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
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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

2019 Fieldwork, Kinders

February, 2019 Fieldwork Update

In the cold months, our kindergartners work together to consider: what do animals do in the winter? How did different animals survive? What animals are native to this area, anyway? In the classroom, students have added animals to a large frieze on the wall, they have created interactive mini tree habitats out of boxes, they are using books to research, and they are building animal habitat dioramas in shoe boxes.
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Dec 2018 Fieldwork

December, 2018 Fieldwork Update

All fall, the sixth grade class has focused on the human body, our 7th and 8th graders worked on an interdisciplinary project on weather and climate. and there were some various celebrations in the K-2 classrooms.

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1/2 Class Fieldwork, Nov 2018

Nov, 2018 Fieldwork Update

This fall, our 1st and 2nd grade students have dug into the topic of plants and gardens. Students explored the questions: Why do people plant gardens? What are the parts of a plant?

What and when can plants can be planted successfully in Portland? To help find the answers, students ventured out to the South Waterfront Community Garden, Jean’s Farm in SE Portland, and the Sauvie Island Center. Students observed plants, learned about what they need to grow, and even had an opportunity to bake apple tarts in an outside oven!

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

hills and trees

Upcoming School Events and Announcements:

Thu, March 14 and Fri, Mar 15
No School for Students – Conferences

Monday, March 25 – Monday, April 1
Spring Break – School Closed