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Old 05-17-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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I am moving to Portland and am trying to find the best neighborhood and public public elementary school for our daughter who will be going in to kindergarten in the Fall. We would like to be walking distance to schools, parks, libraries, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. We are looking for a non-suburban feel to the hood. We are coming from Chicago, which is truly a city of neighborhoods, which we liked.

We have a short list, so far, consisting of: Llewellyn, Sunnyside, Buckman and Woodstock. We are trying to match both the quality of public schools with the live-ability of the neighborhoods they are in.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and comments, they are appreciated.
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
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The Oregonian has a nice website "rating" the schools.

In the primary schools, Winterhaven --which is in the Brooklyn neighborhood-- rated the highest in the city. Sunnyside is pretty close to the top, as well.

Brooklyn is a weird little area. Very small, and cut off due to major roads, railroads, etc. surrounding it. It doesn't seem to have as many services. Sunnyside would be much better in that respect.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
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I have lived in the Woodstock area all my life.
If I had to choose:

1. Llewellyn-Good solid Middle class family type feel. Great nieghborhood for raising kids. (There really isn't a Llewellyn "nieghborhood" as such. If you mean the area around Llewellyn Elementary school-That's the Sellwood Moreland nieghborhood). Llewellyn Elementary is a pretty good school. My daughter went there back in the early 90's. High house prices around here. People like living here and the area is old enough to have some pretty neat old houses.

2.Woodstock-Used to be kind of working class, but getting better with the influx of new families. (I think our previous mayor Tom Potter, previous county chair Diane Linn, and former Gov Barbara Roberts (among notable others) live in this nieghborhood. This is also a pretty good "kid" nieghborhood. Decent Schools. House prices here are slightly cheaper here than Sellwood-Moreland, but not by much.

3.Sunnyside--Not to be confused with Sunnyside, Clackamas area (Clackamas Town Center etc..)
This is actually the Belmont-Hawthorne nieghborhoods. Good if your young and like a "liberal" urban life. Used to be the "alternative hippy type" area until the yuppies and corporate people found it and decided to "upgrade" it. Kind of took away the "starving artist" atmosphere it had. Pretty busy urban nieghborhood. Alway lots of stuff going on. Can't speak to actual livability or schools here.

4.Buckman--A decent nieghborhood- but close in to Portland proper, so that means more working class, diversity, older houses, small yards, traffic etc. Also can't really speak to actual livability or schools here.

I don't think you could go wrong with Woodstack or Llewellyn. You will be disappointed in Portland Public Schools though.
You will find little nieghborhoods all over Portland.
Long ago, as the city grew, it gobbled up a lot of little towns.
You really need to come, visit, and drive around.


Hope this helps.

Last edited by pdxMIKEpdx; 05-18-2009 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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Wow! Thanks for the great replies! Sounds like Woodstock or Sellwood might be near the top of our list, still. We've been thinking of Woodstock, it's just too bad we are behind the gun on applying for the Mandarin immersion school for our Kindergartener.

My wife and I grew up in Corvallis and Eugene, and all of my siblings live in Portland and the metro area, so we have a pretty good idea of where and what we want. We also are lucky to have Portland residents to help us decide, but I thought hearing other people's opinions would also be beneficial. We like to hear all the different perspectives.

Anyone else?
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
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I live just a couple blocks from Woodstock School. The Chinese immersion program is a very succesful award winning program. Keep trying!
Woodstock is a great area. It has a Safeway, Bi-mart, Ace hardware, restauarants , coffee shops, library....you name it. It's like a little town within the city.
You could live just fine and never leave the nieghborhood. The town of Woodstock was started in the late 1880's I believe. It's a great family nieghborhood and close enough to downtown and the river, and is a good quiet base from which to get to know Portland.
All the nieghborhoods you mentioned are within 5 to 10 minutes of each other, but each has it's own flavor.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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i live by lloyd center and my kids go to buckman elementary. it is a great school for arts/music if you want your kids to get into that. we will be moving to another neighborhood this summer but plan on keeping my kids enrolled in buckman next year.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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The parent involvement at all those schools have dramatically changed for the better. The Llewellyn of today is VERY different than the Llewellyn of the early 90s. My oldest went to K & 1st grade there in 06, 07. We moved out of state in 07.

Llewellyn has a VERY active parent base. Their PTA auction raised 40K this year. Between the PTA & the Foundation at Llewellyn they raise between 60 -90K a year for the school. VERY committed middle class parents. Everyday at that school you will see parents volunteering in EVERY grade... and most every class. And the teachers are incredible, dedicated, seasoned but still innovative. While there is not a neighborhood named "Llewellyn"... most of the kids that go there live in Westmoreland or Sellwood. When we were there 80% of the kids walked to school daily. And the neighborhood businesses do a lot to support Llewellyn.

Buckman is mainly an art magnet school. There is a very small walk zone around Buckman but the majority of kids get in by lottery. Winterhaven is straight lottery.... no walk zone. I believe the lotteries have been selected for next year in all magnet schools. When we were still in Portland the general thought about Woodstock is that if you got into the immersion program then your child was getting a good solid education. But the non-immersion program was a little "iffy". I would have picked Lewis over the non-immersion at Woodstock. But in 2 years a school can improve.

Sunnyside is very crunchy even for Portland. I believe Sunnyside has a walk zone & a lottery. Double check this though.

While I think Llewellyn is an amazing school, it is that way because of the parents and staff. Oregon has MAJOR issues with school funding. People pick on PPS and say it's the worst. The suburbs have their share of issues too and it's all related to the way the state funds and distributes money. Our current school in NC has fewer percentage of parent volunteers (in part because of a great socio-economic diversity) and parents do not raise nearly the amount of money here as our old school. But we are so much happier w/ our children's education because even in the economic downturn we feel there is more certainty on how things are funded and what is funded. (Oregon does not fund full day Kindergarten... just half day. At some public schools you can pay for full day... but your child will still be in a class of 25- 30 kids for K. Oregon also does not fund art & music.)

No matter which school you pick, just be prepared to help prop up the school in terms of volunteer hours and fundraisers. But even so Llewellyn will always hold a special place in my heart.

Edit: I'm pretty sure you have missed the cut off for the lottery, so you would have to get on the waitlist as the magnet schools for the fall... this includes Buckman (unless you live in their small walk zone), Winterhaven (no walkzone), and Woodstock's Immersion program. Portland historically has a had a liberal transfer policy w/in PPS neighborhood schools. But I would encourage you to call PPS Office of Student Assignment and get more info. Good luck. SE Portland is a wonderful place to live.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxMIKEpdx View Post
I have lived in the Woodstock area all my life.
If I had to choose:

1. Llewellyn-Good solid Middle class family type feel. Great nieghborhood for raising kids. (There really isn't a Llewellyn "nieghborhood" as such. If you mean the area around Llewellyn Elementary school-That's the Sellwood Moreland nieghborhood). Llewellyn Elementary is a pretty good school. My daughter went there back in the early 90's. High house prices around here. People like living here and the area is old enough to have some pretty neat old houses.

2.Woodstock-Used to be kind of working class, but getting better with the influx of new families. (I think our previous mayor Tom Potter, previous county chair Diane Linn, and former Gov Barbara Roberts (among notable others) live in this nieghborhood. This is also a pretty good "kid" nieghborhood. Decent Schools. House prices here are slightly cheaper here than Sellwood-Moreland, but not by much.

3.Sunnyside--Not to be confused with Sunnyside, Clackamas area (Clackamas Town Center etc..)
This is actually the Belmont-Hawthorne nieghborhoods. Good if your young and like a "liberal" urban life. Used to be the "alternative hippy type" area until the yuppies and corporate people found it and decided to "upgrade" it. Kind of took away the "starving artist" atmosphere it had. Pretty busy urban nieghborhood. Alway lots of stuff going on. Can't speak to actual livability or schools here.

4.Buckman--A decent nieghborhood- but close in to Portland proper, so that means more working class, diversity, older houses, small yards, traffic etc. Also can't really speak to actual livability or schools here.

I don't think you could go wrong with Woodstack or Llewellyn. You will be disappointed in Portland Public Schools though.
You will find little nieghborhoods all over Portland.
Long ago, as the city grew, it gobbled up a lot of little towns.
You really need to come, visit, and drive around.


Hope this helps.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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Glencoe on SE 49th & Belmont is one of the best elementary schools, as are the schools in the Woodstock and Sellwood areas. However, Glencoe and its immediate surrounding area enjoy closer linkage to downtown, I-5, I-84, and other area attractions.
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