We are grateful for your partnership this last year and sticking with us through the many challenges that come with teaching and operating a school during an ever-changing pandemic. We acknowledge that this year has been particularly emotionally exhausting for our families, students and staff. Nevertheless, it has been a year full of growth, new possibilities, and overcoming obstacles.
Looking ahead to next year we are focusing on increasing our social-emotional support to students and families. Our school counselor will increase from 2 to 3 days at Cottonwood. We are also looking to hire a full-time behavior support coach who will help us continue to improve and expand our behavioral support systems. We are committed to helping all students feel emotionally and physically safe in their learning environments. Further, we will be partnering with PlayWorks who will be on site two days per week helping our staff deliver the best possible recess experience to our students. We know that research supports exercise/movement as a crucial component to positively impacting mental health.
Additionally we are excited to bring back core Cottonwood community activities. Our after school theater program will return, as will All School Meetings and Animal Families (multi-grade groupings gathered for community building). We will be bringing back explicit character trait work to support social-emotional learning in the form of plant teachings and more! We believe these enriching community building activities will help restore calm in light of last year’s unsettling behaviors.
Last, we want you to know that it isn’t our intention to jump to a 4 day week, but it is a possibility as we navigate a very difficult hiring climate. As a charter school operating on about 60% of your neighborhood school’s funding and with rising inflation, we are having a hard time competing for teachers with our salaries. Come August, if we are still struggling to find classroom teachers, we will revisit the possibility of a 4 day week. We would not make this decision without further staff and community input. Currently we are focused on getting the word out, interviewing and making offers for all of the available positions. We are working hard at it and we need your help!
Please spread the word that Cottonwood is hiring!
Like students in schools across the country, our students returned to school more academically behind than previous years. Nearly 80% of our students came back one or more years behind in their math knowledge. By the end of the year half our students were at or above grade level and another 40% were close to being caught up. Our preliminary state testing results for grades 3-8 show our students outperforming the state average at all grades in both math and literacy. Our literacy scores were particularly strong. Approximately 75% of our students met or exceeded the state standards in literacy and another 20% were close to meeting. This compares to the state average of only around 45% of students meeting the standards in literacy. Despite the challenges of this year, our students learned and grew academically.
6th Grade Teacher
Part-time 7th grade math teacher
The school office is now closed for the summer. For immediate needs please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This will be checked 2x a week throughout summer.
Summer Community Resources -
Multnomah County Rent Relief
Free Lunch + Play
Enjoy the warm weather and get outside!