In addition to its more traditional public schools PPS also has numerous charter school options for K-12 students. These schools provide specific educational programs with a more narrow delivery model receiving much more flexibility in exchange for a higher level of accountability. Typically each charter school has a particular focus such as STEM foreign language or the arts while still providing sound instruction in subjects across the board.
Although public charter schools are subject to stringent oversight from PPS they are actually independent nonprofit organizations that receive public funding—rather than being school district entities. PPS also provides support to these schools in the form of information technology professional development and regular directors’ meetings.
Portland currently has eight charter schools throughout the city. Perhaps the most well known is Trillium which accepts students across all grade levels and uses a holistic approach to engage the local community in children’s educational experiences much more so than the average public school. The school’s top goal is to graduate students who are committed to lifelong learning and contribute to the global landscape in a positive way.
Portland Public Schools also offers a number of foreign language immersion programs focused on Mandarin Chinese Japanese Russian and Spanish. These programs available to all students in the district immerse students in the language and culture of each school’s particular focus while continuing to provide quality instruction in various subjects.