The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science

A Place-Based, Public Charter School in Portland, Oregon


To provide a creative learning environment where students develop a sense of place and become stewards of the natural world and active citizens within our community.

Portland skyline
hp top curve with logo

Place-Based Education in Action

Before they began the trimester, we asked this 1st/2nd grade class simple questions about rivers…

Place-based education is a way of taking the walls down between school and the community.

7th graders identify a problem in the community and seek out policy-based solutions.

Community Partnerships

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Portland Parks and Rec
Mirabella Retirement
PSU Archaeology
Rice Museum
Friends of Tryon Creek

Make a Donation to Help Further Place-Based Education!

Stories From the Field


October, 2018 Two Classroom Fieldwork Update

The Kindergarten class visited the Portland Art Museum to explore family and identity in paintings. Our third graders visited Beacon Rock in the Columbia River Gorge and viewed sturgeon (whose evolution dates back to the Triassic era) at the Bonneville Dam and the class visited their community partner, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals
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kids at the bay

September, 2018 Fieldwork Update

It’s true: autumn is officially here and fieldwork is about to go into full swing at the Cottonwood School. Below is an overview of schoolwide curricular units and related fieldwork this fall trimester.
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June, 2018 Fieldwork Update

In this last month of school, many of our students have been out of the classroom and in the community. Here are a few end-of-year fieldwork highlights. Our kindergartners made multiple visits to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, first and second graders spent the spring trimester learning about local forests, The Portland State University Archaeology Roadshow featured projects from three of our classrooms this year (3rd, 4th & 5th grades), the seventh and eighth grades traveled to the State Capitol building in Salem earlier this month to present their Project Citizen portfolios.

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Keep Updated with Periodic CSCS News and Place-Based Education Updates:        

hills and trees

Upcoming School Events and Announcements:

Thursday, November 8th
Board Meeting
CSCS Kindergarten Room, 6:00 pm

Friday, November 9th
Fall Community Event: Movie Night
6:30 pm Learn More