Beverly Cleary School

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Beverly Cleary School
Beverly Cleary School (Hollyrood).jpg
The Hollyrood Campus of Beverly Cleary School in Grant Park, Portland
, ,

United States
Coordinates45°32′29″N 122°37′36″W / 45.541480°N 122.626798°W / 45.541480; -122.626798
PrincipalJohn Ferraro

The Beverly Cleary School (BCS) is a public school in Portland, Oregon, United States. The school educates children in kindergarten through eighth-grade and is part of the Portland Public School District (PPS). Formed in 2007 as Hollyrood-Fernwood School,[1] it was renamed for children's author and Fernwood alumna Beverly Cleary in 2008.[2] The school uses two buildings located on the north and west edges of Grant Park, as well as a third building in Rose City Park. Beverly Cleary feeds to Grant High School.


The original Fernwood Grammar School was constructed in 1911.[3][4] A Portland City Council requirement that all schools constructed after January 1, 1911, would have to be of fireproof construction led to Fernwood's brick and concrete design.[5] The building was designed by the firm of Ellis F. Lawrence, who founded The University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 1914.[6] Many design changes and additions accumulated over the next several decades, with the most significant changes occurring in the 1970s.[5] On April 26, 1971, Superintendent Robert Blanchard proposed constructing a new Fernwood building to accommodate the school's conversion from grammar school (K–8) to middle school (6–8). The new building site was to have been 1 1/2 blocks west of the existing site.[7] In 1972, Fernwood's attendance swelled to 915 middle schoolers.[8] In 2002, a PPS-commissioned Long Range Facilities Plan suggested the building undergo major facility redevelopment.[9]

The Hollyrood building was constructed in 1958 at a cost of $198,000, in a direct response to the growing population of northeast Portland and the limitations of the Fernwood School. Hollyrood was considered at the time to be a temporary name.[10] It was originally referred to as the Fernwood Annex and it was considered by PPS that the school would be constructed as an actual annex adjacent to the Fernwood building; however, the cost of construction would have been nearly twice as much.[11] In 1964, two new classrooms were added to the east end of the building. In 1977, the school was converted for use as a K–3 school, with fourth-graders proceeding to Laurelhurst School for the final two years of their K–5 education.[12]

On May 24, 2007, the School Board passed a resolution by a vote of 4–3 to merge Hollyrood Elementary School and Fernwood Middle School. The result was a full K–8 program beginning in the 2007–08 school year (with that year's 5th and 6th grade students returning from Laurelhurst Elementary).[1][13] In addition, a facilitated conversation among Northeast Portland Schools (including Hollyrood, Fernwood, Laurelhurst, Beaumont Middle School and Alameda Elementary) helped to develop a plan to reassign some of the Rose City Park Elementary attendance area (the area assigned to Grant High, west of 57th Avenue) to elementary, middle or K–8 schools that feed into Grant. This resolution was revised after the School Board's decision to address the longtime split in the Rose City Park students between Madison and Grant high schools.[14] As a direct result of the community conversations and subsequent School Board vote, the Hollyrood building remained open to house the kindergarten, first-grade and second-grade of the newly established Hollyrood-Fernwood K–8, while the upper grades were schooled in the existing Fernwood School. (In September 2009, the second-grade class was moved to the Fernwood building, leaving the kindergarten and first-grade classes as the sole occupants of the Hollyrood building, with grades 2–8 at Fernwood. In 2014, the sole grade level to remain in the Hollyrood building was kindergarten.)

On June 9, 2008, the School Board approved the recommendation by a board committee and Superintendent Carole Smith to name the school after Beverly Cleary.[15] The resolution further noted that the school buildings would be designated as campuses (the Hollyrood Campus and the Fernwood Campus).[16]

The superintendent's recommendation came following several surveys of students, parents and community members. In accordance with PPS Administrative Directive 2.20.011,[17] a naming committee had been formed at the school to solicit feedback and provide the superintendent with recommended name choices and supporting information including their level of interest, and significance to the community. The committee's work resulted in four recommended new names—Beverly Cleary, Fernwood, Grant Park, and Hollywood—which were presented to the superintendent with supporting information. The committee did not identify a clear favorite as each choice had its pros and cons but the superintendent noted that the Beverly Cleary name received the highest number of votes in the community survey and that the Cleary name has special significance, as she is an alumnus of Fernwood (and Grant High School) and based many of her well-known children's stories on her experiences in the Fernwood neighborhood.[4][18]

On September 2, 2014, the Beverly Cleary School became a three-campus school, utilizing the Rose City Park school building to house first- and third-graders and leaving the Hollyrood building to house only kindergarten students.[19] In Fall 2018, the school reverted to its original two-campus model.[20] The plan to consolidate the campuses came as part of a wider effort by Portland Public Schools to convert K–8 schools to middle schools.[21]


  1. ^ a b Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Stern, Hank (June 5, 2008). "Hurray for Ramona and Ribsy! Northeast Portland School to be named for Beverly Cleary". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  3. ^ Staff report (August 28, 1911). "Schools to open on September 11". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Melton, Kimberly (September 4, 2008). "Portland's Beverly Cleary School opens its doors". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Oregon Historic Site Form: Beverly Cleary - Fernwood Campus" (PDF). Portland Public Schools. October 14, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  6. ^ "Oregon Inventory of Historic Property - Ellis Lawrence Building Inventory - Fernwood School and Addition". University of Oregon. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  7. ^ Staff report (April 27, 1971). "New building considered for Fernwood Middle School". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  8. ^ Staff report (March 21, 1971). "Boundary lines adopted for five proposed Portland middle schools". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  9. ^ "Long Range Facilities Plan - Executive Summary" (PDF). Portland Public Schools. February 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 29, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Staff report (December 8, 1959). "Newest school dedication set". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  11. ^ Staff report (February 11, 1958). "School board's funding pleas aimed at speeding work". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  12. ^ "Oregon Historic Site Form - Beverly Cleary at Hollyrood Campus" (PDF). Portland Public Schools. October 14, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  13. ^ Anderson, Jennifer (March 23, 2007). "Time for lesson in anxiety". Portland Tribune. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  14. ^[dead link]
  15. ^ Baer, April (June 8, 2008). "Ramona Would Be Proud, School To Be Named For Cleary". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  16. ^ "Board of Education Minutes" (PDF). Portland Public Schools. June 9, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "2.20.011-AD Procedures for Naming School District Property and Focus Options" (PDF). Portland Public Schools. June 6, 2005. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  18. ^ "Newbery Award Author Beverly Cleary". Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  19. ^ Dungca, Nicole (April 4, 2013). "Beverly Cleary School proposal to combat overcrowding could temporarily close Hollyrood campus". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Rob Manning (September 8, 2017). "PPS Takes Another Run At Converting To Middle Schools". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved September 4, 2018.

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