At Rising Song children are given the space and freedom to play, imagine and create. In our classrooms we bake bread, paint, watch puppet shows and perform in plays. We sing songs and recite poetry and solve problems using compassionate communication. Children connect to the natural world in our large school garden, planting and harvesting vegetables, making fairy houses and caring for bugs and beasts.
What if your child’s first school experience could be as warm and welcoming as home?
Our two classrooms are located in their own cozy house, with a student/teacher ratio of 6:1 (one of the lowest in Portland). Full day children have the benefit of an even smaller more connected experience when the group reduces to 6 children in the afternoon. Our classrooms are mixed age, serving children 2 1/2 to 5 years old. In our loving, family-like community older children act as gentle guides for their younger friends. Younger children are nurtured and supported by their older classmates, observing and learning from their peers. Children who attend school for 2-3 years have the unique experience of taking on both of these roles.
Play is at the heart of our program. In our classroom we provide opportunities that promote the social-emotional growth of the young child. Inside play offers the chance to engage with natural and flexible materials. Shells become phones, cloths and wool ropes transform into birthday decorations and forts, nuts become chocolates, and pillows are thrones. Through play children develop problem solving skills, practice cooperation and learn to communicate their needs and feelings. Teachers act as facilitators of play, guiding children through the process of conflict resolution and offering gentle, nurturing support as children gain confidence and move towards independence.
Outside play happens every day, rain or shine. In our garden children plant seeds, tend to growing plants and harvest fruits and vegetables. Children munch on fennel, cherry tomatoes, raspberries, kale and many others. They climb trees, hide in bamboo forests, turn over rocks to discover the wonder of worms and beetles, and make “soups” from fallen leaves and calendula petals, and, of course, they run!
Family connections are important at Rising Song. Teachers connect with parents via a daily online photo gallery, a weekly update and parent/teacher conferences. School gatherings are scheduled throughout the year to foster community and celebrate the seasons.
The culture of our school community is friendly and connected. Parents work to deepen and enrich their child’s experience by organizing playdates, planning family outings, providing childcare exchanges during school holidays, and helping with pick-ups and drop-offs. Since care-taking a half acre of land is a BIG job, we host regular garden "work parties" throughout the year where parents and children help implement projects or general garden maintenance.