The PPS board has unanimously voted to open middle schools next school year at Harriet Tubman, 2231 N. Flint St., and Roseway Heights, 7334 N.E. Siskiyou St., in an effort to provide comprehensive middle schools for more students.
Parents at some K-8 schools have complained that small numbers of sixth, seventh- and eighth- grade students deprive them of the broader programs available in middle schools. The two middle schools also will permit the district to balance enrollment in an equitable manner among buildings where some have had too few students and others have been crowded.
Concerns about air and soil quality around Tubman, which sits above a section of the Interstate 5 freeway, will be mitigated in part with a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system expected to provide safe indoor air, according to Jerry Vincent, the district’s chief operating officer.
Vincent said school officials also expect to develop a plan for health and safety screening for heavy metals and other pollutants at Tubman with representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Quality.
In addition, the district has budgeted work to stabilize the hillside on the campus that is in the first year of a two-year test to measure potential sliding.
The board voted to convert Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Sabin, Irvington and King from K-8 schools into K-5 elementary schools that send students to Tubman. The middle school will be in the dual assignment zone of Grant and Jefferson high schools.
Vestal, Scott, Jason Lee and Rose City Park will become K-5 schools that feed to Roseway Heights, which would send students to Madison High School.