Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

2 events this month


Monday, March 5, Please join Portland City Club for an important discussion:
Our feature film will be Robert Compton's "The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World's Most Surprising School System." Our opening short film will be a videorecording of young children at Reggio-inspired Opal School, a Public Charter School K-5 and Private Pre-school (ages 3-6) in the Portland Children's Museum. This short, amazing video is titled "What is Playful Literacy," will be offered as part of a book authored by Susan Mackay, one of our panelists.  
Students in Finland's schools and at Opal School learn largely through project-problem-and inquiry-based approaches, often involving learning in the larger community. There is very little testing, but there is a great deal of ongoing assessment and shared, public documentation of students' learning.  From our films and panelists alike, you will see and hear how these approaches are possible and how they engage and inspire students, and yield excellent results for students of diverse backgrounds and interests. Portraits like these can inspire ongoing civic dialogues on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as educators and citizens alike rethink and transform our educational system so that all students can enjoy excellence, engagement, and equity in our schools.
Our panelists include Susan MacKay from Opal School/Center for Children's Learning at the Children's Museum; Lisa Alibabaie from Alder Elementary School–a school-wide "I Have a Dream" Foundation-supported school in Reynolds School District; Drew Wilson from Jackson Middle School in SW Portland (Portland Public Schools); Will Parnell from Portland State University's Graduate School of Education and the Helen Gordon Child Development Center and Children's Center; and Xavier Pierce, a former student at Opal School and Jackson Middle School, now a student at Wilson High School.  Our commentator/ moderator will be Matt Karlsen, 4th grade teacher in Evergreen School District, WA & Project Director, Teaching American History, ESD 112.  Matt has taught in Costa Rica, Portland Public Schools, and Lewis & Clark College-Master of Arts in Teaching Program.
Here's a link to our event on City Club's website, You will find detailed information on our Monday, March 5 event as well as our Wednesday, March 14 event where we will explore the question How Important are the Arts and Civic Education in our Students' Current and Future Lives? 

And on March 20, you can hear Diane Ravitch speak at Lincoln High School. Click here for more information.