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Portland ACCESS Program Moving And Growing

The Portland school district’s program for exceptional students will add more students, as it moves next fall to a new home.

Portland Public Schools is moving the ACCESS program for talented and gifted students into a more spacious building next fall.

An ACCESS program classroom in March, 2013. 

An ACCESS program classroom in March, 2013. 

Rob Manning/OPB

Erin Barnett with Portland Public says its new home at Rose City Park will allow ACCESS to grow from 218 students this year to 250, next.

“So, a difference of 32 kids. Primarily, the expansion is at the third grade – we will be adding a third grade class.”

Third grade is key because parents typically learn in second grade if their child qualifies as talented and gifted, at the level required to attend ACCESS.

Barnett says families that applied should learn soon if their kids got in.

ACCESS supporters worry there still aren’t enough slots. Each year, dozens of students qualify for admission – but can’t get in. The district is working on a long-term growth plan.

Rose City Park can fit 500 students. District officials want ACCESS to share that building with another program in the future.

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