Portland School District Boundaries Change in 2016

Portland school districts change

Location, location, location is the most important thing in real estate. For many Portland home buyers, this statement could be rephrased as “Good schools, great schools, and the best school for my child.” In Portland, the neighborhood you live in determines which schools your child or children will attend, so news that Portland Public Schools is changing is district boundaries is a game-changer (and may cause some anxiety).

PPS is the largest of six school districts within the Portland Metro Area. It serves 48,0000 at nearly 80 elementary, middle and high schools but it says that enrollment at those schools has been out of balance for the past few years. Some Portland neighborhoods are gentrifying and those schools have a lack of students, while other neighborhoods have added dozens of new families and their schools are overcrowded. With enrollment projected to grow by another 5,000 students over 10 years, the school district has decided to redraw the lines that determine which schools students attend.

This month, the district released two proposals for redistricting that will shift roughly 6,000 students to different schools. The final proposal will be decided in February 2016, with implementation expected to happen by the time kids go back to school next fall.

If you’re home shopping in Portland right now and schools are important to you, be sure to do your homework. Just because the home is near a desirable school doesn’t mean that the district will send your child there. By looking at the redistricting proposals as they develop will help. Your real estate agent will be a great resource to help you figure out the lay of the land and the schools.

What is a great school? Educational experts agree that what makes a great school for one student does not make it so for another student. Once you know one or two possible schools that your child might attend, be sure to visit in person. Check out the facilities and meet the teachers and administrators. A short visit says a lot more than test scores and online rankings! PPS holds open houses between January and March; click here for the schedule.

If the Portland home you’re hoping to buy is perfect except that you don’t love the school you’re most likely to get, there’s always a possibility of getting your child transferred to a different school within the district. You must write a petition that explains why your child needs to transfer. Transfers are only made if there is space at the requested school.

Portland families value education. Our buyer’s team gets asked about the quality of neighborhood schools nearly every time they show a home to families. With the redistricting process moving ahead, our team is happy to help home buyers understand how it might affects their purchase. Just ask!

December 8, 2015

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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