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

(See More)

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

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!

Read More


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
Read More

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.
Read More

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

hills and trees

Upcoming School Events and Announcements:

Monday, December 17th – Wednesday, January 2nd
No school for students for Winter Break

Wednesday, January 2
Teacher Planning Day – No school for students