High School. This shift allows for acceptable enrollment at Robert Gray with the addition of Bridlemile. In an effort to ease overcrowding issues at Maplewood, various boundary adjustments have been approved that will move students out of Maplewood to surrounding schools. Hayhurst Elementary/Odyssey Focus Option The Odyssey Focus Option program will move to the East Sylvan School building (near the Sylvan exit off Hwy. 26) beginning in the Fall 2016. Various boundary adjustments have been approved that will add students to Hayhurst from Bridlemile, Rieke and Maplewood schools.

Capitol Hill Elementary

The District approved a boundary shift for a large area covering parts of the Collinsview and Marshall Park neighborhoods, with these students moving to Stephenson Elementary. The new boundary changes will take effect for the upcoming school year, 2016-17, with the exception of the Bridlemile changes, which will take effect for the 2017-18 school year. While the Board did not say so expressly, I believe these boundary changes will be re-assessed over the next two years as the District prepares to re-build Lincoln High School, re-evaluate the use of the Multnomah Learning Center building in NW Portland, and re-open Smith Elementary School in 2019. If you have any questions about these changes, how they may impact your neighborhood, and how they may impact your buying or selling decisions, I would be happy to talk with you. You can also check the Portland Public Schools website for more information.