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Family School to Relocate to Crest Drive

School will open in new location this fall

The Family School alternative elementary school program will have a new home this fall: the former Crest Drive Elementary School site.

Family School is currently co-located with a neighborhood middle school, Arts & Technology Academy, in the former Jefferson Middle School building at 22nd & Fillmore. Family School’s middle school grades will continue at the current location.

The Arts & Technology Academy building will be largely reconstructed over the next two years, using voter-approved bond funds. When the design process began, it appeared that the new building designed to support a middle school enrollment of 450 would accommodate both programs—ATA and Family School together enrolled fewer than 300 middle school students and Family School elementary had about 165 students. Since then ATA enrollment has grown and is projected to keep growing.

The renovated school building, sized for 450 students, won’t have room to accommodate the continued co-location of the two programs unless additional classroom space is constructed beyond what was already programmed and budgeted for the bond project and temporary classrooms are added during the construction period.

District staff held meetings with Family School staff and parents to discuss possible solutions and get their input, then presented the stakeholder input and recommended options to the school board. The options evaluated included keeping Family School at the ATA site and investing in expanding the building to make room for the program, or relocating the program to the former Westmoreland (now owned by Lane ESD), Bailey Hill, or Crest Drive elementary school building.

After considering staff and parent input, cost, space, transportation access (including walk, bike and public transit access) and other issues, the superintendent recommended the Crest Drive location and the school board voted on June 17 to relocate Family School to that site. The school will move this summer and open in its new location this fall, as requested by Family School staff.

This will be the first time in its decades-long existence that the Family School elementary program will have its own building rather than being co-located with a neighborhood school. Family School originated as an alternative program co-located at Ida Patterson Elementary School. In 2004, when César Chávez Elementary School was constructed and Patterson and Westmoreland elementary schools consolidated in the new building, Family School relocated along with the Patterson students and staff. Chávez neighborhood school enrollment grew over the years and in 2009 Family School moved a few blocks south to the Arts & Technology Academy, where it expanded to offer kindergarten and transitioned the program’s middle school grades from their previous location at Spencer Butte Middle School.

The reconstructed Arts & Technology Academy will open in fall 2017.

Updated June 22 with timing of move.

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