Does anybody in PDX have info/thoughts/opinions on the Portland Village School? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-21-2011, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello!

We are exploring the idea of moving to Portland and I would love some words of wisdom from anybody who has knowledge of the Portland Village School, or possibly other charter Waldorf schools in OR.  Also... does anybody know any decent neighborhoods fairly close to the school which i believe is in NE Portland.  I'm so not familiar with the area!!

Muchas Gracias!!!

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#2 of 12 Old 01-26-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Well, my dd isn't really anywhere near school-age yet, but since you haven't gotten any other answers, I'll give it my best. We would LOVE to get dd into PVS, but it is a lottery. It's open to the whole Portland district, so living close doesn't guarantee anything. They don't even start doing the lottery until the spring before the upcoming school year, and even then, you can be wait-listed and not know for sure until the fall. If you want PVS, you should still probably have a back-up that you'd be happy with, because I think not even half of the kids who apply get accepted.

The neighborhood around it is supposed to be nice. It's not ideal if you plan to rely on public transit a lot (we're car-free, so it's basically out for us), but if you drive or bike some, I think it would be a really nice area. The areas to the west and slightly north are probably "nicer," but really all of it is safe, I'd say. 

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#3 of 12 Old 01-27-2011, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank-you so much for the info!!  Good to know that we should have a back up plan (school) in mind as well.  Our dd and ds go to a private Waldorf school right now but it's very expensive, even though we're on scholarship and the charter schools seem like a dream come true -- but i'm sure they are for many people hence the wait list ;-)

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#4 of 12 Old 01-27-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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Yes, it's entirely possible to apply to multiple charter schools and get into zero of them, due to the lottery. If you're looking for schools for this fall, you'll want to start turning in apps now. Unfortunately, many of them require a attendance at an information session in order for you to apply, and these sessions are limited. One of the schools we're looking at now will be accepting apps only until the end of February, and I think they only have one or two more sessions left. The school system is nutso. I don't know what we would have done if we hadn't gotten into our charter school last year. Our son was number 40+ on all the waitlists that we were put on, except for the school that we got into. None of my friends who applied to multiple schools last year were able to get into any of them. I was so happy that our son got in, but simultaneously heartbroken for my friends, and this awful system.


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#5 of 12 Old 01-27-2011, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes!!  The lottery sounds a little intense!  It seems like if the charter schools are that popular, there should be more of them! Well, it's not exactly what I hoped to hear, but it isn't surprising and I'm so grateful to have the info to help me and dh make our decision.

Thank-you!!!!

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#6 of 12 Old 01-28-2011, 08:14 PM
 
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I have several friends whose kids love PVS and some who have left for other schools (charter schools, traditional public schools and homeschooling). The neighborhood is up and coming, still affordable. I think it is very convenient to transit, the #75 bus stops just 2 blocks away and it runs all the way from St. Johns in the extreme north to SE 39th across town, passing by at least one major transit center with MAX access to downtown etc.

 

I have heard that they might be moving, having outgrown their building (it's very popular) and maybe to a different area so I would for sure check on that before choosing a neighborhood.

 

All the charter schools are waitlisted from their lotteries. And there are different forms and deadlines for the various schools (not one single lottery) so start checking now for fall 2011. Many have mandatory parent info nights, visitations, and other requirements. Many people apply to several and don't decide until fall, so you really have to be flexible right up until school starts. There are also sometimes mid year openings, as some students move or decide the school isn't right for them. Charter schools also do not have a huge staff, so expect some delay in communications and paperwork.

 

We love my daughter's charter school and are so so grateful we got in after being high on the wait list for 1st grade. Good luck!


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#7 of 12 Old 01-29-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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First off, let me admit that I am not familiar with the schools in PDX proper (I live 20-30 west of Portland) but something else you may need to consider: I have heard from a few friends that some of the schools are pretty strict with their residency requirements, and some of the schools may not even be willing to accept your application until you are already living here and have the appropriate documentation. I don't know if they all are, but if the schools you're interested in won't even accept your app until you live in district, then you'd have to make the decision and move in the next month or so... nothing like a little pressure, huh? lol.


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#8 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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I am alos considering a move to Portland and have been looking at the Charter/ Alternative schools.  Of the 5 that I called, only 1 had a spot (in 6th grade... one spot!) in the lottery available other than for new incoming kindergarteners.  That is very discouraging!  My girls go to a great alternative school in Eugene now which we absolutely love, but our district is in financial chaos, so we want to get out before it gets too crazy.  There is a Waldorf inspired charter school here in Eugene, also called the Village School.  It is a charter, so it is less effected by the budget situation than other public/alternative schools are. 

 

Does anyone have kids in a elementary or middle school they really love in Portland?  I am trying to find a neighborhood k-8 that we can just move to the neighborhood and get into without having to deal with the lottery, but it is a daunting task.  There are so many schools in Portland!  I really love the Sunnyside Environmental School model, it's very similiar to our current school, but the neighborhood is much more urban (and so small it seems like it will be hard to find a house there) that what I would really like.  Does anyone have any other suggestions? 


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#9 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 07:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by July09Mama View Post

Well, my dd isn't really anywhere near school-age yet, but since you haven't gotten any other answers, I'll give it my best. We would LOVE to get dd into PVS, but it is a lottery. It's open to the whole Portland district, so living close doesn't guarantee anything. They don't even start doing the lottery until the spring before the upcoming school year, and even then, you can be wait-listed and not know for sure until the fall. If you want PVS, you should still probably have a back-up that you'd be happy with, because I think not even half of the kids who apply get accepted.

The neighborhood around it is supposed to be nice. It's not ideal if you plan to rely on public transit a lot (we're car-free, so it's basically out for us), but if you drive or bike some, I think it would be a really nice area. The areas to the west and slightly north are probably "nicer," but really all of it is safe, I'd say. 



Actually, the neighborhood is very, very transit friendly!  We live in North Portland, and it is right near a Max transit center, it is on the 35 and the 75.... There are many cafes, groceries stores, and other stores in neighborhood.  We live closer to St. Johns and still use public transportation a lot.  :)


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#10 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingstonMama View Post

Yikes!!  The lottery sounds a little intense!  It seems like if the charter schools are that popular, there should be more of them! Well, it's not exactly what I hoped to hear, but it isn't surprising and I'm so grateful to have the info to help me and dh make our decision.

Thank-you!!!!



You would think! But PPS is very, very anti-charter. They feel threatened by the Charters and do not want another one... there are Charters like PVS needing bigger buildings... while PPS (Portland pubic school district) has many schools closed and they just leave the campuses sitting there. They refuse to lease them to the charters, because they hate them that much.  banghead.gif

 

I think there are some really good PPS schools in surprising places, but they are just so hostile to the charters.  When really they attract a different crowd. 


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#11 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonicmama View Post

I am alos considering a move to Portland and have been looking at the Charter/ Alternative schools.  Of the 5 that I called, only 1 had a spot (in 6th grade... one spot!) in the lottery available other than for new incoming kindergarteners.  That is very discouraging!  My girls go to a great alternative school in Eugene now which we absolutely love, but our district is in financial chaos, so we want to get out before it gets too crazy.  There is a Waldorf inspired charter school here in Eugene, also called the Village School.  It is a charter, so it is less effected by the budget situation than other public/alternative schools are. 

 

Does anyone have kids in a elementary or middle school they really love in Portland?  I am trying to find a neighborhood k-8 that we can just move to the neighborhood and get into without having to deal with the lottery, but it is a daunting task.  There are so many schools in Portland!  I really love the Sunnyside Environmental School model, it's very similiar to our current school, but the neighborhood is much more urban (and so small it seems like it will be hard to find a house there) that what I would really like.  Does anyone have any other suggestions? 


We're at Sunnyside and love it. The neighborhood doesn't feel super urban to me. It's terrifically walkable, with parks, library and grocery all there, no need to drive.

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#12 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 08:42 PM
 
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Zinemama-  I am so happy to hear from a Sunnyside parent!  Would it be ok if I PM you with some questions about the school and neighborhood?  I love, love, love the walkability of the neighborhood.  I used to live in downtown Eugene and thought it was pretty great, but we've been outside of town on a double dead end for a few years now, so I'm just not used to the in town feel anymore.  We also drove through the area in January, I'm sure if we check it out again in May or June it may seem different.


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