Pictured: Upper School students at the opening of their multimedia, interactive exhibit "9066: A History of Fear-mongering" inviting visitors to make connections between current issues of bigotry and oppression and the World War II-era internment of Japanese Americans.

Educating for Democracy at Catlin Gabel

Three essays by each of our Catlin Gabel division heads

Becoming Engaged Members of a Community by Head of Beginning and Lower School Dawn Isaacs

The primary concern of education is character. A school should be a model home, a complete community, an embryonic democracy. - Colonel Francis Parker

Here in the Beginning and Lower School we see classrooms as the birthplace for the continual renewal of our larger, pluralistic democracy. Our modern world is increasingly complex and interconnected. At the same time, it also feels fragmented as we all work to understand varying lived experiences and perspectives. The work of learning to be healthy, contributing members of diverse communities is perhaps the most important work we do. We know the children in our care are full of...read more.

Informed and Empowered by Habits of Democracy by Interim Head of Middle School Steve Pape

The shutdown of the U.S. Federal Government has now lasted for over a month, making it the longest political and economic impasse in U.S. history. This is but one sign of our trajectory toward political dysfunction, and schools across the country, especially schools like Catlin Gabel, should take it as a call to action to deepen our efforts to educate students for democracy.

Participating in democracy is more than simply having and sharing opinions. When democracy works, it requires that we think outside of ourselves, consider the impact of decisions on the larger community, and think through consequences beyond those immediately apparent. At Catlin Gabel Middle School...read more.

Finding their voice and using it by Head of Upper School Aline Garcia-Rubio ’93

As part of our progressive values, we educate for democracy at Catlin Gabel. Students participate in their own governance, holding office as class presidents, treasurers, and secretaries, with a vice-president and president of the student body. Our students participate by voting, meeting with their officers, and speaking at public forums through which they attempt to modify and influence our school’s policies and practices. I am often invited by officers and the president (who sits on our board of trustees) to consider schedules, courses, teaching practices, and available opportunities for students. Catlin Gabel students have...read more.

Head of School

Tim Bazemore presents ideas, reflections, and observations with the school community and beyond.

Read Tim's Blog

Follow him on Twitter @TimBazemore
This year's theme: Be Kind to Nature

From Your Admission Team

Admission outcomes: What to expect

If you have submitted your application for admission, congratulations! Regardless of the outcome, the fact that you went through the application process demonstrates the commitment you have towards your child’s education. The time is over for working on applications, tracking down school records, and meeting various deadlines, and now you await decisions. March 8 is Catlin Gabel’s decision day, the day when applicant families receive admission decisions via email. For each of your children in the applicant pool, one of three scenarios will play out on that day: you could receive an offer of admission, receive an invitation to our wait pool, or be denied admission. Below are a few things to consider as your family prepares for decision day:

Offer of admission. What would your response be if your child were admitted to Catlin Gabel? Would you enroll your child on the spot or need additional information to make a decision? How would you seek answers to your additional questions? Would it be helpful to have a conversation with a current Catlin Gabel family or another review of the school’s curriculum? What is your order of school choice, and does it match with your child’s? What other factors are in play, such as affordability and financial aid? Catlin Gabel, as well as other schools, often hosts events for admitted students and/or parents who want one last look before making a final decision. If you are offered admission, the turnaround time to accept the offer is often just a couple of weeks, so be sure to have your questions and thoughts organized so you can make an informed decision.

Invitation to the wait pool. Students who meet the admission standards but are not offered admission due to space limitations are invited to join our wait pool. Students in our wait pool aren't ranked: if an opening becomes available, we look to the wait pool and select an applicant who has the best potential to fill the needs of the class. Openings can occur any time between our initial offers of admission in March and shortly before school starts. We do not admit students after the start of the school year or keep our wait pool lists from year to year. Our best advice to families placed in the wait pool is to “hang in there,” as every year we admit a number of students later in the spring and into the summer, but certainly have a back-up plan in case a spot does not become available for your child. If your child is placed in the wait pool, please know that we thoroughly review the wait pool before any openings are filled, so you will not be forgotten.

Denied admission. To be denied admission is very difficult news to deliver and for families to receive. It may be the first time your child has been through an evaluation process and faced what feels like rejection. As you manage your response to this news, keep in mind that you will be modeling resiliency for your child. We encourage you to remain positive about the experience of having gone through the application process, which is quite an accomplishment. At the appropriate time you may also want to discuss as a family the prospect of reapplying in the future. The application process starts again every September; because children grow and change a tremendous amount in a year, we ask all families to complete the full application process and resubmit new admission materials each year. We encourage families to take a few months in the fall to assess how their school year is going before making the decision to reapply to Catlin Gabel. The admission office staff is more than happy to discuss the decision to reapply at that time.

Our advice

Begin to prepare for each possible scenario and make sure you have multiple options for school next year in case your first choice does not materialize. Regardless of the admission decision you receive on March 8, celebrate your children as they are all terrific!

Meet the team. Ask us questions.

Deadline Reminders

For grades K-5
Application deadlines for the 2019-20 school year have passed

For grades 6-12
Feb 4

For preschool
Feb 5

For grades 10-12
Applications are open for our second round of admission decisions will open Feb 5
Deadline: March 1, 2019

Financial Assistance
SSS application with 2017 taxes/W2s & 2018 W2s
Feb 8 - all grades

Financial Assistance
2018 taxes
Feb 28 - all grades

Admission Decisions Released
March 8 via email

Financial Assistance Decisions Released
March 8 via email
Admitted students only

Enrollment Agreements Due
March 20

Student Visits

Lower School
Feb 1 (completed)

Feb 8 & 9 (appts assigned)

Feb 22 & 23 (appts assigned)

Middle School
Feb 5
Register in Ravenna

Upper School
Grade 9: Feb 5 Register in Ravenna

Grades 10-12: Email Chris Dorough

Campus Tours

Limited availability
Register in Ravenna

Financial Assistance

IMPORTANT: If there will be any delay in submitting your application or tax documents, you must contact the financial assistance office at 503-297-1894 ext 5053 or via an email to Mary Yacob.

Resources for completing the Parent Financial Statement (PFS):
Please adhere to the following deadlines:

February 8
  • Submit the Parent Financial Statement using 2018 income
  • Upload 2017 taxes and W2s (if applicable) via Manage Documents
  • Upload 2018 W2s (if applicable) via Manage Documents
February 28 (pending IRS status)

Contact Mary Yacob with questions

February on Campus

Winter sports continue! View the Athletics Schedule.

The Parent-Faculty Association (PFA) holds another Town Hall with Tim Bazemore, Head of School.

Kindergarten students commemorate their 100th school day by sharing personal collections of 100 items.

The Lower School faculty and parents organize an all-school Chinese New Year celebration.

IONS (In Our Neighbor's Shoes): A monthly community discussion utilizing the indigenous practice of Restorative Circles to enter into difficult and challenging conversations and to learn about deep listening.

Middle school student engage in a week-long journey of experiential learning in a focused area of interest.

Upper School students create and lead the annual Diversity Conference with the theme of Justice.

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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