All PLACE programs look at community through the social equity lens to make sure students learn how to include all perspectives, and particularly those traditionally sidelined in public discourse, in understanding our communities. It is imperative that students learn to see all perspectives on an issue to make informed, credible decisions.

All PLACE programs consist of three fundamental curricular aspects:

Understanding Community

One main goal is for students to gain more insight into systems, history, and their communities as a framework for understanding other communities as they grow up, go to college, and become leaders. It is empowering to understand where you live and how to navigate it.

For me, PLACE is about engaging with new communities and individuals - it allows me to connect, inspire, and learn. PLACE offers the resources I need to make change.

PLACE Student

Leadership Training

We teach leadership through team concepts, working with students to understand their own personal strengths and weaknesses, how to identify strengths and weaknesses in others, and how to work with people from a diversity of backgrounds to achieve common goals. Students practice leadership in small groups, large groups, and with external, public audience.

PLACE to me is an opportunity for individuals who are uncertain about leadership, to assume roles as leaders in a comfortable environment.

Place Student

Real-­World Projects

Students work together to create community events, recommendations for clients, and/or youth peer-to-peer opportunities.

We prioritize skill building and relationships over content. We are deluged with studies and articles that show the importance of soft skills in being employable and we hone in on those. Collaboration, supportive team building, listening, etc.

PLACE: a program that changed my perspective on the city of Portland, and opened my eyes to a world of injustice needing to be changed… also fun!

PLACE Student

An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

Explore why Catlin Gabel is a national leader in progressive education.

We welcome more than 100 new families annually to our inclusive community from the Portland area and beyond.


A demanding and engaging program in which each student is the unit of consideration

Playing sports involves life lessons in determination, grace, and resilience. We invite everyone to be part of a team.

Extensive support ensures our students are successful.

Learn about Catlin Gabel news and events on campus and beyond.

We foster a community that appreciates our differences and recognizes our essential unity

Every gift benefits our students. Every volunteer hour builds our community.

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