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Our schools

Yet another family moving to Portland! Here's what Nora is wondering about:

We are relocating from San Francisco to Portland for my husband's job, and we are in the process of looking for a house. I am so confused about which elementary schools are good, even though I've looked at the Oregon Department of Education website. I also am confused about whether the public schools in Portland are in the midst of a crisis. Any advice about which elementary schools are the best? And will they stay strong for the long haul through our three children's education?

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Hey Nora, we should meet up. We're planning to relocate from the Bay Area (east bay) to Portland too, and I came here to find the exact same information! I'm interested in seeing what you find.

Hi Nora, my family also moved from San Francisco back in June 2005. :)

Once you have a list of schools in mind, greatschools.net may be a good start for you. It does not in any way provide a comprehensive picture of how each school is doing, but it may give you a general idea of how the kids are doing there. The site will give you an idea of how a particular school's test scores compare to the state's average test scores. For example, if the state's average for Math was 86%, and the school's Grade 3 had a 95% score. That means that 95% of the kids met or exceeded the 86% average.

The site also gives you a general idea of the poverty level of each school, but that can be kind of misleading. My DD goes to an elementary school with a high (45%)poverty rate because the school has had a heavy influx of refugees in the last few years who have fled from their war-torn states. Initially, I was worried because I was concerned that the teachers would concentrate all of their teaching time to get these kids all caught up with everyone else, and in the process, neglect everyone else, but so far that doesn't seem to have happened.

My DD is excelling in school! She has always enjoyed learning and as long as she is placed in an environment that provides intellectual stimulization and challenges, I know that she will do fine in school.

I know that you had other questions, but it's almost 11:30 pm, and since both of my kids are home from Spring Break, I don't have much free time to get on the computer this week, so maybe I'll send you a follow-up email later on with my observations, or you can also email me directly...

One other thing to look at: since Portland has school choice, we looked at the net numbers of students transferring in or out of a school. (Reasoning that good schools would have a higher number of students transferring in than out). Of course, that led us to buy in one of the districts where the elementary school is likely to be closed, but even if it is, it's still walking distance to the school our kids will go to.

I think my husband found links to all this stuff on Cathy Marthens' Web site (she's a realtor) Movingtoportland.com. It's an awesome site. We didn't use her as a realtor, but got great info from her site about neighborhoods, etc.

Hey there,

I live in Hillsdale (close to DT Portland) and I am in the Mary Reike elementary district. Both it and Bridlemile are very good gradeschools. The middle schools are questionable, and then the High Schools (Wilson and Lincoln) have strong points and weak ones.

Portland schools are in a bit of a flux. Some schools are down on students because parents are pulling their kids. Others are because of Portland's aging population without kids who can afford real estate in the city limits. As some parents pull their kids even though the school may not be bad, the schools get less money because they have fewer students. This is what is prompting the school closures and consolidations. The School Board is trying to reduce total administration costs by utilizing the whole school instead of 50% of 2 schools.

http://www.publicschoolreview.com/zipsearch.php also has some information about school rankings.

http://www.portlandmaps.com/ will give you the closest schools to an address as well as what the house last sold for, crime info, census info, etc... It is a great resource.

Hope you love Portland as much as we do!

This months issue of Portland Monthly mag has a great article on neighborhoods and has a grading of schools by neighborhood.

www.portland-monthly.com

Portland Public schools are thinking about consolidating 11 east side schools. Most of the schools on the west side are not affected.

Check out this new charter school www.portlandvillageschool.org

Unfortunately Portland Village School is having a very hard time finding a place to rent for the school. Virtually all the available places with proper school zoning are owned by PPS, and PPS appears to be unwilling to rent to PVS. You'd think getting rent on a school building that is otherwise sitting empty would be good for the district...

Any other folks living here from SF? Other than the extreme difference in house prices, how else does Portland stack up? Any recommendations for a good preschool? Any and all info would be greatly appreciated! We're considering a move in the next 6 months with our 1 year and 3.75 year olds.

We are moving to Portland from the Santa Cruz area and heard good things about the Franciscan Montessori Earth School. We are leaving a wonderful Montessori school in California and chose the FMES because of its strong reputation in the Montessori community. Has anyone had any experience with this school? Ouf 6.5-year-old would be attending. Thanks very much.

Hi mamas! I was wondering if there was such a neighborhood in Portland that had great school the kids could walk to, big house for the $ (let's say $250-$400 2500 sq ft) LOTS of kids on the block, and parks, trails close by. I would even consider a 'burb. My hubbie will bo going to Pacific, and I clean houses ( I actually saw a thread on here about mamas who needed a truthworthy housecleaner)
Anyway...we have 2 kids (6&3). We love outdoor healthy lifestyle (lived in Denver for over 10 yrs)vegetarian meals, good people!
Thanks for any feed-back!

We will be relocating to Portland this spring and are looking for information about areas that are good for Homeschoolers. We will be renting while we look for a house.

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