Zest, grit and more: School tries new approach to closing the achievement gap in Portland

20180910_kairos-pdx-school_em-20They showed up for a recent Portland school board meeting by the dozen wearing black T-shirts with the words “Black Students Matter” emblazoned in green and yellow across their chess. Students, parents, community members and activists alike, all to support a small public charter school in North Portland: Kairos PDX.

For the second year in a row, Kairos faced eviction after agreeing to a one-year lease on the former Humboldt Elementary School.

The debate began as a logistical matter: Portland Public Schools leaders wanted to free up space for the growing school district to re-inhabit the Humboldt school if needed.

But as the T-shirts and the impassioned crowd suggested, the conversation over Kairos’ future home is something bigger and deeper than just a building.

At the school district’s August board meeting, chair Rita Moore began by addressing the need for better education for African-American students. Check out the full story.

By Erica Morrison, OPB


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