This year we have decided to combine our school fees into one fee per student rather than two separate fees. The new single fee will cover costs for all school supplies, home learning kits, learning platforms, new chromebooks, guest speakers, fieldwork fees and more.
Along with this move we are also introducing a sliding scale for the pricing.
We are trying something new this year that we hope will ensure a more equitable outcome for our families. Instead of a set fee with the option to pay early for a discount or scholarships, we are instituting a sliding scale.
Before you pay your fees, please read the following to understand this new model and to determine where you are on the sliding scale. Then, when you go to pay, select the level of the scale that works for you.
A sliding scale fee structure gives all families the opportunity to pay what they can and allows families the opportunity to directly support other families when possible. In the past we have given a discount to those that can pay in full up front. This gives the discount to those who are fortunate enough to be able to pay in full while not offering support to those who may not have the resources to pay all of the fees at once.
Our sliding scale requires your active participation. Building economic justice takes some time and effort. By using a sliding scale, we are practicing economic solidarity: we are collaborating with all our families to create a more equitable, inclusive and just community. We hope that our sliding scale allows all families to pay something and feel positive about supporting the school community, whether it be by paying as much as you possibly can toward your student’s fees or paying beyond to help a family that may really need it. As a charter school we really do need the $200.00 we have billed in the past from each student. We budget to receive most of that money, and it is all spent on exactly what it is billed for.
When you pay your supply and fieldwork fees at Cottonwood, you are doing more than providing pencils and paper for your kid(s). You are contributing to our mission by modeling kindness and service, promoting sustainability, and building community. You make it possible for our teachers to focus on their curriculum and the children, knowing all students have what they need to get their projects and school work done. We know we are all here because we believe in the Cottonwood model. These fees really help us to get there!
When selecting a level on our sliding scale, we encourage you to contribute at the income level that is meaningful, significant, and affordable for you. The sliding scale chart below is based on income in the Portland Metro Area. Please consider sliding up the scale if you are able to. This information is confidential and no student is treated differently based on familial financial contribution.
Please note: any payments above the base rate of $225.00 are tax-deductible donations to our scholarship fund. When filing for taxes, please use our tax ID# 20-2738271. Thank you!
Other factors besides income affect your financial status. Some groups of people have specific costs and barriers that the larger population is not affected by. Other groups have access to resources that are not always reflected in their lifestyle choices, income levels and familial support. Please consider other factors when choosing the amount you pay. We really hope this helps families and we are able to hit our target as well.
Consider contributing more when you …
*Even if you are not currently exercising your earning power, we ask you to recognize when this is a choice and consider contributing more.
Consider paying less when you …
Thank you for trying this out with us! If our sliding scale does not reach the price you need and you would like a lower fee or would like to make a larger contribution, please contact Our Executive Director, Amanda McAdoo at amandamcadoo [at] thecottonwoodschool.org
If paying by check please send to The Cottonwood School 0640 SW Bancroft Street Portland, Oregon 97239 or be in touch with Val Adell in our business office valadell [at] thecottonwoodschool.org
The sliding scale system operates on the honor system and we are trusting each of you to pay the maximum amount that you are able to.
Once you choose the amount you can pay, please note that payment plans are still available and you can set up auto-pay in installments and pay over 10 months!
We would like to thank Zenger Farm, Portland Oregon, for developing this more just and equitable participatory model and for graciously allowing us to adapt its use for our school.