Supply & Fieldwork Contributions

Contributions help cover costs for all school supplies, home learning kits, learning platforms, new chromebooks, guest speakers, fieldwork fees and more.


We ask that contributions be paid, or payment plans be set up by October 15th.


Before you make your contribution, please read the following to understand our sliding scale 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.


Why a sliding Scale?


A sliding scale structure gives all families the opportunity to contribute 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 for each student. We budget to receive most of that money, and it is all spent on exactly what it is asked for.


When you contribute to supply and fieldwork costs 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 contributions really help us to get there!


Step 1: See where your family falls on the sliding scale


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.


Sliding Scale Fees


Step 2: Consider factors beyond income


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 …


    • Own your home
    • Have retirement accounts, investments, or inherited money
    • Were raised upper-middle or owning class
    • Have the ability to prioritize expenses including discretionary expenses like travel, dining out, entertainment, etc.
    • Have access to credit or low barriers to purchasing big items
    • Have a multi-income earning family, with access to family money and resources in times of need or other support
    • Have a relatively high degree of earning power* due to your education level (or other privileges you may have associated with race, gender, citizenship status, class background, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, etc).


*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 contributing less when you …


    • are supporting more children, other dependents, or sending remittances
    • have significant debt to income ratio
    • have medical expenses not covered by insurance
    • are on a fixed income, such as senior citizens
    • have chronic health needs or disabilities that have financial implications
    • Have limited access to resources, credit, savings, etc
    • are impacted by systemic and historic oppression
    • are impacted by state violence (e.g. refugees, asylees and injustice in our criminal system)
    • have to choose between basic needs and the ability to pay at a higher level


Thank you for your support! If our sliding scale does not reach the range you need and you would like a lower contribution or would like to make a larger contribution, please contact Our Executive Director, Amanda McAdoo at amandamcadoo [at]


Step 3: Making your contribution

If paying by check please send to The Cottonwood School  640 S Bancroft Street Portland, Oregon 97239


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.

Make a Donation to Help Further Place-Based Education!