MSLC Community Partnerships
Adventures Without Limits
Adventures Without Limits (AWL)provides recreation programs for communities in the greater Portland metropolitan area. AWL has offered Mt. Scott students a multitude of outdoor experiences including cross country skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, rock climbing and white water rafting. These outings help to build our students confidence, teaches them how to work as a team, and gives them the opportunity to enjoy Oregon in a way many of them have never experienced.
CITY OF PORTLAND’S BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
Mt. Scott partners with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to take part in ongoing service learning projects. Mt. Scott students are involved in a variety of undertakings to help preserve this natural wetland in the heart of Portland. The students are participating in trail maintenance, amphibian monitoring, invasive plant removal, and plant installation.
Coalition of Metro Area Community Schools (CMACS)
Mt. Scott Learning Center is part of the Coalition of Metro Area Community Schools (CMACS), a network of approximately 15 education agencies or organizations that contract with Portland Public Schools to serve students who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of school. Mt. Scott is diploma-based (accredited) and primarily serves SE Portland; other programs are GED-based, employment-based, or may serve specific populations such as homeless or pregnant and parenting teens. The coordinators/directors of the CMACS programs meet monthly and collaborate closely with Portland Public Schools’ Education Options Department.
Free Geek’s mission is to recycle technology and provide access to computers, the internet, education and job skills in exchange for community service. Free Geek has had a long and generous history of working to help meet the hardware needs of Mt. Scott’s technology courses. Additionally, this partnership has been a steady and successful part of Mt. Scott’s service learning program. Students work for a two hour shift on service learning days to disassemble computers, printers, and other electronics and accessories. The disassembly is an important part of the recycling process and diverts tons of toxic trash from landfills. Students may earn a free computer after 25 volunteer hours and enjoy various other benefits as a volunteer.
From The Ground Up
From The Ground Up provides free and accessible arts programs to local underserved youth. A hybrid of artistic expression and mentorship, From The Ground Up programming works to create high-quality art that give voices to local youth.
Hands On Greater Portland
Hands On Greater Portland provides convenient and accessible volunteer opportunities across the Portland Metro area. The organization has assisted Mt. Scott with several volunteer projects throughout the past six years, including the high school’s outdoor beautification project. Mt. Scott also served a project site for Hands On Greater Portland annual Comcast Cares Day event.
Kateri Park is an affordable housing community run by Catholic Charities in Southeast Portland where more than half of the residents are refugees from countries such as Somalia, Burma and Nepal. Mt. Scott students visit the preschool and spend time building relationships with young students through song, playtime and arts and crafts. This partnership has fostered an intercultural dialogue, as well as mentorship opportunities for MSLC students.
Mt. Scott’s student leadership class has teamed with Mercy Corps to participate in workshops focusing on civic participation and community work. Mt. Scott students travel to the Mercy Corps Action Center to learn about the economics behind micro finance, the structures of community-based advocacy, and the power of art in promoting activism. With the support of Mercy Corps staff, students are introduced to a variety of efforts promoting awareness of social issues throughout the United States and the greater global community. At the end of each workshop, students used their knowledge to create projects focused around issues in their own community.
Mt. Scott Community Center
Our school has relied on the generosity and proximity of our local Portland Parks and Recreation community center on many occasions. In addition to offering high quality teen programming after school hours, Mt. Scott Community Center has provided gym space for our Basketball team, the use of the roller rink and weight room for our P.E. program, and is the site of our graduation ceremony. Their convenient location, generous staff, and positive work with youth make them an obvious and appreciated community partner.
My Voice Music
My Voice Music engages marginalized youth in music and performance in order to promote self-esteem, social skills and emotional expression. By partnering with local schools and other non-profit agencies, My Voice Music provides free music programs in areas where needs are high but funding for services is low.
Operation Hope/Financial Beginnings
Operation Hope is a non-profit program with the mission of providing financial education to youth. Operation Hope pairs with Financial Beginnings to bring business professionals from the finance industry into classrooms to provide lessons around banking, budgeting, credit, and investing to high school students.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
This successful partnership allows staff and students at Mt. Scott to explore the exhibits at OMSI as often as can be planned. Multiple full-school field trips per year have been organized to support science and math curricula and provide excellent and unique hands-on learning opportunities.
Our House of Portland
Our House of Portland provides healthcare, housing, and other vital services to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. Through a variety of locations, Our House is able to provide respite and comfort to those living with a complex and challenging disease. Mt. Scott students travel to the Swan House in Milwaukie, which is a home that cares for five people with limited resources living with HIV/AIDS. The home provides assistance with personal care, meals, mobility and transportation. Students have an opportunity to meet the staff and provide support by mopping floors, power washing the yard, washing windows, scrubbing toilets, cleaning fish tanks, baking cookies and prepping sandwiches. Students can ask questions of the community while investing their time and energy in the tasks at hand.
Now in its ninth year, this successful partnership teams a group of Mt. Scott students with professional actors in a carefully structured two-week residency workshop. The 2 ½ hour daily exercises utilized the tools, expertise and guidance of the PlayWrite coaches, while sparking the creativity and emotional depth of each student. Scripts are exclusively written by the students, with the coaches encouraging the creative process through reflection and revision. The experience culminates with live performances of the student plays by professional actors at a local theater.
Portland Art Museum
Each year the Mt Scott high school community makes a concerted effort to visit the Portland Art Museum at least once. Taking advantage of the educational opportunities consistently provided by the Museum is an inviting complement to our curriculum. Whether it is the freedom of expression in media throughout post-war China or a collection of privately owned pieces of art from Portland residents, the Museum allows Mt. Scott students to experience art and the effect it has on our lives and our surrounding culture.
Portland Center Stage
In their words, “Portland Center Stage inspires our community by bringing stories to life in unexpected ways.” We couldn’t agree more! Established in 1988 as an offshoot of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, PCS became an independent theater in 1994 and has been generously offering Mt. Scott students tickets to productions to expose our community to the excitement of live theater. These experiences are not only cultural opportunities, but can also enhance our curriculum in unexpected ways.
PORTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE
While some students will attend four-year universities directly after graduation, the majority of Mt. Scott students choose to initially pursue post-secondary education at Portland Community College. As a result, MSLC has fostered a strong partnership with Portland Community College and the Future Connect Scholarship program. Future Connect provides students with two years of mentoring and support to ensure students stay in college. The scholarship provides financial assistance, but the majority of the scholarship is in the form of a mentor. The mentor assists students in the financial aid process, receiving tutoring, meeting course pre-requisites, and addressing potential risk factors that impact a student’s academic achievement. Future Connect staff visit the school and the Senior Transitions class at least six times per year and have also assisted parents in completing financial aid applications.
PORTLAND FRUIT TREE PROJECT
Portland Fruit Tree Project is a grass-roots non-profit organization that provides a community-based solution to a critical and growing need in Portland and beyond. They organize people to gather fruit before it falls, and make it available to those who need it most. Mt. Scott students have the opportunity to help harvest fruit in the community and are able to take home a portion of what they pick.
Portland Development Commission
The Portland Development Commission (PDC) brings together resources to achieve Portland’s vision of a diverse, sustainable community with healthy neighborhoods, a vibrant central city, a strong regional economy, and quality jobs and housing for all. Community Livability and Storefront Improvement grants from PDC have supported Mt. Scott’s Transition Program and school consolidation project, as well as funding window upgrade and signage projects.
Portland State University-GTEP
Mt. Scott has a partnership with the Graduate Teacher Education Program at Portland State University. Through this partnership, Mt. Scott has hosted three student teachers who provide classroom support as they develop their teaching skills. In addition to the added adult presence onsite, Mt. Scott benefits from additional professional development resources for teachers participating in the partnership.
Mt. Scott Learning Center has had an ongoing partnership with the nationally recognized nonprofit organization, The ReBuilding Center. Mt. Scott is in its third year of providing regular monthly service at the center, the nation's largest non-profit reuse center for salvaged construction and remodeling materials. The ReBuilding Center currently diverts eight tons of reusable building materials from landfills each day! The hands-on student experience provides some context for learning about the environmental impact of materials consumption and reuse. Mt. Scott has also donated some quality and historic items to the center, re-circulating old church pews for example, back into our community. We appreciate the ongoing and reciprocal relationship with this unique community non-profit.
In order to promote connections between Reed College and the Portland non-profit community, Reed College subsidizes an off-campus federal work-study program. This program allows motivated students to work in paid internships within the Portland nonprofit community as one way to earn their federal work-study awards. The goal of these internships is to complement a student's educational environment with an off-campus service learning experience. Mt. Scott Learning Centers has partnered with Reed College for the past three years. Reed students have assisted as Senior Graduation Mentors, specific-subject tutors and office assistants.
Salmon Watch/Oregon Trout
Each fall Mt. Scott students travel to the Salmon River in Welches for a day of hands-on environmental education. After studying salmon lifecycles and habitat in science class, students observe spawning salmon, test water quality and identify microorganisms with biologists, college professors, and Oregon state park rangers. The Salmon Watch program, sponsored by Oregon Trout, is designed to instill a deeper appreciation and understanding of the value of native wild fish, watershed conservation and environmental stewardship.
This year is Mt. Scott's first year volunteering at Schoolhouse Supplies on service learning days. Schoolhouse Supplies is a non-profit organization that supports public education in Portland by providing students and teachers with free classroom supplies. They operate Oregon's only volunteer-run Free Store for Teachers, which includes supplies donated by the community, the Tools for School backpack giveaway, and Schoolhouse Supplies’ Online program. Students from MSLC volunteer by helping receive and process donations. Students sort, count and quality-control various supplies that are donated, staging them to be integrated onto the Free Store's shelves.
SCRAP was founded in 1998 by a group of teachers who wanted to find a home for their leftover classroom materials. Their mission is to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community. The SCRAP retail store sells all kinds of reused materials for arts and crafts, plus school, office and party supplies. Mt. Scott students sort donations and help prepare craft packages to be sold in their retail store. This is an important part in the recycling and reusing of materials and diverts them from entering landfills.
In an ongoing service project, MSLC students partner with elders at Sellwood Landing, a retirement community operated by Emeritus in southeast Portland. Each month, students work with "adopted grandparents" to develop relationships and cross-generational learning. In the spring and fall, students plant, then harvest a resident-maintained vegetable garden and flower boxes. In other months, students create holiday crafts, centerpieces for meals, bake cookies and play games with the residents. Through this sharing, students are able to learn about the world and cultures around them through the lens of past generations.
Mt. Scott has partnered for the past six years with the SOS Outreach, a non-profit mountain adventure program that builds students’ self-esteem and social skills through learning to snowboard. Students are given snowboard gear, lessons, and lift tickets for five weekend sessions at Mt. Hood Meadows. The culmination of the program is a graduation ceremony where students reflect on their experience and thank their instructors along with their friends and families.
Store to Door
Store to Door is a non-profit agency devoted to facilitating independent living for seniors and people living with disabilities. The agency provides a low-cost, personalized grocery shopping and delivery service. For the past two years, students have volunteered with Store to Door to complete shopping lists from multiple clients who then have the groceries delivered to their home.
Mt Scott is in its fourth year of partnership with the Lewis and Clark Law School’s Street Law program. The Street Law program provides students at Mt. Scott an opportunity to learn about civil and criminal law from law school students enrolled at Lewis and Clark College. These legal-scholars visit twice a week supplementing the instruction Mt. Scott students receive on the topics of government, and economics.
Youth With A Mission
Mt. Scott students participate each fall in a fun and exhilarating teambuilding activity at the Youth With A Mission ropes course in Salem. The ropes course is a variety of obstacles designed to encourage participants to work together in order to accomplish specific goals. Each element is made up of various cables, wooden beams, ropes, tires, and surrounding trees. The elements encourage the development of trust, teamwork, confidence, cooperation, perseverance, communication and interdependence.
After a brief hiatus, MSLC reconnected with Zenger Farms as a community partner in the 2009 school year. Students participate in service learning projects at this urban Portland farm site once a month with tasks ranging from the harvesting of fruits and vegetables to the maintenance required to keep the farm working (such as stringing and drying peppers, husking corn and mulching trees). Students learn how sustainability affects our everyday lives and get an opportunity to interact with the farm in a way that affects the lives of our community.