Portland mamas... please tell me about schools! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-14-2013, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My family and I (partner and two little ones... 5 and 1) are in the middle of transitioning to Portland from Eugene.  We will have our own place in August, right before my son begins kindergarten and I am hoping some of you Portland mamas can help me by filling me in on the neighborhood schools.  :)

 

My son is high energy, imaginative, very social, and very emotional.  He struggles with frustration tolerance, patience, transitions and an angry temper.  I am terrified in general about his transition to school... let alone him ending up in a place where discipline is negative or punitive and the structure is rigid.  I am concerned about schools teaching more to the test than to the abilities and desires of the kids.  I know...aren't we all, right? :/   

 

I have applied to all of the charters and magnet programs that I would hope for my son to get into....  Just found out that I'm 149 on the list for Emerson. :(    Of course, there are more lottery results to come in, but reality is that we have a better chance of not getting lucky.  I have heard neighborhood schools are spotty.  Can anyone tell me something more?  Which reasonably priced areas still have schools that are trying something more or different?  I am more concerned with a positive environment that is supportive of different learning styles, involved community, caring teachers, and enriching activities such as art and PE than I am test scores.   So, what neighborhood school do your kiddos go to... what do you love or hate about it?? 

Someone please tell me that their school is a secret treasure!!  We need a backup plan ( we will move wherever we can...) and would be thrilled to embrace the idea of my son at a supportive neighborhood school!

 

Thanks in advance, everyone, for your help!

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#2 of 8 Old 04-14-2013, 09:48 PM
 
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I live in Sw Portland. The neighborhood is not cool, trendy or even very bike-able but the schools are awesome. I do have chickens, a veggie garden and great neighbors.

Yes, the dirty little secret of Portland is the coolest neighborhoods have urban mamas that bike all around and then drive past their neighborhood schools to school somewhere else.

I live where I school. I'm part of a neighborhood. Everyone nearby goes to our school unless they go to the Catholic school and there aren't that many that opt out.
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#3 of 8 Old 04-15-2013, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is great about the sw schools?
 

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#4 of 8 Old 04-15-2013, 01:16 PM
 
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My daughter will be starting K at Arleta K-8 this fall.  She's our oldest, so I don't have first hand experiences to share, but we're very comfortable sending her there for a number fo reasons.  Other families at her daycare/pre-school have children who go there, and one mother works there 1/2 time and 1/2 time at a second school.  The families at our daycare who have been there have positive things to report.  They don't rave that its the greatest school ever, as we all do about our wonderful daycare, but they're happy.

 

Good Luck!

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#5 of 8 Old 04-15-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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http://www.greatschools.org/oregon/portland/schools/?gradeLevels=e

My schools all have 9 and 10's. Not so with many intown schools.
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#6 of 8 Old 05-16-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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I was a substitute teacher in Portland and Beaverton. I don't find greatschools to be all that useful in describing a schools environment and of course a lot of a school experience depends on what teacher your kid has. In a nutshell the suburbs have more resources, but some of the schools in Portland have amazing programs as well . If you want to ask me about a particular school, I can tell you my impressions, but in general it's hard to say a school is great or terrible based on a few days of subbing.
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#7 of 8 Old 05-16-2013, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love for you to tell me about some great programs inside Portland, even if it is only from first impression!  We have incredibly limited knowledge about the neighborhood schools.  My son is really active and sometimes hard to keep on task, but really sensitive.... so we are looking for schools that have positive, supportive behavior management and encourage family participation.  I'm way more concerned about a school's climate than test scores.  We don't have a place yet... so if I can find out a couple of schools that people really love we can hone our rental search to those areas.  Anything, anything helps!!  Thank you so much!

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#8 of 8 Old 05-19-2013, 10:09 AM
 
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A lots of schools in Portland (and other area districts use PBIS and/or CPS) as their primary school wide discipline models. Pm me if you need more detail on what that is. The best data indicator that can give you a sense of a schools climate is probably average daily attendance. From what I've seen, schools with a stronger score in this area are generally the best places to sub at/work at and presumably a better place for the kids to be at as well. Is your child elementary age? Some of the elementary schools are great. I've been inside a few charter schools as a sub and my overall impression was not that great-- great ideas, but spotty implementation. You haven't said as much but it sounds like you're seeking 504 type accommodations and support in the classroom maybe? That can be hard to get in a charter school. They're required to do it if they accept a student, but in practice many don't do so to the extent required by law. Something to be aware of, if it applies to your situation. If you want to PM me, I can tell you a lot more.
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