"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas childcare

Portland Preschool Scene & NE Preschool Recommendations

Anjani is beging to think about starting her son in preschool, come fall and beyond.  What have other urbanMamas experienced in terms of "getting into" preschools?  Have you seen waiting lists reams long?  Has it been easy-peasy and openings abundant?  Finally, does anyone have experience with cooperative preschools in Northeast Portland?

I've really enjoyed staying home with my 2-year-old son but comments from friends already agonizing over the preschool decision made me realize that perhaps it's time to look into this! We just moved to Portland from a city where you often have to get on preschool waiting lists years in advance.  Is it the same in Portland? (And if so, have I already missed the boat, if he's likely to start preschool in fall 2008 (he'll be 3.5 then)?  Hope not!)  Coops seem like the most affordable way to "do" preschool, esp, as I'm not working right now and don't mind being involved; does anyone have any input on coop vs non-coop schools? Also, we live in NE PDX, near Hollywood/Grant Park and see that there are three coop preschools nearby.  Does anyone have experience with either Tillamook Preschool, Hancock Preschool or Lee Owen Stone Preschool?  Are there other ones you'd recommend?


Check out Rose City co-op (on 60th right off of Sandy). The teacher is amazing and so are all of the families.

My daughter just started pre-school at Pockets Full of Posies on NE 14th & Freemont (503) 288-2703. She has been in daycare there since 4mo. old and she was encouraged to start the preschool at 2 1/2. She LOVES it and her teachers. I like that the teachers are both male and female. They provide us with a weekly learning plan so that we can see what will be discussed in advance. I can honestly recommend them.

All the co-ops you've named mostly do fall intake (unless they have openings, which...maybe they do midyear, but with demand being what it is, seems rare) and the kids have to be 3 years old anyway. So I think you should relax and prepare that your son may not start at one of these programs until he's 3.5. Of course, there are others that take 2 year olds and/or have more mid-year openings.

They all work by lottery. If you google them, and look at the websites, they'll tell you when to either call or submit an application on or by a specified date for the 2008/2009 year.

Also, there is a preschool fair (last one was in January) for N and NE schools:


A bunch of co-ops, plus preschools and daycares were there. It was a great opportunity to see all the different types of preschool options in the area. Maybe someone else can be more specific, but I'm assuming this is an annual thing?

My son just completed his time at Harmony Montessori -- it's great, absolutely great, and there is no waiting list and you can enter anytime you want. (503) 255-5337

I just signed my son (3 yrs) up for Cathedral Park Cooperative (St. John's area) to begin in the fall so I can't say much about whether or not I like it. It was recommended by a friend who I trust, as was Lee Owen Stone. LOS had a lottery and an early apply by date, but Cathedral Park took applications in May so I hadn't missed the boat. I hesitated for so long because I wasn't certain I was going to start preschool at age 3. By the time I started looking alot of places were full. I was really particular about what I was seeking, cooperative preferred but most importantly was a program that was a dedicated preschool as opposed to a day care/preschool mix. My experience has been that if you start thinking about it mid-winter before you want to start in the fall, you should be okay.

My son has attended the Tillamook Coop for a year now and we plan on returning. It is an amazing school that has a great sense of community and a wonderful teacher. They accept kids ages 2 3/4 - 5. There is an open house around the end of Feb, beginning of March for the following school year. Kids are accepted via a lottery system shortly after. There does tend to be a lot of applicants, but I strongly recommend putting your name in the bunch if you are committed to the idea of coops. Check out the website for more details. www.tillamookpreschool.org
Again, I can't stress enough how impressed I have been with this cooperative preschool and the experience we have had.

I'd like to inform anyone who is interested about a new Montessori in-home preschool for 3-5 year olds. It's called Woodward Montessori, the teacher is Elizabeth Sunseri. SHe's still working on the website and as this is a brand new preschool she is only about half full (but filling up fast) with a total of 16 kids and an assistant who just finished her Masters in Early Childhood education. We originally had our son at Childswork, but have pulled him to go to this new school. She has been a Montessori teacher at NW Montessori in Lake OSwego for 12 or so years. She's amazing and we've been very impressed. SHe is having story hour every Saturday from 10:30 to 11:30 at her in-home basement (near SE Clinton and 32nd on WOodward) preschool during the summer months. If interested, you can email her at: elizabeth_sunseri@yahoo.com

Teacher Maggie at Lee Owen Stone is an amazing teacher and I can't recommend her enough!

Indigo Children Montessori is now enrolling for summer and Fall. This school is a small in home Primary community ages (3-6), owned and guided by an AMI certified teacher with a Masters in education. School runs Mon-Fri 8am-12pm with limited aftercare spaces. Monthly tuition is $325.00. If you are interested please call Jesse Krill at 503-206-8109 or indigochildrenmontessori@gmail.com.
We need more boys!

My daughter attended Hawthorne Family Playschool for two years. I have placed my son in an in-home Waldorf school, as my husband and I work/attend grad school full-time and the coop became incompatible with our lifestyle. After investigating many of the Waldorf programs and other high quality progs available, I would rate Teacher Susan Eisman's program at HFP as equal if not superior to any of these. It's an incredible deal for around a hundred dollars a month. She offers a Reggio Emilia inspired, anti-bias curriculum, and the community is wonderful. We miss her so much this year...but she also offers a magical art camp. Good Luck.

Hard to believe that it's kind of starting to creep towards looking at preschool options for next Fall. My boys are currently at Lee Owen Stone and love it there. However, i'm interested in learning more about other options for next year.
I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with any of the preschools that are part of PPS schools, specifically Vernon's pre-k. Can anyone share their experiences?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment