About

 

Opened in the Fall of 2007, The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science (formerly Southwest Charter School) offers a uniquetuition-free, public charter school option in Southwest Portland, OR. The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science offers a different educational experience, encouraging exploration of the natural world and involvement in the local community through the arts and sciences. The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science is a small, public charter school community that is dedicated to providing a creative learning environment where students develop a sense of place and become stewards of the natural world and active citizens within our community.

What is Place-Based Education

 

Place-based education helps students learn a broad range of concepts by connecting them, whenever possible, with the natural and social community in which students live and learn. When students are youngest and most concrete in their thinking, Place-based education strives to delve them deeply into the community allowing them to connect their learning to tangible experiences around them.

 

Open Houses and Information Sessions

Learn about our fresh approach to place based learning, and our exciting plans for the 2018-2019 school year.

History

The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science is a placed-based, tuition-free K-8 public charter school in Portland, OR. The school began as the Southwest Charter School (CSCS) in 2007. Our place-based school is the inspired result from the work of a group of determined families who wanted to replace a closed neighborhood school in Southwest Portland.

 

Curriculum

Place-based projects at the Cottonwood School are grounded the history, environment, and people of Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Each trimester concentrates on key social studies or science concepts. Reading, writing, public speaking, and geography skills are heavily embedded into the project work. Through an integrated approach, students go deep into a topic over an extended period of time.

 

Mission

To provide a creative learning environment where students develop a deep sense of place and belonging and work to become engaged stewards of the natural world around them and active citizens within our community.

 

Vision

Our vision is to look beyond classroom walls. We believe that healthy communities are created by engaged, informed and compassionate citizens, and that children learn best when participating in authentic, hands-on learning experiences that are closely tied to the community. Through service, integrated curriculum and experiential learning, we provide opportunities for our students to actively build relationships locally, inspiring them to become catalysts of change in a global community.

 

School Location & Schedule

Enrollment

Facility Rentals

Support the School

Make a Donation to Help Further Place-Based Education!