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« CLASS Academy – profile | Main | School Choice in Beaverton: Middle and High School Learning Options »

School Choice in Hillsboro: City View Charter School

City View Charter School is Hillsboro’s only charter school.  The school enrolls students in kindergarten through eighth grade with one class per grade kindergarten through sixth and a blended seventh and eighth grade.  Class size is limited to 24 students. Much to students’ delight Fridays are half days, with dismissal before lunch.  The school offers an afterschool program via an outside contractor for parents who need full-day care.

City View is an expeditionary learning school.  Learning is project and inquiry based, working to engage students more deeply in discovery.  This philosophy was developed through a partnership between Harvard Graduate School of Education and the founder of Outward Bound with the goal of creating school in which students demonstrate a deep mastery of knowledge and skills, develop strong character, and produce high quality work.  For those interested in learning more about expeditionary learning, its website provides a comprehensive look at its philosophy and principles.

As a charter school City View is free to students but does fundraise via its active PTSA.  Parents are also encouraged but not required to volunteer in some capacity.  Finally, families should be aware there is a fieldwork fee of $175 for first through eighth graders and $50 for kindergarteners due at the beginning of the year. 

City View is popular – parents tout its small class sizes and inquiry and project based learning, as well as the character education component that they feel helps create a community of mutual respect.  As a result, its lottery is competitive, often generating a waiting list at each grade.  The school says that a 60-student waiting list for kindergarten and 45 for first grade is not uncommon.

Parents interested in City View should submit an online letter of interest available on the school’s website, which enters them in the enrollment lottery.  Letters may be submitted after January 1 and are generally due in early April, with the first round of the lottery a few days later.  The school runs subsequent round of the lottery through the spring to enroll students and generate its waiting list.  Priority goes to siblings of current students, followed by students living in the district, followed by students living outside the district.

Want to learn more about City View?  The school offers an open house in late March, just before letters of interest are due.  Keep an eye on the school’s website for this year’s date.

Do you have a child at City View Charter School?  Share your experience in the comments.

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