Portland -- or maybe this generation? -- overall seems to be a bit lacking in this department. The "graduation" ceremonies at each grade are ridiculous to me, but I get that they're cultural touchstones now.
Our son just completed his Kindergarten year, and we have been so impressed with Chapman. He has an IEP, and contrary to the horror stories we have heard, our IEP process was smooth and congenial. Despite the large class sizes, the teachers are patient, good-humored, and creative and the school has been able to attract excellent classroom support teams. The principal is very accessible, and the building itself is well-maintained yet still very classic Portland.
I came here for my second year of Kindergarten in special ed. The teacher was and the paraeducators were great. The teacher was hilarious and she had classroom pets. The learning activities were fun and the school has really good art. The school building looks amazing and vintage, especially the front of the school. I also enjoyed the open houses and arts programs.
I have two sons attending Chapman and they have had a wonderful experience here. The teachers are attentive, involved and sincerely care about the students. My experience with the Principal has been very warm and compassionate, as well. Ms. Brand in the Special Education Department has made an incredible difference in one of my son's learning experience. Great community involvement and parent volunteers. One cannot talk about Chapman without mentioning the Swifts that roost in the chimney every fall, which is just an added little bonus!
Chapman Elementary School Portland, Oregon Just the fact that my grandson couldn't wait to go back to school this fall says volumes about the quality of education at Chapman Elementary School in Portland, Oregon! He was hoping he would be assigned to a 2nd grade class in a portable classroom. He got his wish, which was an added plus! Chapman invites all of the students Grandparents to visit Chapman for Grandparents Day every fall. It is held on Halloween; complete with a fabulous all school and staff Halloween Parade along with a classroom visitation after the parade!
Chapman is unique in its secluded area and history. Chapman has had budget cuts just like every other public school in the country and it shows in the faces of the teachers. Safety is the biggest issue I have seen during school hours. The grounds are open and the younger children are not being supervised properly. Over 200 children are on the playground after lunch. Teachers were stretched too thin to tend to every bump, bruise and scrap. Lunch - like many public school lunches - are not cooked in kitchen. Lunch is transported to the school and warmed on site. Children are offered Smuckers Uncrustables as the cold option. They have 20 minutes to eat. This school is beautiful and highly spoken of by staff and parents but needs serious attention to detail before someone gets seriously hurt or lost.
I went to school here in 5th too. I loved it. The music part had a huge impact on my life. Mr. Clark the music teacher at that time, was the best teacher ever. He let us be in musicals without auditioning and told me once that I sang with a lot of passion in my voice. Even though I was in 5th grade, that made me feel good as a kid. Which is what all teachers should be doing. Everyone there was friendly to me and I had a great time. Bottom line: Send your kids here.
I went to this school in 5th grade and LOVED IT. (I'm in 8th now) the parents were really involved and the teachers knew what they were doing. It was a very small school with a big heart, I also enjoyed there music class/program very much. We even got to be in musicals no matter if you auditioned for a part or not. You always had one! Definitely send your son/daughter there.