Pacific Crest Community School is a small, independent, nonprofit middle and high school tucked away in Portland’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. Our very first day of school in 1993 began with an all-school meeting led by students and we have held a weekly meeting ever since. These meetings exemplify how much we value student voice and community. If you come visit, you’ll also see how much we value active participation, individuality, and fun. From the front yard where students climb in the cherry tree, to our classrooms where teachers and students learn together, to the community room where 11 year olds and 17 year olds banter about politics, Pacific Crest is the kind of school where every person is respected and our differences bring us together.
To create an exceptional learning community and prepare students for active, positive participation in the adult world.
Dynamic and Emergent Curriculum
Teachers at Pacific Crest are learners, too. Each class is led by a teacher who takes into account what the students in the room know already, what they are curious about, and what they need to understand and be able to do. This thoughtful and flexible practice leaves room for inquiry because it allows for what is currently happening in the world and in the lives of students to come into the curriculum. New and varied courses are offered each semester, and teachers teach according to their own curiosity, expertise, life experience, and interests, which results in genuine enthusiasm from educators.
Supportive and Inclusive Community
Every student enters into the learning environment with individual strengths and challenges. Small classes and plenty of opportunities for one-on-one guidance from teachers supports each student in building a portfolio of work that shows his or her learning process and the progress made. Our student body is academically diverse and classes are often mixed-age; teachers, students, advisors, and parents work together to support each student’s progress.
Dedication to Community Service
Service to others is a vital part of the Pacific Crest education: It teaches us about ourselves and builds empathy; it brings us together and builds confidence; it is both a joy and a responsibility. Students and teachers engage in a variety of service opportunities each quarter, from socializing cats and dogs at the Oregon Humane Society to serving breakfast to hungry people at the Blanchet House. Service-learning classes like Bike Maintenance and Service Leadership in Action engage students and teachers in deeper, long-term service learning.
Vibrant and Joyful School Culture
Pacific Crest students and teachers have the opportunity to be creative, independent, and personally engaged in a strong and fun-loving educational community. On
any given day at Pacific Crest you might meet gamers, actors, musicians, poets, artists, table tennis champions, mathematicians, cyclists, climbers, LARPers, dancers, political activists, stand-up comics, world travelers, introverts, and extroverts. Each person brings something different and important to the learning environment. It is impossible to remain anonymous at Pacific Crest, and that makes each community member an active participant in an ever-evolving quest for awesomeness.