Advertisement
Advertisement

GreatSchools Rating

Opal Public Charter School

Charter | K-5 | 80 students

We are best known for inquiry based approaches.

 

Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:

 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
No new ratings

Sweep tile
No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) on April 1, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 on April 30, 2014 (the “Promotion Period”). Open to legal residents of the U.S. and D.C., 13 years and older. Each school that receives a new, published review will get one (1) entry into the sweepstakes, up to ten (10) entries throughout the Promotion Period. See the Official Rules for details. Sponsor: GreatSchools, 1999 Harrison St., Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612.

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

14 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted today

The Opal School has been a tremendous gift to our family, and I cannot say enough positive things about the education our child is receiving there. We have one child in our neighborhood school and one at Opal, and wow....the differences are incredible. Opal is truly a magical place, and approaches education from so many different directions -- social, emotional, academic, artistic, physical. Out child continues to grow as a confident, sensitive and inquisitive collaborator in her education, and this is in large part to the competent and brilliant educators at Opal. She knows deeply that she has the power to learn, and even at 5 years old she is able to articulate that confidence and chart a path forward. The teachers and staff are hugely committed to the school and to children and families. We have been welcomed into the community with open arms, and have been provided with loads of opportunities for volunteering and other social events. Our child is absolutely thriving at Opal. We feel hugely grateful that this school exists in Portland, and also that they work so hard to share their research and insight with other local programs and schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 26, 2014

Opal is amazing unique school. It supports kids learning of social responsibility and community involvement. I am confused by the bullying comment. Kids are given space to interact with each other and carefully guided when conflicts arise. The test scores might be poor in 3rd grade, but they are stellar by 5th, as the school does not "teach to the test." The downside to Opal is it only goes to 5th grade.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 31, 2014

Opal school is truly amazing! My son started at Opal in second grade and is now a fifth grader. What I've noticed about Opal is that it produces highly engaged learners who are self confident and happy. What my son is taking away from Opal is truly invaluable. I couldn't be happier.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 19, 2013

Stay Away! While the classrooms look lovely, children are not learning. Children in 3rd grade cannot do basic math or read! Children can barely pass the OAKS test (which is *not* hard). Children learn bullying here. You have to pay a 300 dollar materials fee!!! Stay away!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 10, 2010

My children attended Opal School for their elementary school years. I cannot say enough wonderful things about their school experience. My children were supported and nurtured by all of their teachers throughout their school experience. The teachers, staff and parents are a dedicated community of people who care deeply about educating our children. My children benefited tremendously. I can confidently say that my children know how to think, ask questions, inquire, be creative and have a strong sense of who they are and the gifts that they bring to their community. It truly is a place that is preparing children for the 21st century! I learned so much as well, and only wish that Opal School went all the way through high school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 23, 2010

Opal school has continued to amaze me. My child is attending for his second year. The children are treated with the upmost of respect, the curriculum is intentionally designed to inspire and challenge children, the environment is very beautiful and the educators continue bringing leading ideas in education to the classroom. It is very rare to find a school that is so committed to excellence in so many ways.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 18, 2010

Enticed by the Reggio Amelia philosophy and CM2 location we left a "mediocre" public school to attend Opal. After a short time, we were substantially and consistently disappointed with the overall school culture created by inexperienced teachers, troubled leadership, a lack of social boundaries allowed with the children, plus a very poor practical interpretation of the Reggio philosophy. My child received report cards that revealed the teacher knew nothing about him. And worse, high marks were given where no testing or even lessons were given which I can only guess was to meet PPS test scores to remain funded by supposedly meeting benchmarks. Many of the kids there since preschool were illiterate in second grade. Classroom management was so unskilled that at times it resembled a sort of Opal "Lord of the Flies". Returning to public elementary was a relief. Run, Run, Run from Opal.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 18, 2010

My experience at Opal has been very well described by those giving three or less stars. This is a very, very poor school so do your homework before signing on. Something is rotting there and it takes a while to get past the pretty classrooms and stellar location to find it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 3, 2007

I have faith in the Opal school's philosophy, and was impressed by my son's teachers there. We spent a year at Opal in their preschool program, and while I would encourage those parents entering the charter lottery, I discourage those considering the preschool. My son has taken huge leaps this year, and has emerged a creative, socially adept, inquisitive kid. He was treated with respect, and spent his days with what I consider to be his other family. However, the preschool kids are not guaranteed a spot in the charter school, so if you take this route your child is likely to be devastated. They are old enough to understand that there is a 'big kid school' within the building, but won't understand the bureaucracy. If you can, find your child a community in which he will be guaranteed a permanent place, or where all the kids are moving on.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 21, 2006

I have to give Opal School a mixed review, for the three years our family was there. Although I gave the staff credit for their passion and vision of children, it was very difficult to translate their ideals into a real life approach that works for all or even most children. Because there was no set curriculum, the teachers worked extremely hard just to figure out what to do each day, leaving them with little energy to help individual kids.The subject matter was at times child directed as advertised, but by the same few highly verbal children.There was virtually no direct instruction, even for children clearly lagging in skills, nor recognition of mild learning differences. Behavioral boundaries were inconsistent. Parents who expressed concern were labelled as disloyal. When we left, my child's literacy skills lagged by 2 grade levels, and we had to repeat a grade. She is doing very well now, but it was hard.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 11, 2006

I have been an Opal parent for 5 years. I could not possibly be happier with our experience. At Opal, my children are learning to use the arts and sciences as 'languages' to express and explore their ideas and theories about the world. They are becoming competent and creative thinkers and problem solvers who really understand their academic work and are very engaged with it. The teachers are truly researchers and scholars who care deeply about the experience of each individual. Creating a safe and strong classroom community is fundamental to their approach. Children are expected to make mistakes as they grow, and are not banished when they do so, but supported and gently guided to making choices that are helpful to their school community. I love the frequent trips to the zoo and hiking in the beautiful arboretum-- rain or shine, or trips on the MAX train to explore Portland!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 24, 2006

We thought we had won the lottery when we got a place here for our child! It turned out to be a real nightmare. No behavior policy is present, therefore bullying is endemic. My child and many others were abused by peers on a daily basis. The school were hopelessly in denial. They talked about community but in reality it was a PR talking point, because the lessons are designed to benefit only the kids with the strongest and loudest personalities. And coincidence or not, several of those kids were from families of annual school donors of $10,000 upwards. If you keep your mouth shut, and have a lot of money to offer them, your child might survive here. But private school is probably a much better option if you have the money. Academically, the school is deeply challenged. For details, have a look at the Oregon school report card.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 17, 2006

The Opal school is the best! My family moved to Portland, Oregon just for the opportunity for our dughter to attend this amazing school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 13, 2005

My 3rd grader has attended Opal since kindergarten, and thrives in this supportive and respectful community. High-quality teachers work with students individually in small classes, and help each child get in touch with their strengths and reach their highest potential. The arts are integrated in all learning, and the school makes a point of not becoming consumed with 'teaching to the test' to meet benchmarks. Despite this unconventional approach (or because of it...), my son and other Opal students are developing powerful critical thinking skills, distinct literary voices and a deep competency and understanding of mathematics. It's not for everyone...inadequate charter funding means no fancy playgrounds and almost no extracurricular activities. 'Back to basics' folks would be quite uncomfortable with Opal's approach. Parent involvement is welcomed, and is vital to the school's operation. We help in the classroom, the office, administer the lunch program, raise funds, and more!
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 61% in 2013.

14 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
62%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 66% in 2013.

14 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
71%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
>=95%

2010

 
 
69%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Oregon used the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math; in grade 11 in writing; and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in science. The OAKS is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Oregon. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 64% in 2013.

15 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
>=95%

2011

 
 
39%

2010

 
 
77%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 73% in 2013.

15 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
80%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
69%

2010

 
 
>95%
Writing

2010

 
 
69%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Oregon used the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math; in grade 11 in writing; and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in science. The OAKS is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Oregon. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2013.

17 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
69%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
71%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 68% in 2013.

17 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
>=95%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
>=95%

2010

 
 
79%
Science

The state average for Science was 67% in 2013.

17 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
62%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
93%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Oregon used the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math; in grade 11 in writing; and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in science. The OAKS is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Oregon. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Math

All Students79%
Female83%
Male75%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White73%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
English language learnersn/a
Migrantn/a
Academically giftedn/a
Special Education with Accomodationn/a

Reading

All Students71%
Female67%
Male75%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White73%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
English language learnersn/a
Migrantn/a
Academically giftedn/a
Special Education with Accomodationn/a
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Oregon used the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math; in grade 11 in writing; and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in science. The OAKS is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Oregon. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Math

All Students93%
Female88%
Male>=95%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White92%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
English language learnersn/a
Migrantn/a
Academically giftedn/a
Special Education with Accomodationn/a

Reading

All Students80%
Female75%
Male86%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White77%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
English language learnersn/a
Migrantn/a
Academically giftedn/a
Special Education with Accomodationn/a
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Oregon used the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math; in grade 11 in writing; and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in science. The OAKS is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Oregon. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Math

All Students88%
Female91%
Male83%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White86%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
English language learnersn/a
Migrantn/a
Academically giftedn/a
Special Education with Accomodationn/a

Reading

All Students>=95%
Female>=95%
Male>=95%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White>=95%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
English language learnersn/a
Migrantn/a
Academically giftedn/a
Special Education with Accomodationn/a

Science

All Students82%
Female82%
Male83%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White79%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
English language learnersn/a
Migrantn/a
Academically giftedn/a
Special Education with Accomodationn/a
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Oregon used the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math; in grade 11 in writing; and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in science. The OAKS is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Oregon. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 74% 66%
Black 8% 3%
Hispanic 8% 21%
Two or more races 6% 4%
Asian 5% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students participating in free or reduced-price lunch program 24%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

Teacher resources

Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Science
  • Technology
Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Student newspaper

Language learning

Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Clubs
  • Gardening

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Tara Papandrew
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Is there an application process?
  • No

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Independent Study
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Science
  • Technology

Resources

Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
School facilities
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Gardening
  • Student newspaper
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
More from this school
  • Opal School Values: A powerful image of the young child as intelligent, creative and capable with gifts and abilities the world needs. A belief that children play a central role in the development of their own learning. A deep respect for differences, however they may be expressed. A belief that listening, dialogue and exchange open doors to unimagined possibilities. A view that quality academic practice is found in an environment where people form relationships with one another, with ideas, the environment, the academic disciplines and with the content of their own research A belief in the rights of children, families and educators to participate together in forming and shaping rich environments of learning, challenge and choice.
School leaders can update this information here.

Visit

Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:
Elementary school


 

How to apply

Does this school have an application or enrollment process?
 

No

Planning Ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
DaVinci Arts
Neighborhood school
Charter schools
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

4015 SW Canyon Rd
Portland, OR 97221
Website: Click here
Phone: (503) 471-9902

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools






Cathedral School
Portland, OR


ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT