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Welcome to Scoop On Schools

If you are wondering how to find the best Portland area school for your child, we’ve got you covered! Follow a step-by-step process created by two Portland moms who have gone through it themselves and want to give you the scoop on how it all works.

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Entries in International Baccalaureate (2)


Martin Luther King K-8 - profile

Martin Luther King K-8 is a small neighborhood school (enrollment of 288) nestled at the western end of the Alberta Arts District in Northeast Portland.  Historically a rough neighborhood, King is in the midst of a long-overdue transformation that includes the establishment of the highly reputed International Baccalaureate program and the prioritization of the arts.  Here is the scoop:

The Scoop Half-Full:

Parents appear to enthusiastically agree that King’s recent renaissance stems from the day that principal Kim Patterson walked through its doors.  Formerly an assistant principal at nearby Jefferson High, Principal Patterson comes to King with years of experience in marginalized schools, with an energy and optimism that parents describe as limitless.  In her two years at the helm, she has made massive and visible changes to the feel and energy of the school, minimized behavior issues, and has established partnerships with outside entities to benefit and support the school’s transformation.  She also has deeply affected the program that King offers its students, adding Spanish, dance, music teachers, a brand new computer lab, and an optional but well-attended summer school for all students.  Parents describe her as accessible, decisive, and tirelessly focused on making King successful.

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The International School - profile

The International School is an independent preK-5th grade International Baccalaureate school which is also full immersion in 3 separate language tracks: Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, and Spanish. Located in close-in SW Portland, it draws students from all over the metro area whose parents value 2nd language development for their children.  We talked with a few parents in the different language tracks and sum up their take on the school:

The Scoop Half-Full:

The International School (TIS) calls it “True Immersion” -- that is, for the elementary school, 65% of all learning is done fully in the target language (one of 3 languages, chosen early on), and taught by native speakers.  And while it’s not necessarily obvious at first, your child will no doubt reach proficiency by the end of the first or second year (and full fluency by the time they graduate).  Students’ language experience culminates in the 5th grade with their Capstone trip, where they spend 2 weeks traveling in a country of their language of study.  Paid for by tuition, the Capstone trip is a mix of cultural immersion with native families and touring the sites – certainly an incredible experience after several years of study.

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