Thursday, December 12, 2013
PORTLAND -- Despite an influx of new students, feared overcrowding at the city's newest elementary school has not materialized.
In this September 2011 file photo, students enter the Ocean Avenue Elementary School on Tuesday as Dr. Beverly Coursey, the school's principal, greets arriving students. Fears about overcrowding at the school have not materialized in 2012.
John Ewing / Staff Photographer
In June, the district said enrollment projections suggested than an additional 30 to 50 students could move into the Ocean Avenue School district. If that happened, the school would be over-enrolled, and music and art rooms would need to be used as regular classrooms.
Portland Schools chief operating officer Peter Eglinton said there was an influx of new students in the last several weeks, but not enough for the school to use music and art rooms for additional classrooms.
The district will not have solid enrollment numbers until October, according to Shoshana Hoose, the district spokeswoman.
Officials will continue to monitor the situation at the 440-student school, which opened last year, Eglinton said.
The school also serves students from the city's family homeless shelter, making enrollments difficult to nail down.
Meanwhile, the School Board on Tuesday, Sept. 11, will hold a workshop about a potential citywide redistricting, Eglinton said.
The city hasn't adjusted the districts for each school since the 1990s. Redistricting can typically be a contentious and emotional debate with parents who do not want their children to change schools.
But Eglinton said the time is ripe to move forward with the conversation, since the district is drafting plans to renovate some of its older schools and replacing Hall Elementary.
"It allows families to see wherever their child is going to school they'll have a good experience," Eglinton said.