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Calendar of Upcoming Events

  • Mon, February 20th - President's Day - No School!
  • Tue, February 21st - OHSU COVID test drop-off day
  • Mon, February 27th - Coffee With Friends, 8:20-8:45am (meet fellow parents!)
  • Tue, February 28th - CSCS Board Meeting, 4:30 - 6pm (email Amy to RSVP)
  • Wed, March 1st - Perspective Families Open House for K-8 students, 6:30pm
Import the full school calendar to your own Google calendar by clicking here

We had a total of 0 reported COVID-19 cases at Cottonwood, week ending February 17th.

Sign up for Charter School Legislative Advocacy Day!

Our school is part of the Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools (ORC3S), a group which advocates on our behalf in the legislature to make sure our schools get the support and funding we need. The legislature is in session now, and we need parents, students, and teachers to get involved and help advocate to make sure charter schools like ours get enough funding.
You may know that the current state funding formula results in charter schools receiving less money than neighborhood schools - we will be advocating to change that, and especially to prevent any further cuts to charter school funding.  This is crucial to our school's future!



** SIGN UP NOW - Tuesday, March 7th - Advocacy Day ** 
(hybrid in person in Salem and virtual, you can participate either way)

We will be advocating for charter school funding with legislators.  Please plan to attend in person or virtually if at all possible!  There will be a 9 am meeting to prepare and then you'll attend one or more legislator meetings that day (virtually or in person).  
Sign up here!

If you're interested in attending but aren't sure if you can make it work, please sign up and also get in touch with me and I'll help figure out a way for you to participate!


You can also sign up here to stay in the loop with ORC3S advocacy efforts whether you're able to attend the advocacy day or not, and you can find more info about the advocacy efforts on their website.

Please reach out if you have any questions about this or want to touch base about how you can be involved! 


- Kate Sharaf, parent of Esther (4th grade/Laine's class) and Henry (K) 

Join us for a CSCS Family Night!

Winter Plant Teachings

Where: The Cottonwood School

When: Wednesday March 22nd, 2023, 6-7pm

What: Classroom teachers and students from the kindergarten, 3rd grade and Sara's 1st/2nd grade will lead stations about our three winter plant teachers... plus a sing-along! Plant teachers this season are alder, willow and dandelion. 

Who: ALL Cottonwood families and friends! 

Please RSVP here so we have enough materials!

A Reminder About Parking

We have been asked by our neighbors at the Oregon Ballet Theater to remind our families that there is no parking allowed in their lot for school pick-up or drop-off. 
A Note from Katt, our Reading Intervention Specialist

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of their deep and continuing needs, is good for them. –Maya Angelou

Hello Cottonwood families! I am Katt, the Reading Intervention Specialist for K-3rd grades. I have been busy working to build up classroom libraries and a school ‘mobile’ library. (More to come on that soon!)

There are many ways this is happening, one such way is through book orders from Scholastic. At this time, brochures are sent home for 1st-5th grades. However, I can make it available for any child at any grade level. Please check in if you have financial barriers to bringing more books into your home, and we can talk about what we might be able to do to help. 

Next week, I will be handing out brochures to students in 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades. If your child is not in one of those grades, but you would like to know more, please email me at
Register for Adventure Play Summer Camp

Registration is OPEN for Adventure Play Summer Camp! Sign up HERE.

Check out our offerings for this summer's camps, run by our amazing and beloved Cottonwood aides: Joe, Yuri, Paola and Gabby! Sign up for one week, or multiple. Each week will be full of fun, imagination, learning and cooperation. 

We are offering a sliding scale fee, and can help arrange payment plans if needed. Reach out to Jillian to discuss your options. 
This is a summer camp for creating our Utopia, the place where you belong, the place you learn your life skills, the place you share fun, food, and laughter with your friends; the place we call our HOME. Camp will be led by our amazing staff: Joe, Yuri, Paola and Gabby!  Phase 1: Jun 26-30 / Fiber Art and Storytelling. Phase 2: Jul 10-14 / Spells and Potions. Phase 3: Jul 17-21 / Puppetry and Performance. Phase 4: Jul 24-28 / Elements and Simple Machines . Phase 5: Jul 31-Aug 4 / Build Our Utopia . Hours: 9 am - 3 pm (optional aftercare). Incoming Cottonwood students only.  Cost per week (sliding scale):  $350, $390, or $480. Guidelines for scale will be provided. Payment plans are available. The fee must be fully paid by May 5, 2023. No refunds after this date.  Space Limited!
Everyday: Adventure Play + MORE. Every day, we are planning to have time for group circles, adventure play, reading, cooking, water play, and weekly projects. However, based on the campers' interests and group discussion, our camp will be reformed day by day!  Phase 1: June 26 - June 30. Fiber Arts & Storytelling. Build universes while exploring unique mediums: paper-making, weaving, dying, sewing, and more! Based on student interest, we'll get to practice creativity, communication, and community building.  Phase 2: July 10 - July 14. Spells & Potions. From herbal medicines to natural dyes, from mixing and drinking some potions--campers will learn and experience the magic of the natural world. Using the gifts of different plants, they will learn about wellness and self-care practices.   Phase 3: July 17 - July 21. Puppetry & Performance. Led by a professional puppeteer, we'll learn the basics of creating characters, sets, exciting storylines, and engaging performances. Both future-performers and future-technicians are welcome!   Phase 4: July 24 - July 28. Elements and Simple Machines. Using the elements of wind, water, and willpower, we will learn the basic concepts of a Rube Goldberg machine. We'll incorporate water play, basic engineering and team building.  Phase 5: July 31 - August 4. Build our Utopia. What is home? What is there and who are you with? How do we build a world that serves us? We will discuss what a utopia is, and how we can bring it to our community.

Community Clothing Closet

Clothing closet open next Friday, February 24! 9am - 12pm

Please reach out to Kristin if that day doesn't work and you need clothes. I can pick some clothes up for you!

Clothing Closet shopping dates:
  • Friday, February 24, 9am-12pm
  • Friday, March 17, 9am-12pm
  • Friday, April 21, 9am-12pm
  • Friday, May 19, 9am-12pm
Ainsworth Elementary
2425 SW Vista Ave
Portland, OR 97201

Save the Date

When: March 15th at 2:00pm
What: Join Friends of Cottonwood/PTO for a mixer before school pick up!
Where: Elephants on Corbett

Smith & Yarn Live!

DateSmith and Yarn promo photo
February 25th, 2023

$10 – $15 

Smith & Yarn are all about families. Let’s move our hearts together while we’re moving to the sound of this inspiring and joyful show! This show is fun for audiences of all ages. Get tickets here!

Aaron Nigel Smith was a Cottonwood parent, taught music at CSCS several times over the past 14 years, and the 2022 recipient of the Cottonwood Black Excellence Award. Learn more.

Black Lives Matter Signs For Our Fence

All month long, we invite families to create Black Lives Matter signs for our fenceline. We are excited to bring back our Black Lives Matter fenceline to celebrate with and educate our whole community. Bring homemade signs in all month and we will try to weatherize them if possible and get them onto our fence!

If signs are on 8.5 x 11 paper, we can laminate them at the office - otherwise, consider how to create signs that can withstand the rain. If you want to create a sign, but don't have access to materials, check at the office - we can help. 

This is a time to show our Black students and neighbors that they matter and that they are loved. Black Lives Matter at School's mission is to spark a movement of critical reflection, honest discussion, and impactful action in school communities in order to raise awareness of racial justice issues among people of all ages.
Brightly colored, hand painted cardboard sign that reads "Black joy is sacred!"

Black History Month Events

More ways to get involved with Black History Month events and initiatives around the city!
Multnomah County Library locations with Black cultural library advocates on staff: Albina, Capitol Hill, Central, Fairview-Columbia, Gregory Heights, Gresham, Hillsdale, Hollywood, Kenton, Midland, N Portland, Rockwood, Sellwood-Moreland, St. Johns   African American Read-In. Celebrate Black History Month with Black literature. Join us as community leaders, teachers, students and local celebrities read from their favorite books by African American writers. Fiction and nonfiction will be featured. For all ages. Saturday, February 18 1-3pm. North Portland Library. 512 N Killingsworth St.  Black History Month film showcase - I Rise documentary. Hillsdale Library, Feb. 23, 3:30-5:30pm and Feb. 25, 4-6pm.  Black Resistance Storytime! A celebration of Black folks for children age 0-6. Sat, Feb 25, 2-3pm, N Portland Library Young Gifted & Black Cohort; series 1: a digital abolition study circle for young Black youth of pdx-metro area. Paid leadership opportunity
Cottonwood School Open House for Perspective Students

Do you know a family who might be interested in joining the Cottonwood community for the 2023-2024 school year? Let them know about our Open House on March 1st! Families of students entering all grades K-8 are welcome. Feel free to share this flyer and this link for more information. 
Flier for Cottonwood School Open House March 1st at 6:30pm

Share Your Photos

Have you taken photos of the Arts Park Run, when you volunteered for Adventure Play or Field Work? Did you volunteer and get photos in the classroom or at an "all hands" or animal family meetings? How about the play? Any photos of your child(ren) at school with friends/classmates or staff?

We would love your photos for our yearbook! You can upload your photos here:

BIPOC Affinity Group Dates

The BIPOC affinity club will meet after school (on the school patio) for a light snack followed by greetings, games and activities from 3:00-4:00 on the following dates: 
  • Thursday, March 2, 2023
  • Friday, March 24, 2023 (12:30pm-1:30pm)
  • Thursday, April 6, 2023
  • Thursday, April 27, 2023
  • Thursday, May 4, 2023
  • Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • Thursday, June 8, 2023

Our team is looking for a few parent volunteers of color, especially men of color to join the affinity group leaders. Please let us know if you are interested. We invite all students of color to participate in the affinity space and encourage parents to talk with their children about participating. 

Please RSVP  and send any questions to If your student(s) have any food allergies and sensitivities please add that when you RSVP. We want to make sure we accommodate and honor any food allergies or preferences. 

More information on Affinity spaces can be found below:

With Care,

Paola, Gabby, & Sade

February Plant Teaching

We are seeking Willow donations! Is anyone trimming a willow tree? We would love your willow branches of any size!

Thank you!
Please contact Kristin Krem or Sara Miller

plant teachings flyer for willow, which represents flexibility

The Cottonwood School 2022-23 Calendar

Did you know you can import the school calendar to your own Google calendar by clicking here? No more wondering if there is school, or when something is due! 
The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science 2022-2023 school calendar

See the full calendar here

Copyright © 2023 Cottonwood School of Civics and Science, All rights reserved.

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