BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — This year, two of the 3rd-grade classes at Nancy Ryles Elementary are in portable classrooms and that is not sitting well with parents.
Officials with the Beaverton School District said last year the portables were used for music and ESL classes. But enrollment is growing and the school needed to adjust.
It’s a way to group at least some of the 3rd-graders and their teachers in the same area. But parents told KOIN 6 News they just found out last Friday when they dropped off school supplies and met the teachers.
“I’m pretty anxious about it. I mean, we were completely blindsided on Friday,” said parent Lacey Saleman.
The portable classrooms are across the parking lot from the school and near the main road. Saleman said that’s just one of the concerns.
“Intruders coming into the class, I mean they’re exposed right in the front of the school,” she said. “There’s no bathroom in the portable. They have to go walk into the school to go to the bathroom, which is, to me, a pretty basic situation.”
The district — which said they have about 200 portable classrooms throughout the district — said students will travel in pairs to use the restrooms in the main building, and will use an established route. During the school day, the portables are locked from the outside and peepholes have been installed in the doors.
There is also bottled water and hot water in the portables.
Beyond that, though, parents don’t like the way the classrooms are set up inside.
“It’s one single portable with two separate rooms and they are conjoined by a doorway, an archway doorway,” Saleman said. “Then there’s 2 doors to escape in case of a fire.”
She also doesn’t like how the kids are seated.
“They sit on the floor. I mean, they sit at tables and half of the tables they sit on the floor,” she told KOIN 6 News. “It’s a really hodge podge classroom. They have, like, certain tables that are for chairs and then they have some where they’re meant to sit at the floor.
“It’s not right to put a bunch of 8-year-olds in there.”
In a statement, Beaverton officials said:
“Several grades at Nancy Ryles Elementary School have moved from the traditional grouped desk configuration to a flexible seating/studio classroom with standing tables and student collaboration spaces. We are teaching to the needs of students today.”
But Saleman said “it doesn’t make sense why they would move ESP and part time music inside the classroom and move half the 3rd-grade out. I don’t understand that.”
She said she’s talked with other parents who are equally upset as she is.
On Tuesday, Saleman went to the district and filed a formal complaint.
“I had to send her to school and then just fight it,” she said.