On Tuesday July 18th, 2003 at 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Superintendent Jim Scherzinger will be holding a public "outreach and comment" forum concerning Vocational Village High School. It is well known by now that the school district here in Portland will stop at nothing to line the pockets of administrational staff employees at the expense of our children. This meeting will discussing weather or not to sell off Vocational Village High school by declaring it "surplus property" and in doing so the school district would be able "except bids" on the property, selling it off to the highest bidder (which they already have lined up to most likely replace the current site of the school with condos).
For years the staff, parents, and students at Vocational Village have been fighting to save their school and have won thus far. Many attempts by the school district here in Portland have been taken to try and undermine the school. Everything from school supplies for students in class, quality in food, school safety, and even serving an eviction notice to the staff and students at Vocational Village High School. All attempts by the school district have failed to close the school as of yet.
What makes Vocational Village Unique is that it is the only alternative high school in the Portland Metro Area. A safety net have you for students who have all either dropped out of the "factory model" high schools that have been failing district wide in meeting students needs, that have pretty much given up on them. With small class sizes, shorter terms (but same length of a school year) so teachers, students, and parents alike can see progress being made faster then your "average" high school. Work has to be of a 3.0 average or better to pass and earn credit (which is broken down into quarters and half's to give students more options while learning more at the same time).
The school pretty much pays for itself and then some being the only high school here in Portland that actually makes the district money as an alternative school receiving or any school. Federal funding for Vocational Village is $800,000 a year for being alternative. Over $460,000 (which varies based on how many students are at the school but averages out to about that figure) each year in total students, and about $100,000 to $200,000 in total grants for alternative education here in Oregon. This school which costs $1.4 million each year to run shows that this it is a sustainable school already running and effective in providing youth a means of true quality education while basically paying for itself.
This is a true cause worth fighting for, but without you there is no us. There is no future for change, there is no future for our children (except that job at McDonalds). So I ask you all to support this cause with overwhelming support and show the power of the people once again!
For everyone's sake.
Here is the official letter I got in the mail, it reads as follows word for word:
Dear Vocational Village School Community:
I am contacting you to inform you or opportunities to provide your input on an important matter involving the Vocational Village school site.
This past spring, the Portland Public School Board directed Superintendent Jim Scherzinger to provide them with a recommendation as to weather the Vocational Village site should be declared as surplus and, if so, under what conditions and considerations.
As you may know, the school district has already begun examining the potential relocation of Vocational Village to a number of sites. More importantly, a formal relocation committee including students, teachers and staff begins work on September 15th. I want to stress that we value our students at Vocational Village. This process focuses on the physical site of the school.
In addition, the Superintendent will begin a process this fall to look at vocational education district-wide under High School Reform. Lynne George, PhD and a former Director of Student Achievement (DOSA) will be leading the High School Reform effort. Principal, A.J. Morrison with be a part of the vocational education process as well as the new DOSA for Professional-Technical Education after this position is filled.
Our Board policy outlines specific guidelines for how we can approach potential surplus declaration of any property. As dictated by that policy, the superintendent has initiated a public outreach and comment process that involves working closely with the local neighborhood association, school community, business leaders and other citizens.
As the February 10, 2003 Board meeting, the board meeting passed a resolution calling for a recommendation from the Superintendent on the Vocational Village property before September 30, 2003. A Stakeholders' Advisory Committee met on July 8th and July 15th, 2003 to formulate recommendations for the Superintendent.
The Board policy also provides opportunities for public comment throughout this process. You are invited to make your feeling and opinions known at the following times and locations:
July 22, 2003 - Tuesday
Public Comment Meeting with Superintendent Scherzinger
Vocational Village Cafeteria
8020 NE Tillamook St.
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.