Top High Schools in the Portland, OR Metro (page 4)

Top High Schools in the Portland, OR Metro

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Updated on Aug 23, 2011


Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

Vancouver School District


Vancouver School of Arts and Academics is a magnet school for middle and high school students that focuses on learning through the power of ideas and critical thinking. Students learn to ask fundamental questions about evidence, connections, perspective, relevance, supposition, and transitions through their studies to develop high-level thinking skills.


The school works to create mixed grade classes and activities, especially in the arts classes, to help students learn from each other and relate to different ages. School activities are focused around a yearly theme, such as recent themes of Collaboration and Music of Cuba. Each year there is an academic focus, usually in the Humanities. Last year, for example, focus was U.S. history.


The AP program and honor courses are both strong, and the world language program also offers a variety of courses. With classes lasting 100 minutes, teachers are able to provide learning opportunities, such as Socratic seminars, lab experiences, and in-depth class discussions.


“We use a thematic approach across our school and make a concerted effort to help students learn through both the arts and academics,” said Principal James O'Banion.



West Linn High School

West Linn-Wilsonville School District 3J


West Linn High School provides a challenging curriculum while providing many opportunities for students to explore outside the classroom.


The school offers many different AP classes Participation in the program is high with over 690 tests given in a recent school year. Over 86 percent the highly educated staff hold advanced degrees.


Many different clubs are active on campus, including the Astronomy Club, Art Club, and Young Advocates for Peace. Academic teams are also available including the Mock UN, which recently took home high honors at the state level. Performing arts are also strong -- the Thespian Club recently won statewide awards and several choral groups earn high marks at contests.

The school's mission statement details, “West Linn High School is a place where all stakeholders, staff, students and parents are committed to excellence through development of academics, character and service and leadership. West Linn High School will be a place where we can learn, grow and dream together.”



Please note that only schools in the following Oregon counties were considered for this article: Clakamas, Columbia, Multonomah, Skamania, Washington and Yamhill.

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