Please join us for our first ever Place-based Symposium!

May 30th, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at The Cottonwood School

K-8 students share their place-based and civic engagement projects from the 2018/19 school year.

From 7:30-8:30 pm, Cottonwood staff members will host a round-table discussion especially for educators interested in place-based education.

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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

Smith Rock

April, 2019 Fieldwork Update

The 6th graders went on an overnight trip to OMSI camp, the 7th and 8th graders went to Smith Rock, all of the school visit their ‘Adopt-A-Place’ habitats and the Kindergartners do place-based art with Melissa.

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Mar, 2019 Fieldwork Update

1st/2nd Grade: Mountains

What stories do mountains tell? Our 1st and 2nd grade students explored this question all winter through a variety of investigations and learning activities. Both classrooms built model mountains in their classrooms and gave them names: Angie’s class model is Mountain of Dragons and Nesa’s class has Mount Snowy Top.

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

hills and trees

Upcoming School Events and Announcements:

Professional Development at CSCS:


August 13-15, 2019

Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs:

Teaching Portland’s Black History through Primary Sources

An Educator’s Workshop

There is no cost for the training, thanks to the Library of Congress.

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