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Chief Joseph Elementary Would Close Under New PPS Enrollment Plan

A recommendation from the Portland Public Schools superintendent released late Friday would close a school not targeted in previous staff proposals.

In the past, administrators at Oregon’s largest school district have closed schools with small enrollments, because they’ve been too expensive to run.

But Superintendent Carole Smith’s new plan for North Portland is to close overcrowded Chief Joseph Elementary in the years to come. The plan shifts students to the larger Ockley Green building.

“It’s not at the present time closing Chief Joseph,” said PPS spokesman Robb Cowie. “Over time it would be moving that neighborhood program to a larger building, recognizing that right now in its current form, Chief Joseph is already overenrolled and facing crowding issues.”

Staff proposals discussed at recent public meetings had focused on closing either Woodlawn or Vernon schools. The superintendent leaves those alone – though she suggests starting a broader discussion of boundaries and transfer polices.

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