The Portland Public Schools board has deferred boundary changes for elementary schools feeding into Roseway Heights and Harriet Tubman middle schools until it receives data used in projecting enrollments and staffing in the buildings.
The board also called for comprehensive health and safety assessments of interior and exterior air at Tubman, 2231 N. Flint St., which sits on a hill above Interstate Avenue near the I-5 Freeway. The tests, which may take months to complete, would measure lead, mold, radon, asbestos, diesel particulates and other hazardous materials.
In addition, the board wants more information about whether the Tubman building is slipping down the hill. Probes were placed in the hillside in June, with a preliminary assessment expected in June 2018 and a final report in June 2019.
The health and safety assessments are expected to show if the building is safe for children and staff as is, needs remediation, or if another facility must be found for a middle school.
The board, in its Oct. 24 meeting, asked for the enrollment and staffing data in time to decide school boundaries by Jan. 1, 2018, for the 2018-19 school year. However, the results of the Tubman tests could change that timing.
Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero also agreed to seek a new site for ACCESS Academy, an accelerated program for highly gifted students. The academy has been in the Rose City Park School building, which would become a K-5 neighborhood school feeding into Roseway Heights Middle School.
In an early proposal, ACCESS would have moved to the Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School where the academy could enroll more students. However, a decision was made to keep a charter school in the building.
ACCESS parents and students want to keep the academy in one building, but the board kept open the possibility that it could occupy adjacent or nearby sites.