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Portland mamas?? I need school advice!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My family may soon be moving back to Portland!  We are in Eugene now and have been off and on for years, but lived in Portland for a year a while back.  We loved it and we are hoping for a move in August.  We have a 1 year old daughter and a 5 year old son who will be going into kindergarten in the fall.  

 

So.... schools are my concern now.  I know the entire state is struggling and the state of the school system is just as bad in Portland as it is in Eugene.  My son is very imaginative, active, sensitive, sometimes anxious, and always very intense.  He struggles with attention and is very affected by emotional stimulus (like screaming when he perceives something as suspenseful).  I worked with children with behavioral challenges in a mainstream public school before my son was born, so I have some experience with the daily flow in such a setting.  We all know it leaves much to be desired. greensad.gif 

I can't imagine my son in any sort of mainstream public setting, really, without it resulting in stress and tears for all involved.  I really want my son to continue to love learning and feel a sense of acceptance in his classroom.  

 

(Ugh.  I wish our school system was different!!!) 

 

Anyway, I have checked into all the charter schools I can find:  Trillium, Emerson, Southwest, Opal, MLC, The Ivy School (doesn't work for next year though, since it begins with 1st).... did I miss any??  Can anyone tell me anything about these?  We don't have a great idea yet of what may fit my son.  We intend on heading up for the open houses but any other info from folks who know would be awesome.

 

Of course, we have address issues since we may not be moving until August.  We may try and get there earlier.... but even if we are considered in-district for the lottery, we are still one of many and have a better chance of ending up on the waiting list. 

We will do everything we can to be considered for the alternative schools, but we need a back up plan.  I have heard that neighborhood schools are spotty.  Does anyone have a neighbor school that they just love?  A school that is doing something different?  One with supportive and creative teachers that can support and appreciate someone like my son?  What about the magnet schools?  It seems like the only info that's easy to come by is test scores and I'm more interested in things like..... lots of active play, outdoor time, mixed age classrooms, non-punitive, positive approach to classroom management. 

Stuff most of us want, huh?

 

Any help???

Thanks so much!

post #2 of 7

Have you looked at Portland Village School?  It is a Waldorf charter school

 

http://www.portlandvillageschool.org/about

 

Also, have you thought about homeschooling?  Portland is a great place to HS, and Shining Star Waldorf school (private) offers some attendance (part- time) options for HS families, which might be affordable.

 

Not trying to push Waldorf on you per say, these are just some options I am aware of in Portland, having been exposed to them through my kids' school.

post #3 of 7

Oregon overall is a great place to homeschool. Our kids are in a charter school this year that pays for homeschool materials and lets me pick out what we want to use for the different subjects, then they order it and have it sent to our house. It's called the Paisley Distance Learning Program: http://paisleydlp.org/

post #4 of 7

While I can't speak specifically to your families' needs, my kids went to Grout Elementary & Lewis Elementary.  Both schools are in SE and seemed to have lots of options for all types of children. They both have dedicated staff, both academic and counseling.  I also have a good friend who sent both of her children to Emerson, she loved everything about it.  I know others who swear by the Village Free School for a combo of homeschooling/unschooling & community interaction.  Best wishes on your move and search for a school.

post #5 of 7

Having been a substitute there, I cannot recomend Ivy for a child with stimulus problems. Often the school is chaotic and they go through a lot of teachers.

 

Also, remember Oregon passed the Open schools law this year, your student can apply to any school with open spaces whether it is in district or not. West Linn-Wilsonville is an Open school, and much better funded then most districts. If your willing to commute, it might be a good fit should you decide to go with a neighborhood school. I think Bolton Primary is the smallest school in that district with around 300 students k-5. Opal and Emerson are wonderful places. Again if you're willing to commute, you might look into the Springwater Environmental school in the Oregon City District. I haven't been there myself yet, but I've heard amazing things. I believe they limit all class sizes to 20 students.
 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you all so much for your insights and suggestions!!  They are so helpful!  Also, I just found out about The Creative Science School.  It looks wonderful... so if anyone has had any experience with that school and would like to share that would be awesome.  Tips on navigating the Portland school lottery or any of the charter school lotteries would also be much appreciated!!

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretTeacher View Post

Having been a substitute there, I cannot recomend Ivy for a child with stimulus problems. Often the school is chaotic and they go through a lot of teachers.

 

Also, remember Oregon passed the Open schools law this year, your student can apply to any school with open spaces whether it is in district or not. West Linn-Wilsonville is an Open school, and much better funded then most districts. If your willing to commute, it might be a good fit should you decide to go with a neighborhood school. I think Bolton Primary is the smallest school in that district with around 300 students k-5. Opal and Emerson are wonderful places. Again if you're willing to commute, you might look into the Springwater Environmental school in the Oregon City District. I haven't been there myself yet, but I've heard amazing things. I believe they limit all class sizes to 20 students.
 


We are looking at the Ivy school and I have heard great things about their lower elementary class but not so much about upper el.  I would love to hear more.  My son goes to Sabin and I have heard from a couple of families that it has done really well accommodating to the needs to the kids in the school.   Oregon did pass the open schools law but the district can block a move in...FYI.

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