Portland is home to some of the best schools in the state. With the city offering an above average standard of schooling, parents can rest assured that their children will be well educated. There is also a range of school options available in Portland, from public and private to international and special-needs schools.
When choosing a type of school, parents should take into consideration the length of their stay and their budget. While public schools are great for integration and budget, those who do not plan on staying in the states long may want to consider an international school that teaches the curriculum of their home country.
Public schools in Portland
Around 80 percent of school age children in Portland attend public schools. These schools are state funded and are therefore free for everyone. Unless one chooses to attend a private or international school, one will be allocated a school in the district in which they live. Parents should therefore take this into consideration when choosing a neighbourhood.
Although the quality of facilities and schooling varies throughout the city, as a whole, the education offered by public schools in Portland is above the national average. Those wanting to send their children to a public school should familiarise themselves with the top school districts in the city and choose a neighbourhood that’s situated in one of these districts.
Private and International schools in Portland
There is quite a large number of private and international schools in Portland, with around half of them having religious affiliations. There are no school districts for these schools, so children can live anywhere in the city while attending a private or international school.
There are both single-sex private schools and those that have boarding houses for students that don’t live in the city. This therefore means that people from elsewhere in the country or even the world can attend these schools and live in the boarding house.
The international schools teach either the international baccalaureate or a foreign curriculum. This therefore gives foreign children the option of being taught their home curriculum in their home language.
Fees for both private and international schools can be exorbitant and often do not include the costs of school uniforms, lunches and school trips. That said, these schools do offer smaller classes and lower student to teacher ratios, as well as better facilities and access to after-school activities.
If wanting to send their children to one of these schools, parents should negotiate a school allowance into their work contract that can assist with the fees involved. These schools are in high demand and, as spaces are limited, parents should apply as soon as possible to secure a place for their child.
Special-needs education in Portland
There are quite a few special-needs schools in Portland that are equipped with highly trained teachers and facilities for children with a variety of special needs. Due to state funding, the fees for these schools are also not as high as other private schools in the city.
Public schooling is also accessible for those with minor special needs, however. Many schools in Portland are equipped with special-needs teachers and facilities that can assist these students and integrate them into the public school system. Only children with needs that are above what a public school can offer, are required to attend specific special needs schools.
Tutors in Portland
Tutoring is highly popular in the US, and Portland is no exception. While tutors can assist a child with a specific subject in which they may be struggling, they can also help prepare students for big examinations or college applications, as well as assist them with adjusting to a new curriculum or language of instruction. This can be specifically useful for children coming from a non-English speaking country.
While some schools offer tutoring for their students, parents can also hire private, home or online, tutors from specific websites. There are also a number of tutor companies and learning centres that offer private or group sessions. These include companies such as SquareOne, Brighter Futures Group and Futurelink.
►See Accommodation in Portland for information about the different housing options in the city.
Are you an expat living in Portland?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Portland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.