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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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305 NE 102nd Ave, Suite 250
Portland, Oregon 97220

503-823-PLAY (7529)

Jennie Birt, Educational Preschool Coordinator


Craig Vanderbout, Recreation Supervisor


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Portland Parks Preschool

Open Enrollment for Portland Parks Preschool starts February 20, 2018

Portland Parks & Recreation is dedicated to providing a play-based, child-centered educational preschool program for ages 3-5 years old. Play is an important avenue for learning. It is our goal to honor where each child is in their development and to make goals to foster the individual child's growth and development. It is our belief that ALL children want to be successful; we are committed to providing guidance that supports each child and classroom.


Portland Parks Preschool is based on the developmental philosophy that children develop and grow at their own rate. Years of research on children’s learning and development documents the many benefits of play and exploration on a child’s intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and language development. In order to grow, children must play by exploring and manipulating their environment. They learn using their senses. Play is an important avenue for this learning. As children imitate what goes on around them, they begin to understand how things work and how they are used. Initially, this is a process of trial and error. However, with time and repetition, they use new information to increase their understanding of the world around them.

To enhance the learning experience, our preschool programs feature learning stations that enable children to explore different areas of development such as small motor, socialization, pre-math, science, pre-reading and listening skills. Learning stations allow children to make choices, encourage active learning and hands-on experiences, and provide for individual learning styles.


Portland Parks Preschool  Locations
Charles Jordan Community Center, 9009 N Foss, 503-823-3631
East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Avenue, 503-823-3450
Hillside Community Center, 653 NW Culpepper Terrace, 503-823-3181
Matt Dishman Community Center, 77 NE Knott Street, 503-823-3673
Montavilla Community Center, 8219 NE Glisan Street, 503-823-4101
Mt. Scott Community Center, 5530 SE 72nd Avenue, 503-823-3183
Peninsula Park Community Center, 700 N Rosa Parks Way, 503-823-3620
Sellwood Community Center, 1436 SE Spokane Street, 503-823-3195
St. Johns Community Center, 8427 N Central Street, 503-823-3192
Southwest Community Center, 6820 SW 45th Avenue, 503-823-2840
Woodstock Community Center, 5905 SE 43rd Avenue, 503-823-3633


  • Tuesday, February 20—Open enrollment begins

Priority is given to our current and legacy families. Please check with your Portland Parks Preschool location for more details.


Click the link to your community center in the table above to learn how to register, February 20, at your Portland Parks Preschool location.

Tuition is an annual sum divided into nine equal monthly payments for ease. Tuition is not reduced or reimbursed due to scheduled school closures or absence due to personal family vacation or student illness.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Portland Parks & Recreation recognizes that some residents of the City of Portland may require financial assistance to participate in our programming. We believe all preschool age children should have access to educational opportunities in their community. If the cost of Portland Parks Preschool is out of your reach, we encourage you to speak to our staff about scholarship opportunities that may align the price to your family's budget.  


We know parents would love to be a “fly on the wall” and see what exactly goes on while their child is at school. Here is a sample of your child’s day at Portland Parks Preschool.

When your child arrives, we encourage them to hang up their belongings as independently as possible. Once they’ve said their goodbyes, it’s time to choose a free choice activity. It might be playing with playdough, building with blocks, playing dress-up with friends, exploring shaving cream, doing puzzles, or looking at books. After clean-up, it’s time for a focused activity. In Pre-K, this could be tracing the letters of their name, practicing cutting on a line, or using tongs to place objects into a container. For preschoolers, this could be as simple as learning to use a glue stick and trying out scissors.

Next, it’s time to wash hands and have a snack. Snack time is a great time to socialize with classmates and practice table manners. After eating, children throw away their garbage and head to the rug for circle time. If they finish before their friends, they are welcome to look at a book. Once everyone is gathered on the rug, we sing our welcome song, then read a book or two, and sing more songs. Pre-K students will practice the daily calendar and weather activities. Then it’s share bag time. Each child will get several opportunities throughout the year to bring something special to share with friends. This is a chance to practice speaking in front of a group and for the other children to learn to be a good audience.

After circle time, it’s time for gross motor play. We are fortunate that Portland Parks & Recreation facilities have both indoor and outdoor play areas. Rest assured, no matter the weather, your child will get a chance to run and play each school day.

Soon enough, it’s time to gather belongings and sing our goodbye song. Another busy, fun-filled day is over!


In general, Portland Parks Preschool will follow the Portland Public Schools (PPS) calendar for major breaks and holidays. Please also check Portland Parks & Recreation's Inclement Weather Policy and Closures page for more information. 

Dates of parent/ teacher conferences, etc. will be posted at least two weeks prior of the event.

Important Dates for 2018-2019 School Year
Additional training dates will be shared after local public school 2018-2019 schedules are published.
September 5/6 First Day of School
September 18 All Recreation In-service: NO SCHOOL
October 12 Teacher In-service: NO SCHOOL
November 12 Veterans Day, observed: NO SCHOOL
November 22-23 Thanksgiving Break: NO SCHOOL
December 17-31 Winter Break: NO SCHOOL
January 1 New Year's Day: NO SCHOOL
January 3  Teacher In-service: NO SCHOOL
January 21 MLK Day: NO SCHOOL
February 18 Presidents Day: NO SCHOOL
March 25-29 Spring Break: NO SCHOOL
April 12 Teacher In-service: NO SCHOOL 
May 27 Memorial Day: NO SCHOOL
May 30/31 Last Day of School

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