Portland, OR, is known for its picturesque scenery, thriving arts and culture scene, and exceptional educational opportunities. The city boasts some of the best schools in the state. These provide students with quality education and a supportive learning environment.
What makes a school good? Is it the academic performance of students or the level of resources available to them? The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on the individual. A good school meets the needs of its students. It also provides a safe and nurturing environment where they can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.
In this blog post, we will explore the top-rated schools in Portland, OR, based on a combination of metrics. They are GreatSchools test scores, reviews from various sources, student-teacher ratio, extracurricular activities, and more. The schools are ranked in ascending order.
So, whether you are a parent looking for the best educational opportunities for your child or a student searching for the perfect learning environment, keep reading to learn more about these ten top-rated schools in Portland today.
Best Elementary Schools
Jacob Wismer Elementary School
5477 Northwest Skycrest Parkway, Portland, OR 97229
Jacob Wismer Elementary School is a public school in Beaverton, OR, part of the Beaverton School District. With an enrollment of 727 students in grades K-5, this school is known for its stellar academic performance.
GreatSchools.org has given this school a 9/10 rating and notes that Jacob Wismer Elementary students perform better than the state average in math and English proficiency. 90% of students attain proficiency in English, while 92% attain proficiency in math.
The school has a student-teacher ratio of 20:1, which is consistent with the state average. Further, 95% of the teachers have at least three years of experience. Additionally, all full-time teachers are certified. Jacob Wismer Elementary also has a part-time nurse and psychologist.
In terms of diversity and inclusivity, the student body at Jacob Wismer Elementary is composed of 61% Asian, 29% White, 5% two or more races, and 3% Hispanic students. The school's website notes that the staff is committed to building personal connections and fostering a sense of community.
Parent reviews praise the school's teachers, noting they are progressive, energetic, kind, and communicative. Overall, Jacob Wismer Elementary School is a highly-rated public school that would be an ideal choice for parents searching for a supportive and inclusive learning environment for their kids.
3830 Southeast 14th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202
Winterhaven School is a public school in the Portland School District, serving students in grades K-8. With an enrollment of just over 300 students, the school features a small, tight-knit student body. That allows students, teachers, and parents to get to know each other well.
Winterhaven School is well-regarded for its academic achievements, with standardized test scores consistently above average. The school received a 10/10 overall rating from GreatSchools.org. Students perform better in math and English than the state average. Specifically, 81% and 80% of students, respectively, attain proficiency in the subjects. Its vision and mission statements emphasize the school's focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM).
The school has a student-teacher ratio of 21:1, slightly higher than the state average. All full-time teachers are certified, though, and have at least three years of experience. The school has a diverse student population, with most students identifying as White and smaller percentages identifying as Hispanic, Black, and Asian.
According to a parent review on GreatSchools.org, Winterhaven School is an excellent school with amazing teachers who provide an enriching learning environment. The institution is a perfect option for students with a STEAM focus on their education.
Skyline Elementary School
11536 Northwest Skyline Boulevard, Portland, OR 97231
Skyline Elementary School is a public K-8 school in the hills overlooking the Tualatin Valley and Northwest Portland. With a small student body of 274, Skyline School fosters a close-knit community feel that prioritizes its students' social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth.
Skyline School's curriculum has a strong focus on literacy and mathematics. Further, that curriculum is integrated with science, social studies, and the arts. 70% of students attain proficiency in English, and 61% in math. The school also offers specialized programs in physical education, art, technology, music, and Spanish instruction for elementary students.
The school's art program includes courses in ceramics, while the music program offers band classes. Skyline School's performing arts program has drama courses, and the world language program includes Spanish language instruction.
Skyline School has a student-teacher ratio of 17:1, which is lower than the state average of 20:1. This allows teachers to give more individual attention to each student, which can help foster a positive learning environment.
Skyline School's faculty comprises experienced and certified full-time teachers, with 88% of teachers having at least three years of experience. The school’s rigorous curriculum, a close-knit community feel, and commitment to academic excellence makes it a top choice for families in Portland.
Riverdale Grade School
11733 South Breyman Avenue, Portland, OR 97219
Riverdale Grade School is a public school located in the Riverdale School District 51j, providing education for students in grades K-8. With an enrollment of 400 students, the school is small enough to foster a tight-knit community where students can develop positive attitudes and self-esteem.
The school has an excellent academic reputation, and most students perform at or above grade level, as indicated by above-average standardized test scores. 88% of students are proficient in English and 83% in math. Additionally, GreatSchools.org has given the school a 10/10 rating, indicating high satisfaction among parents and students.
The school has a student-teacher ratio of 17:1, which is lower than the state average of 20:1. The smaller class size allows teachers to provide more individualized attention to each student. Additionally, all teachers have at least three years of experience.
Parents have praised the school's special education department for providing exceptional support to students with special needs. One parent says that teachers at the school conduct extensive testing and are helpful to parents with kids who have physical impairments.
With a small student body, a strong focus on math, English, and science, and experienced and dedicated teachers, the school is an excellent choice for parents in Portland.
Best Middle Schools
Portland Village School
7654 North Delaware Avenue, Portland, OR 97217
Portland Village School is a public charter school located in Portland, OR, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school operates within the Portland School District 1j and has an enrollment of 387 students.
It is a member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education and provides an arts-integrated educational program with core academic content aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
Although the school received an 8/10 rating from GreatSchools.org, the standardized test scores show that the student's performance in math and English is far above the state average. Specifically, 58% of students are proficient in math, while 43% are proficient in English.
The student-teacher ratio at the school is 16:1, which is lower than the state average of 20:1. All full-time teachers are certified and have at least three years of experience. Parents appreciate the school's warm community feeling and the high level of involvement from the staff and other parents.
The school's emphasis on the whole child and its commitment to providing an exceptional educational program makes it one of the best middle schools to enroll in Portland.
Stoller Middle School
14141 Northwest Laidlaw Road, Portland, OR 97229
Stoller Middle School is a public school in the Beaverton School District 48j in Oregon, serving grades 6-8. With an enrollment of 925 students, Stoller Middle School is a large school with an 8/10 rating from GreatSchools.org. The school has consistently exceeded the state average in terms of standardized test scores. In fact, 81% and 73% of students attained proficiency in English and math, respectively.
Despite having a student-teacher ratio of 24:1, slightly higher than the state average of 20:1, the school has a high percentage of certified and experienced teachers. 91% of the teachers at Stoller Middle School have at least three years of experience. 98% of full-time teachers are certified.
Parents praise the school's academic setting, which encourages individualism and supports academic and personal skill development. They also praised its approachable and understanding teachers who are helpful to students, supporting both academic and personal growth.
Stoller Middle School has a Summa Program, which provides an additional layer of academic challenge for students ready to excel beyond the regular curriculum. The school environment is not cutthroat or competitive but emphasizes mutual support and student collaboration.
West Sylvan Middle School
8111 Southwest West Slope Drive, Portland, OR 97225
West Sylvan Middle School is a public school in the Portland School District 1J, serving students in grades six through eight. With an enrollment of 822 students and a student-teacher ratio of 14:1, West Sylvan Middle School offers a caring learning environment that promotes academic and social growth.
West Sylvan Middle School received a high rating of 9/10 from GreatSchools.org. The school's academic excellence is reflected in its standardized test scores, with students performing far above the state average in math, English, and science.
Additionally, West Sylvan enjoys a 53% participation rate in Algebra 1 with a 99% pass rate. With a 100% certified and experienced teaching staff, the school is committed to providing students with the support, encouragement, and sense of well-being they need to thrive.
One parent reviewer had a positive experience with West Sylvan Middle School, noting that the teachers are excellent, the curriculum is thoughtful, and the first year of distance learning was exceptional.
Overall, West Sylvan Middle School is a top-performing school in the Portland School District, offering a caring and supportive environment for students to excel academically and socially.
Best High Schools
Lincoln High School
1600 Southwest Salmon Street, Portland, OR 97205
Lincoln High School is a public school in the Portland School District that serves grades 9-12. With an enrollment of 1,698 students, Lincoln has a student-teacher ratio of 19:1, slightly above the state average.
However, with 96% of teachers having at least three years of experience and 100% of full-time teachers being certified, students at Lincoln can be assured of a high-quality education. The school earns an 8/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
Lincoln High School's curriculum emphasizes college and career readiness, scoring above average on standardized tests and far above the state average in critical college and career readiness metrics.
Lincoln also offers 21 courses, including Art, Music, Performance Arts, and World Language courses. Students can also enroll in Dual Enrollment classes, with 53% of students taking advantage of this opportunity. Extracurricular activities play an important role at Lincoln, with a wide variety of student clubs and sports teams available.
Parent reviews rave about the school's sense of community and its exceptional Theatre Arts program, which brings in younger students from the community to perform in productions. With its commitment to academic excellence and student development, Lincoln High School is an excellent choice for families moving to Portland.
Riverdale High School
9727 Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard, Portland, OR 97219
Riverdale High School is a public school located in the Riverdale School District 51j in Oregon, with an enrollment of 236 students in grades 9-12. The school has received a perfect 10/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
One of the standout features of Riverdale High School is its intimate approach to education, where personalized attention and a strong sense of community are emphasized. The student-teacher ratio is 14:1, lower than the state average.
The school offers honors coursework for all core classes and various co-curricular activities. These include art courses such as ceramics and drawing; music courses such as band, choir, and jazz band; performance arts courses such as dance and drama; and world language courses such as French, Japanese, and Spanish. This provides students with opportunities to explore their interests and develop their talents.
Riverdale High School is also focused on preparing students for college and beyond. All students perform 90 hours of community service and complete an intensive capstone project, encouraging them to participate in their community and develop leadership skills.
With a focus on community, leadership, and academic excellence, the school is an ideal pick for families in the Dunthorpe neighborhood.
Grant High School
2245 Northeast 36th Avenue, Portland, OR 97212
Grant High School is a top-rated public school and part of the Portland School District 1j. It offers a comprehensive and challenging academic program for students in grades 9-12, with an enrollment of 1,636 students.
The school has above-average standardized test scores, and students are well-prepared for college and other post-secondary opportunities. This is evident in the school's 94% four-year high school graduation rate, above the state average.
The school offers a range of challenging courses, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses in computer science, human geography, Japanese language and culture, and seminar. 35% of students participate in AP courses, higher than the state average. Additionally, 34% of students are enrolled in dual enrollment classes, allowing them to earn college credit while still in high school.
Grant High School also has a dedicated faculty, with 96% of teachers having at least three years of experience and 100% of full-time teachers being certified. The school also boasts a 20:1 student-teacher ratio, which is on par with the state average. The school also employs a full-time law enforcement officer.
With its strong academic program, experienced faculty, and commitment to student success, it's easy to see why Grant High School is one of the top-rated schools in Portland, OR.
Finding the Right School for Your Child
Oregon boasts some of the top-rated high schools in the state, with each school having unique strengths and opportunities for students. Whether it's the small class sizes and personalized attention at Skyline Elementary, the rigorous academic programs and strong community involvement at Portland Village, or the diverse course offerings and college prep focus at Grant High School, students in Portland have access to exceptional educational experiences. The list is an excellent starting point in your search for the right school for your child.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Shamar Whyte/Shutterstock.com.