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ACCESS Academy students stage walkout over news school could close

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Students at northeast Portland's ACCESS Academy walked out of class this morning in protest of a proposal to close their school.

District officials with Portland Public Schools are planning to disband the academy to make room for new schools.

Students from ACCESS would then be sent to eight different schools around the city.

Students at Tuesday’s walkout said they need an environment that fosters their growth and meets their level.

Last night, parents and students held a rally in the hopes of saving the school. Parents said they worry that if their kids wouldn’t be as challenged if they go to neighborhood schools.

“ACCESS allows me to me to be a sixth-grader studying math with high school credit, and no, I am not bragging,” said student Catcher Kemmerer. “This is what my brain needs and ACCESS allows my brain to have its needs met.”

The district says by reorganizing ACCESS Academy and making room for new schools, it would relieve crowding.

As for the curriculum, PPS officials said they think students will have better services by folding into neighborhood schools.

A vote on the future of ACCESS may come at next Tuesday's board meeting.

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