Opened in the Fall of 2007, The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science (formerly Southwest Charter School) offers a unique tuition 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.
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.
Our vision is to look beyond classroom walls. We believe that healthy communities are created by engaged, informed & compassionate citizens. 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.
Our small size benefits each child by allowing us the flexibility to explore methods and techniques not logistically possible in more traditional settings. This flexibility allows us to provide all children with the tools necessary to be successful in their education.
We believe community and parental involvement, as well as classroom volunteerism, is critical to our success. We view parents, families and the broader community as true partners in learning. The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science actively fosters a culture that promotes parental and community involvement.
Authentic, Place-based Learning:
Children learn best when participating in authentic, hands-on learning experiences that are closely tied to the community. Our place-based approach improves student achievement, help students develop a closer connection with the community in which they live, creates an appreciation for the natural world, and cultivates a desire to serve as active and committed citizens.