Communities and Schools in Raleigh Hills

Specific concerns raised by parents in the Raleigh Hills area

COMMUNITY VALUES

There is a lack of innovative options during the transition period. This includes freshman, sophomores and juniors that must now move to the new school, but seniors will have the opportunity to stay at their previous school. Junior year is such a critical year for college planning and academic rigor. Parents may also have to deal with a senior at one school, and their frosh/soph/junior sibling at a different school.

There are many historical relationships associated with Beaverton High School.Raleigh Hills is one of the oldest schools in the district, holding its first classes in 1892. It has always fed into Beaverton High School. Including Raleigh Hills in the Southridge boundary ignores the two schools’ proud tradition, connection and history. Generations of families live in Raleigh Hills and built their lives around the community that includes Beaverton High School. I am a graduate of Beaverton High School and we bought our house in the area so our children could attend Beaverton. The history of our area, while not normally given much consideration, is a vital part of what makes Raleigh Hills and Beaverton High School the strong community it continues to be today. This history and the more than 100 years of community ties in the area should play a role in boundary decision making.

Schools have effectively nurtured competitive rivalries, particularly in sports and particularly between Southridge and Beaverton. Some of these neighborhoods have been feeding into Beaverton High for 100 years. It seems wrong to disrupt this school to level that is currently proposed.

The public process is often just a dance step that must be done to clear the way for the district staff to move forward with a plan. I don’t have the energy in me to get riled up and make noise only to be advised of “the plan” that has been decided by staff. There will be serious disruptions to longstanding, strategic collaborations among feeder schools, such as the Future Ready Collaboration for Beaverton High.

The new boundaries present economic and financial risk. The families whom this change will impact the very most are the families whom you will never hear from during the public comment period. They are the families who work around the clock, who rely on their older high school children to bring in family income or provide care for the younger children in the home. Changing the boundaries so significantly, in particular for Beaverton and Aloha High School families, puts them at a very real economic and financial risk.

Also, Beaverton High School has recently been able to rally its alumni and boosters to create the Beaverton Success Fund. Under the current plan, many of the primary backers of this much-needed funding will have their children sent to Southridge. As lower income families should be taken into account, so should the families who are providing this supplemental funding. Without their assistance, Beaverton High School runs a very real risk of falling behind the other schools in the area. This runs counter to the WE vision put forth by the district in recent years.


STUDENT ACCOMMODATIONS AND TRANSPORT

Enhanced complications with the transition for certain students. Under the current proposal, our daughter will attend Beaverton High School for one year, and then be transferred to Southridge. She has a classroom 504 plan, so this means she will have to get her accommodations, explain her situation and what she needs at Beaverton, then start completely over at Southridge.

Time travelled disrupts students’ lifestyles. The proximity of the high school and the traffic burden on Highway 217 and surrounding roads is untenable under the current proposal. It takes approximately seven minutes for me to drive from our home to Beaverton High School. It takes 20 minutes to get to Southridge because of traffic on Scholls Ferry and/or 217. Highway 217 is slated to be widened in the coming years, therefore making the traffic situation for school transport completely unworkable.

As-is, this places a burden on the student’s physical and emotional well-being because of lost time spent sitting on a bus in traffic. The children lose sleep, they lose time for extracurricular activities, and for the students who work time spent in transport has an impact on their jobs.

The change will put tax dollars to inefficient use. The cost of bussing these students all to a high school they live nowhere near is another concern. With the amount of taxes we pay there should be efficiencies in place so the district is a good steward of our tax dollars. The present proposal places socioeconomic deck shuffling before efficiency and conscientious spending of the community’s tax dollars.