UPDATE: APPLICATION WAS APPROVED. Details and Hearings Officer’s findings here.
The Corbett School District is applying with Multnomah County for a community service permit that will increase the student population for the Corbett School district. The conditional use narrative originally submitted by Randy Trani (RT) and Peter Fry as part of the pre-application in early July 2012 asked for 1890 students and staff, in a worst case scenario. The first meeting, which was informational, was held on August 23rd, 2012.
According to the Oregon Department of Education ( ODE ) Corbett’s resident student population has fluctuated between 600 and 700 students for the past 20 years. The current application is asking for 1382 students and 80 staff ( main campus only ). With the addition of CAPS in Springdale ( allowed 268 students and staff ) this would bring the District total to 1,730 students and staff.
Two Important Notes About this Application to Understand
The door has been left open for a future increase of students. The application states that if buildings were improved, or classrooms added, that they would need to revisit the conditional use process. ( In other words, if we pass a bond and then build a new high school with additional classrooms, we will need to go through this process yet again to increase the numbers. )
* Randy Trani stated, at the pre-application meeting in August 2012, that he had no plans to add students. ( 11:34 into the recording ) and the application states that there are currently no plans to build new structures. However we have added more students again this year.
The school board has NOT been involved with the conditional use process. Superintendent Randy Trani did not inform the board that we were out of compliance in every building on our main campus until after complaints had been filed, ( a couple by the County ) which held up other permits we were requesting. If it were not for those complaints, and this conditional use process we may never have know that the Charter School was never legally established with Multnomah County either.
2013 – Public Hearing on this Application
October 11, 2013, at 1:00 PM | Download the pdf here
2013 – Response from Peter Finley Fry, AICP Ph.D. for CSD
The reason given for the two month delay in responding from CSD was in part explained due to the school board elections. Why would the school board elections interfere with gathering information for this application? Did that election result influence the “desired” numbers submitted? Or was the intent or assumption that the school board was actually involved with this application? It has never been a discussion item or on the agenda for the board to weigh in on.
A few notes about this application: The included documentation includes a map with the current middle school listed as the high school ( and vice versa ). As those know who have been following along, the $15 million school bond includes actually building a new high school ( not a new middle school ) and that this will mean more classrooms overall to the district.
The Group McKenzie lists the 2012/2013 enrollment for CSD at 1270. The application is for 1382 desired with an occupancy cap of 1810. There are also notes that in the case of expanding/improving/adding classrooms that this application process would need to be revisited, leaving the door open for even higher enrollment numbers. ( Select here for the full narrative provided by the County. )
2013 – Request from the County for additional information
Download the pdf here ( 3 pages now )
2013 – Original Application
Submitted for the Corbett School District by Peter Finley Fry, AICP Ph.D. | Download the pdf here.
2012 – Pre-Application
- You can download the original case file (PA2012-2397) here as a pdf.
- You can also listen to the audio from this meeting here.
- There is also an article about this meeting in the Portland Tribune – from August 16, 2012.
- This meeting established that the Corbett Charter School was never legally established with the County. More here.
- Select here to download the pdf with all the information provided from the County. ( Some of the issues are: No permits with student population limitations were found for the middle or high schools. They should be based on numbers from 1986.)
- According to the pre-application the main campus currently houses 1,168 students & staff. ( The final application submitted uses a ‘district total’ number of 1270 – students only) Our current resident population is under 670 students. ( Some “residents” do not live in Corbett – they are legally allowed to be designated “Residents” through HB361 )
- The Springdale School will be permitted to have up to 268 students and staff after completion. NOTE: Any student(s) that attend Springdale, that live(s) here, will have or already have had, their seats “back filled“ on the main campus from out of the area students to generate the revenue necessary to payback the loan(s) for Springdale.
“Corbett’s School or a School in Corbett?”
We had a small successful school in Corbett, before 2009 and before the Charter. We enjoyed seeing our friends and neighbors as we brought our children into the Grade School and passed our beautiful library.
As of 2011/2012, the grade school library is gone. In its place is a classroom now with 70+ kids being co-taught by 3 teachers called “The Trillium Room”. The staff room is gone. In its place is a preschool. Our buildings and classrooms are full. We can’t find parking spaces. Walking your child in or around the school is dangerous in the AM and PM due to the increase in traffic. Our kids are sharing lockers because there are simply too many kids. They are holding class up on stages in the MPB. Kids are eating lunches in hallways because there are not enough seats. Theft and drugs have been a problem according to the local resource officer with Multnomah County.
We should have the opportunity to evaluate this population application and consider what our septic/water/roads and community will tolerate before applying for more students. Our school board was not informed when RT was putting together this pre-application ( not all of them anyway. )
We need a non-biased, third party, independent review of what our district has been doing and how this is changing our community.
A few core questions:
Where was the due diligence of our school board to ensure our District was not operating outside the laws, laws that the rest of us must follow, when this Charter was created? We now know that the Charter was never legally established with the County because we never told them we were doing it. What about a line-item-audit into the missing $725,000 “computer glitch”? ( This was directly tied to the expansion of the Charter and in the meantime, the Charter Director and his wife are set up with a near $320,000 annual combined salary as administrators for a school with less than 500 students. ) Who negotiated that? Select here to find out more.