Confirmed victory
Petitioning Superintendent of PPS Carole Smith and 3 others

Portland Public Schools: Stop the closure of Beverly Cleary School, Hollyrood Campus

The Beverly Cleary School has strong programs and successful students due to the collaborative efforts of its staff and community. The neighborhood surrounding Beverly Cleary prides itself on being committed to the school success by being active volunteers and supporters of its programs.   

Beverly Cleary K-8 is facing significant overcrowding, and the population in our community continues to grow. As a short-term knee-jerk reaction, Portland Public Schools has suddenly proposed sending our K-2 students to a previously shuttered school over 20 blocks away from our neighborhood school at the start of the 2013-2014 academic year. Though the administration says this move is temporary, they have offered no indication as to what the long-term solution will be.   

A recent BCS community survey showed an overwhelmingly strong preference in leaving the students in place while reconfiguring current building space and seeking other longer-term solutions that will not tear our school community apart.   

What we are seeking is a thoughtful, inclusive and transparent process so that, together, we may solve the overcrowding issue both for the short-term and long-term. A process that fully represents partnership between the community and PPS is the only way to achieve this goal!  

Please sign our petition and let Portland Public Schools know that we do NOT want to close our neighborhood school and break our community apart!  

Six Key Points to Remember:

1) The BCS Community does not want Hollyrood closed.
2) PPS has not adequately involved the community.
3) The impacts on our school and community are large.
4) We have serious safety concerns.
5) We need a long term solution.
6) Other proposals have not been addressed.

Letter to
Superintendent of PPS Carole Smith
Director of Facilities Tony Magliano
Regional Administrator, Grant Cluster Karl Logan
and 1 other
Directror of Family Support and School Choice Judy Brennan
I am a Beverly Cleary School parent, and I am asking you to listen to the voices of our school community regarding the current options to address overcrowding at our school. As you know, PPS staff has informed us they are considering two short-term options, one of which would send grades K-2 to the Rose City Park campus. While I appreciate the complexity of this decision, I want to express my strong opposition to this proposed move because it would divide our school community and cause undue hardship for students, families and educators.

Families and staff at Beverly Cleary School have worked hard to make the current dual campus work for our students. Many popular programs that help our school work as one would be impossible if the K-2 students are forced to move to Rose City Park School. Our K-1 students and teachers would lose the benefit of "Grant helpers," students who come form Grant to volunteer as classroom assistants. This multi-age interaction is enriching to the older and younger students involved, and lets the classroom teacher devote more time to work one-on-one with students. We would lose our Reading Buddies program, where students from the Fernwood Campus walk over to work individually with Hollyrood students on reading skills. Finally, moving younger grades to Rose City Park would prevent them for taking part in school-wide assemblies, like the annual fourth and fifth grade musicals. These are all valuable parts of building and maintaining a school community which would be impossible if some of our students were moved to Rose City Park School.

Moving kids and teachers to Rose City Park would be an enormous hardship for families and staff. Teachers lose time packing, moving, re-organizing, then re-packing and moving again at the end of the proposed time at RCP. Our Hollyrood teachers would lose the ability to easily go to Fernwood to collaborate with staff, talk to administrators, and use the library there. In addition, parents of students with children at both schools would have to struggle with pick-up and drop-offs at campuses located almost 2 miles apart. Transportation costs would go up for families and the District; more time and planning would be required to take children to and from different schools; more traffic will be built up along NE Sandy; neighborhood families will lose the opportunity to walk or bike to school together.

Under the proposed move, Beverly Cleary School would lose time from staff who split their time at our current campuses. Currently the school counselor, our media specialist, the Hollyrood secretary, our Principal and Vice Principals move back and forth between our close campuses. Aides for special needs students and speech therapy also split their time between the Hollyrood and Fernwood campuses. If K-2 students are moved to Rose City Park the travel time for these shared staff would increase dramatically and cut into their time with students significantly.

The number of transitions for young students required by changing campuses would be difficult for many kids to manage successfully. For example, a current K-1 student will face transitioning through three schools in three years, which is unnecessarily disruptive to their social and academic development. Our families know and value the size and close proximity of Hollyrood, and the continuity that its continued existence has given our students.

For all these reasons, I urge you to listen to the needs of the Beverly Cleary community, and allow us to keep our community together. We are highly committed, involved parents, and deserve to be involved in a decision that hugely impacts our families.