Update: Multnomah Education Service District
Announces Alpha HS Closure
March 19, 2015: The MESD Announced yesterday that Alpha High School is closing. In response to questions about the decision to close, the district is releasing additional information in this update.
The ESD and its component district partners meet quarterly throughout the year in advisory councils. The councils identify and create programs to serve student populations. The programs are described in the Local Service Plan.
Each spring, the ESD and its component district partners review the plan. Then, the districts notify the ESD of the programs and services that the districts require to serve their students and the ESD prepares the appropriate staff and building resources to serve the students. When the number of students needing a particular program or service changes, the program is re-sized to fit the student population.
Alpha High School is an example of a program that MESD and component districts created together to serve student needs. Alpha is designed to serve students that have been expelled from high school, and/or have other academic needs that cannot be provided by their home district. During the 2014-2015 school year, 158 students were enrolled at Alpha. The majority of students, 80%, are referred from the Gresham-Barlow School District, and the remaining 20% are referred by other partner districts.
Earlier this year, Gresham-Barlow School District notified MESD that it would not need the services offered by Alpha due largely to the district's successful efforts to mitigate expulsion rates. Students that experience other academic needs will be enrolled in another Gresham-Barlow School District learning option.
Due to the decline in enrollment, Alpha High School is closing and the ESD and component district partners are working cooperatively with districts to re-size the program and develop options for students to attend school and receive services. The ESD expects to have details about options in late March.
It is understandable that parents and students have questions about where students will attend school in the 2015-2016 school year. The decision of where to refer students belongs to the individual districts. Students and parents are encouraged to contact their individual district for information about 2015-2016 options.
Alpha Middle and High School
Alpha School is a regional educational program that draws students from mid and east Multnomah County, Oregon. Alpha is considered an "alternative" school that has served the region since 1980. Alpha is operated by the Multnomah Education Service District.
Alpha School offers middle and high school-age youth the opportunity to continue their education with highly individualized instruction in small classes.