LLewellyn Elementary Overcrowding
Llewellyn Community Petition to Portland Public Schools
In the last decade, the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood has seen huge growth in families with young children. Though most of our neighborhood is thriving, Llewellyn Elementary School has more students than the building can hold. This school year we have 547 children attending; our buildings, even with three portable classrooms, have a planned capacity of only 475 students. By mid-March, kindergarten enrollment forms for next year already total 88, so it is likely that the 2012-2013 kindergarten class will be at least as large as this year’s class of 104. If more than 100 kindergarteners enter and only 61 fifth graders move on to middle school, crowding will be even worse next year.
On February 22, 2012, PPS presented Llewellyn parents with four options to ease overcrowding in the 2012-2013 academic year:
• Move the computer lab to create one additional classroom
• Move the SPED focus classroom to another site to create two offices
• Move equipment (e.g. copiers, laminator) to create office space
• Reduce the number of sections at one or more grade levels
As a community we support all of these proposals except for reducing the number of sections which would lead to an undesirable, and unnecessary, increase in class size. Even if all of the solutions we support are implemented, we remain short one academic classroom for 2012-2013 and Llewellyn will have no alternative but to use the option we do not support-increasing the number of students in some classes.
We also request that PPS work with us to meet the following objectives before the start of the 2012-13 school year.
• Provide enough academic classroom space to prevent an increase in class size
• Provide suitable space for key programs including music, PE, library, computers, and art.
• Provide office space that is quiet and private for support services including counseling, school nurse, speech therapy, psychologist, ESL, and special education.
• Constructively engage with the Llewellyn community to evaluate the strategies produced by the Llewellyn Overcrowding Workgroup.
The workgroup has investigated several proposals to relieve overcrowding and maintain current class sizes; these will be finalized and presented to PPS in early April after gathering additional community input. We request that the District not only evaluate each alternative solution, but also provide an opportunity for our community to work in partnership to overcome any financial or administrative barriers to these or similar solutions.