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PPS to make effort to keep ACCESS Academy students in one building

The Portland Public Schools Board meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 24, 2017 was packed. (KATU Photo)

The Portland Public Schools board voted Tuesday night to keep ACCESS Academy open until a new location can be found.

The school for the gifted that’s located within Beverly Cleary Elementary in Northeast Portland was slated for closure because of overcrowding. The district’s original plan was to send students from ACCESS to eight different schools around the city.

That sparked protests, and a week ago students walked out of class to protest the district’s plan.

Parents worried their children wouldn’t be challenged if they went to neighborhood schools.

According to the district, board Chair Julia Brim-Edwards added an amendment to a resolution Tuesday night that included language to ensure the district would make an effort to keep the academy in one building. The board unanimously passed the amendment.

Tatiana Terdall, a parent whose child is in the academy, said she was happy with the board’s Tuesday night decision.

“We are very happy that the board voted to delay the boundary decision for now while we’re looking for a home, and while there are some other issues that are being resolved,” she said.

She said parents plan to ask Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to help them find a new location for Access Academy.

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