Welcome to Cathedral School
Excellence in Education Since 1896
The mission of Cathedral School is to provide an excellent academic education grounded in Catholic religious principles and values, thereby creating a lifelong love for learning and a respect for each person and all creations as gifts of God.
Attention Prospective Families
We are now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year. Please explore our website and contact the school to schedule a tour, ask questions and get to know our wonderful staff!
110 NW 17th Ave Portland OR 97209
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A Leader in Technology
Recognized by Apple in Education as a distinguished school for innovation, leadership, and education excellence.
Apple technology has enabled Cathedral School to become a leader of innovative education in the Portland area as well as an Apple Distinguished School.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cathedral School is an accredited Catholic School by the Western Catholic Education Association.
Cathedral School has one classroom per grade level, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Class size averages 26 students per class, kindergarten through fifth grade, 20 students in pre-kindergarten, and 28 students in sixth through eighth grades. Due to our downtown location our community of families come from throughout the Portland Metropolitan area.
High School Acceptance
One hundred percent of our students that apply to Catholic College Preparatory High Schools are accepted. Ninety-five to one hundred percent of our students attend College Preparatory High Schools.
Technology is integrated into classroom instruction pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. We are one-to-one with iPads, as well as have portable class sets of MacBook Airs that are regularly used in all classes.
The school hours are 8:00am to 3:10pm with the exception of Tuesdays, when we dismiss at 2:15pm.
Cathedral School has an extended care program on-site. Morning care begins at 7:00 am and aftercare is open until 6:00 pm.
Generally, extended care is open on early dismissal days and teacher professional development and in-service days. Extended care is closed on all holidays as well as Christmas, Spring, and Summer breaks.
Foreign Language and Specialists
All students, PK-8, receive instruction from a specialist in Spanish, Physical Education, Art, Library, and Music. Technology is integrated into classroom instruction.
Cathedral students attend Mass as a school in the Cathedral on Wednesdays, at least twice per month. On the alternate Wednesdays students gather in the gym for POW (Prayer on Wednesday). Mass and POW services are planned by students. Mass begins at 8:30, while POW begins at 8:20.
Lunch is available for purchase through the vendor Fresh n Local Monday through Friday with hot entrees on Mondays and Fridays and a sack lunch for the remaining weekdays. Milk is included with the purchase of hot lunch and is also available five days a week with the purchase of a milk card. Use the button below to prepay or visit the school office.
Lunches are made with fresh, local and natural ingredients. All lunches include fresh fruits and vegetables
Parents are active partners in the education of Cathedral students. Our parents participate in a variety of activities throughout the school.
Our Parents Association sponsors a number of events throughout the year. Some are community building in nature; these include our Back-to-School BBQ, Special Friends Breakfast, and Spaghetti Dinner and Art Show.
Service and Relationship
Cathedral students are taught to be good citizens through service. Among our most important service projects are a fall food drive, stuffing socks with toiletries and snacks for distribution at the Potluck in the Park Christmas dinner, and raising funds for our sister school, St. Vincent de Paul in Salem, Oregon.
Cathedral students are taught to be good citizens through service. Among our most important service projects are a fall food drive, stuffing socks with toiletries and snacks for distribution at the Potluck in the Park Christmas dinner, and raising funds for our sister school, St. Vincent de Paul in Salem, Oregon.
In addition to celebrating Mass with the school, our parish priests visit in our classrooms as their schedules allow. Maintaining a strong school-parish bond is achieved through these visits and other events and activities.
All students at Cathedral are paired with a "buddy" from another grade. They sit together at Mass, have joint classroom activities, and occasionally attend field trips together. These friendships are important to both students and long-lasting. Buddy grades are paired as follows: PK & 4th, K & 8th, 1st & 5th, 2nd & 6th, and 3rd &7th.
The mission of Cathedral School is to provide an excellent academic education grounded in Catholic religious principles and values, thereby creating a life-long love for learning and respect for each person and all creation as gifts of God.
Cathedral School Will
Create a faith community wherein Catholic truths become the foundation for daily living in a global community.
Design and implement curricula that provide for the education of the whole person.
Provide a learning environment in which all children may grow toward their fullest God- given potential.
Foster the physical, emotional, and social well being of each individual. Complement and support parents in their role as the primary educators of their children.
Students are taught to assimilate academic and life skills, as well as social attitudes, which will assist them to internalize Catholic values in their discovery of truth. They are guided toward excellence as contributing and effective members of society.
The school is a living encounter with cultural and Catholic heritage. While honoring our parents as primary educators of their children, Cathedral School seeks to nurture the formation of the individual student. As facilitators of learning, teachers encourage the development of critically thinking students who are responsible and self-disciplined and who take pride in being part of Cathedral and the global community.
A Cathedral Student Strives to
I follow Jesus' teachings while making decisions
I am reverent and pray in many forms
I am committed to serving others
I share my faith with others
Be a Life-long Learner
I exhibit curiosity and enthusiasm for learning
I speak and write clearly
I use resources and my critical thinking skills to solve problems
I try my best
Be a Good Citizen
I am respectful, responsible and safe
I am an effective communicator
I care for myself and the world around me
I use my talents and gifts to help all God's creations
Cathedral School: an Apple Distinguished School
What is an Apple Distinguished School?
Cathedral School joins less than 140 schools that Apple is recognizing nationwide as exemplary learning environments and centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for schools that have demonstrated Apple's highest vision of a successful 21st century learning environment. The selection of Cathedral School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with thoughtful and innovative implementations of technology.
Schools nominated by Apple for designation as an Apple Distinguished School must demonstrate Apple's highest vision of a successful 21st century learning environment, a strong relationship with Apple, and a willingness to do outreach activities.
The specific manifestations of these qualities include:
- Visionary leadership
- Infrastructure that supports an Apple learning environment
- Engaging teaching and learning methods that capitalize on the qualities of today's students who are mobile, collaborative, and creative
- One-to-one access to Apple portable computers and/or mobile devices for all students, teachers, and administrators
- Ongoing professional development
- Systems to routinely collect quantitative evidence highlighting the success and sustainability of their academic programs.
Cathedral School has served the Portland area for over 100 years. Archbishop William Gross established Cathedral School, originally known as St. Mary's Parochial School, in 1896. In 1900 the school was named St. Mary's Academy Annex. It was operated by the Sisters of the Holy Names at N.W. 16th and Everett.
At the time, there were 15 students enrolled in grades K-4. Beginning with the 1910-11 school year, it became known as Cathedral School. Four years later, Cathedral Parish pastor, Father Edwin O'Hara approved the building of what is now the Cathedral complex along N.W. 17th Street. This building was the site of Cathedral School for 48 years.
The school’s location did not change until 1961 when the Dunne family donated their home property to Cathedral Parish for construction of the present Cathedral School. From as far back as 1910, enrollment was 179 students and reached an all-time high of 295 students in 1964. Enrollment then declined due to the changing nature of the neighborhood. This led to changes in acceptance policy during the 1970s that encouraged broader geographic and ethnic representation of students.
Since its founding, Cathedral School has evolved from a parish school to a school that draws students from the Portland tri-county area as well as Clark County in Washington. While many changes have taken place, the school's values of diversity, respect, reverence for others and belief in God have remained constant through its "Century of Excellence in Education."
Welcome to Cathedral School
This fall, in addition to
250 bright-eyed students, we have classroom technology upgrades,
a new science curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten through Third
grade, and have been named an Apple Distinguished School for
2016-2018. Cathedral School joins less than 140 schools that
Apple is recognizing nationwide as exemplary learning
environments and centers of innovation, leadership, and
educational excellence. The Apple Distinguished School
designation is reserved for schools that have demonstrated
Apple's highest vision of a successful 21st century learning
environment. The selection of Cathedral School as an Apple
Distinguished School highlights our successes in enhancing and
extending teaching and learning with thoughtful and innovative
implementations of technology.
Schools nominated by Apple for designation as an Apple Distinguished School must demonstrate Apple's highest vision of a successful 21st century learning environment, a strong relationship with Apple, and a willingness to do outreach activities. The specific manifestations of these qualities include:
- Visionary Leadership
- One-to-one access to Apple portable computers and/or mobile devices for all students, teachers and administrators
- Ongoing professional development
- Systems to routinely collect quantitative evidence highlighting the success and sustainability of their academic programs.
We have a busy year ahead and I feel so fortunate to have a collaborative team on board to help provide the very best
Catholic education for your children. We value your participation
as parents, parishioners, alumni, and donors, and are grateful
for your support.
Thank you to the staff, parents, and students of Cathedral School. It is because of the tremendous talent we have on staff, the quality and character of our students and parents that Cathedral School was able to receive this distinction.
Mrs. Amy Biggs, Principal
Mrs. Amy Biggs, Principal
Faculty and Staff
Msgr Patrick Brennan
Rev. Timothy Furlow
Mrs. Amy Biggs
|Mrs. Molly Mannenbach||Pre-Kindergarten|
|Mrs. Stephanie McCoy||1st Grade a.m. / Assistant Principal p.m.|
|Mrs. Gabi Kilkenny||1st Grade p.m.|
|Mrs. Kate Gobel||Kindergarten|
|Mrs. Andrea Martin||2nd Grade|
|Mrs. Ingrid Trachtenbarg||3rd Grade|
|Mrs. Sophia Penkala||4th Grade|
|Ms. Mindy Fry||5th Grade|
|Mrs. Megan Aguon||6th Grade Homeroom, Middle School Social Science|
|Mr. Mitch Overley||7th Grade Homeroom, Middle School Language Arts|
|Mrs. Liane Rae||Middle School Science, Science & Technology Instructional Coach|
|Mrs. Sarah Wellnitz||8th Grade Homeroom, Middle School Math|
|Mrs. Shelby Walker||Spanish Specialist|
|Mr. Joe Nadalsky||P.E. and Health Specialist|
|Mrs. Barb English||Music Specialist and Religion Liasion|
|Mrs. Cindy Glenn||Media Specialist|
|Mrs. Karen White||Art Specialist, Oregon College of Art and Craft|
|Ms. Stacy Murphy||Pre-K Assistant, PM Extended Care, Extended Care|
|Mrs. Jessica Montgomery||Kindergarten Instructional Assistant, AM Extended Care|
|Miss Rachel Manning||1st Grade Instructional Assistant, AM Extended Care|
|Miss Natalie Mecham||2nd Grade Instructional Assistant, PM Extended Care|
|Miss Hanna Joyce||3rd Grade Instructional Assistant, PM Extended Care|
|Mrs. Tracy Niedermeyer||4th and 5th Grade Instructional Assistant, PM Extended Care|
|Mrs. Jennifer Overbay||Business Manager|
|Mrs. Susan Hatley||Administrative Assistant|
|Mrs. Fernanda De Clercq||Receptionist|
|Mr. Jim Russell||Maintenance|
A ten-year journey of faith, knowledge, and service begins
in Cathedral’s Pre-Kindergarten. Pre-K establishes a
solid foundation that will lead to a positive educational
experience for years to come. The goal is to create a
respectful, responsible, and safe classroom and school
environment where all students can learn and play together as
followers of Jesus.
In the Pre-K class, God blesses the children with the gift of time: time to learn, time to play, and time to grow. The day is tailored to excite the seeds of knowledge in the children and carefully crafted to nurture the gifts and talents that each child possesses. Beginning literary and mathematics skills are cultivated through engaging projects done both individually and in groups and children are introduced to science, art, music, and Spanish programs through fun interactive experiences. Finally, these individual children are brought together to form a community. Through prayer and play, laughter and sharing, they (along with their parents) create friendships to carry them through their years at Cathedral.
For our youngest students, service begins with an understanding of fellow students as children of God, who deserve respect and compassion. Students are acknowledged and rewarded for everyday acts of service to fellow classmates and teachers. Within the greater school community, the Pre-K students are introduced to and come to understand the variety of service projects organized by higher grades through their active participation in the collection and donation of food and other needed items for charitable organizations throughout the community.
Mrs. Molly Mannenbach
Mrs. Stacy Murphy
God’s creation and the appreciation of each child as a unique and special part of His Creation form the basis for every aspect of a Kindergartener’s day. Children learn to pray and participate in prayer in many forms: as a class, with their 8th Grade buddies, and as individuals. Kindergarteners begin to learn to look beyond themselves (and toward others in
God’s creation) by serving children both in daily interactions within their classroom as well as community projects focusing on homeless children.
As the kindergarteners leap into an all-day learning environment, the foundation for future academic success begins with a focus on the routine and expectations of a typical school day and by instilling a sense of personal responsibility to carry students through their academic career. The fundamentals of literacy and mathematical skills are developed through varied methods including whole group, small group, and one-on-one; allowing individual students to learn and grow at their own pace. All the while, Cathedral’s kindergarten is a fun-filled learning space where smiles and giggles abound as children develop new friendships through play and cooperative learning.
As service is an attribute often best cultivated by example, kindergarteners work side-by-side with their 8th Grade Buddies on the annual Cathedral school-wide sock project that benefits Potluck in the Park. The kindergarten class then, on its own, decorates and fills sacks with toys, candy, hats, and gloves for the children served by the Potluck in the Park program.
Mrs. Kate Gobel
Photo Coming Soon . . .
Ms. Jessica Montgomery
In First Grade, children learn that they are all part of one family, God’s family. The Golden Rule is paramount in behavioral management and peer relations. The basics of Catholicism are taught and throughout the year, a commitment to service: to parish, school and community, is cultivated.
First Grade builds a firm and broad foundation of literacy proficiency in Cathedral Students. Students’ reading and writing skills are individually developed and fostered within a backdrop of different thematic curricula that engage the children throughout the year. First Grade recognizes and appreciates the uniqueness of each six and seven-year-old in the class as they make the transition to a more structured academic environment and seeks to instill a sense of personal responsibility while nurturing each child’s love of learning.
In First Grade, service takes form in an age-appropriate manner to instill a sense of commitment in everyday actions by helping others. First Graders serve the parish through monthly church clean up activities. While tidying the pews and picking up trash, the children are also instructed on the architecture, history, and religious art within the sanctuary. Children in First Grade serve the community along with their Fourth Grade Reading Buddies by gathering and assembling Easter Baskets of stuffed animals and candy for Cares NW, a local agency that strives to prevent child abuse and neglect.
First Grade News
First Grade Curriculum
Mrs. Stephanie McCoy
First Grade Teacher and Assistant Principal
Focus: Religion and Language Arts
Mrs. Gabi Kilkenny
First Grade Teacher
Focus: Math, Science and Social Studies
Ms. Rachel Manning
First Grade Instructional Assistant
Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist are the centerpiece of Second Grade at Cathedral School. Together with St. Mary’s Cathedral’s pastor and Cathedral’s principal, the second grade teacher guides the students and their families on a year–long
journey of faith as the children become more fully initiated
Second Grade challenges its students to think on a deeper level as readers transition from learning to read, to reading to learn. Writing skills are strengthened as these young authors begin to understand the process of crafting a piece of writing and the different forms it may take. This enhanced level of reflection spills over into mathematics where increasingly complex strategies are coupled with tasks that require students to write to explain the steps employed in problem solving. Throughout the year, new friendships are formed and existing ones strengthened in an atmosphere of respect, compassion, and fun both in the classroom and on the playground.
Together with their Sixth Grade buddies, the Second Grade organizes and runs "Mac Attack," a macaroni and cheese drive for the Sunshine Division of the Portland Police Bureau. Collecting boxes of macaroni and cheese, Mac Attack helps children in need of food throughout Portland. The Second and Sixth Graders decorate boxes, make signs, and publicize the event to the school. The drive is in May, right after First Communion, and provides a fun and spirited way for Second Graders to put faith into service in a tangible and productive way.
Just like in First Grade, the Second Graders continue to serve the parish through monthly church clean up sessions. As they prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist, time in the sanctuary is an opportunity to begin to understand the purpose and symbolism of the many holy objects within the church that relate to the sacraments.
Second Grade News
Second Grade Curriculum
Mrs. Andrea Martin
Second Grade Teacher
Miss Natalie Mecham
Second Grade Instructional Assistant
Learning to pray in many ways–in the classroom, at
mass, and on one’s own–and understanding the purpose, meaning, and symbolism of the many forms of Catholic prayer is the focus of Third Grade. The Third Grade lives out its faith through its commitment to serving the remarkable
children at Providence’s Center for Medically Fragile Children.
Third grade is a transitional year in student learning. As reading skills are mastered, children move from basic competence to a greater level of reading comprehension, fostering the creation of independent readers and thinkers. In mathematics, students become proficient in multiplication and division skills setting a strong foundation in basic math facts to allow for future growth. The joy of learning is evident in the Third Grade classroom where enthusiasm for academic success and a healthy amount of fun come together for a full and active school day.
For many years, Cathedral’s third graders have served Providence’s Center for Medically Fragile Children, a pediatric skilled nursing facility. For many children and volunteer parents, this experience is transformative. Cathedral students visit and play with children at the center with a backdrop of faith—beginning and ending each volunteer session in prayer. Students take away from their sessions an understanding of all children as creations of God, an appreciation of the value of every person, thanksgiving for one’s personal health, and a greater self-awareness of their ability to be comfortable with children different from themselves. These lessons extend beyond the Providence volunteer times and make Third Grade time a time of great personal growth and maturity.
Back in the parish, Third Graders continue to serve St. Mary’s Cathedral through church clean up which couples service with religious education through a behind the scenes understanding of the sanctuary as a place of worship.
Third Grade News
Third Grade Curriculum
Mrs. Ingrid Trachtenbarg
Third Grade Teacher
Ms. Hanna Joyce
Third Grade Instructional Assistant
Fourth Graders take a step up literally and academically at
Cathedral. As these students move to the upper floor of our
school building, the Fourth Grade curriculum becomes more
complex and organization and personal responsibility for
completion of schoolwork is instilled in the students. As
citizens of Oregon, Fourth Graders focus on Oregon’s
geography, history, and political structure. Carefully planned
field trips throughout the state to significant sites are
capped off with an overnight camp-out at the Oregon Trail where
students learn first–hand how the state’s pioneers
An understanding of living as a person of Christ is made manifest through an in–depth study of the lives of saints where the Fourth Graders educate the whole school on a personally selected saint. The Fourth Grade core curriculum builds on knowledge gained in earlier grades and moves students into an increasingly comprehensive and rigorous academic study, all the while assessing each child’s abilities and crafting individual goals for mathematics, reading, and writing personally designed for every child to thrive.
In Fourth Grade, students begin to focus on the needs of fellow citizens of Oregon and donate time throughout the year at the Oregon Food Bank. Students and volunteer parents work together in groups to gather, assemble, and package food for needy families throughout the State. At the end of each volunteer session, the impact of the task is made clear through calculations that tell children how many meals will be prepared and families that will be fed by their efforts.
Within the school building, Fourth Graders have-for the first time as Cathedral students-a buddy who is younger: every Fourth Grader is matched with a Pre-Kindergarten student. Together these pairs attend mass, complete special seasonal projects, and participate together in all school events where the youngest Cathedral students need a helping hand. Through this interaction, compassion, understanding, and empathy are fostered while the fourth graders relish the companionship of an eager, admiring four-year-old student.
Fourth Grade News
Fourth Grade Curriculum
Mrs. Sophia Penkala
Fourth Grade Teacher
Ms. Tracy Niedermeyer
Fourth Grade Instructional Assistant
Building on their firm understanding of the basic tenets of
Catholicism, Fifth Graders begin to appreciate their faith on a
personal level. Through a study of the Old and New Testaments,
along with the lives of the saints, Fifth Graders start to know
what it means to be an active member of the Catholic Church and
how, as Catholics, they are called to a vocation of
Fifth Grade marks the final year in Cathedral’s elementary grades before the transition to its middle school. Fifth Grade students are tasked with an enhanced personal responsibility for their schoolwork and homework, and classroom expectations reflect an appreciation of the increasing potential of maturing students. As confident and thoughtful readers, Fifth Graders read and analyze texts from varied genres to promote both critical thinking skills and independent thought. In mathematics, students solidify their calculation and computation skills and broaden problem–solving skills to include the study of beginning geometry and algebra. A broad range of topics in science and social science engage the inquisitive minds and tap into a student’s natural curiosity of the world around them.
To carry out their call to service, Fifth Graders organize and administer the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive that benefits Lift Urban Portland, an interfaith network of volunteers that work to meet the needs of residents of Northwest and downtown Portland. With Cathedral School’s location in Northwest Portland, students are keenly aware of those in need, as they are our school’s neighbors. The Fifth Grade’s efforts rally support for donations throughout the school that go to supply Lift Urban’s food pantry and fill backpacks of nutritious food for children who attend the neighborhood public school.
Fifth Grade News
Fifth Grade Curriculum
Picture Coming Soon . . .
Ms. Mindy Fry
Fifth Grade Teacher
Ms. Tracy Niedermeyer
Fifth Grade Instructional Assistant
Middle School Program
The Cathedral School Middle School serves students in grades six through eight. We welcome our students with respect for who they are and with delight in what they will bring to the world and to our school community. From our dedicated faculty, to our innovative academic, spiritual and leadership initiatives, our comprehensive middle school program is designed to inspire, nurture and support middle school students. We are focused not on exposure to content and activities for their own sake but on outputs–what students can show they have learned.
Middle School Documents
Mrs. Megan Aguon
Sixth Grade Homeroom Teacher
Middle School Social Science and 5th and 6th grade Math
Mrs. Liane Rae
Science Teacher and Science & Technology Instructional Coach
Mrs. Rae has been teaching Middle School Science and Eighth Grade at Cathedral School since 2004. Before joining the Cathedral Staff, she taught Middle School Lab Science at St. Paul’s in Clearwater, Florida. Mrs. received her Bachelors of General Science in 1996 from Portland State University. Outside of Cathedral, Mrs. Rae loves reading, running, coaching track and cross country and spending time with her husband and three boys. Mrs. Rae teaches the following Middle School Classes: 8th grade Homeroom and Religion, 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Science.
In 2015 Mrs. Rae was chosen to speak at the Organization for Educational Technology and Curriculum Winter Conference and the National Catholic Education Association Conference on teaching computer programming to elementary students. In April 2015 Mrs. Rae was named an Apple Distinguished Educator for her visionary use of Apple technology in the classroom.
Mr. Mitch Overleye
Seventh Grade Homeroom Teacher & 6th-8th Grade Language Arts
Mrs. Sarah Wellnitz
Eighth Grade Homeroom Teacher & Middle School Math Teacher
Explore our Program
Cathedral School welcomes our students with respect for who they are and with delight in what they will bring to the world and our school community. From our dedicated faculty to our innovative academic, spiritual, and leadership initiatives, to our beautiful facility, our comprehensive school program is designed to inspire, nurture, and support students. Cathedral School is committed to helping all young people grow and maintain healthy bodies and active intellects. We want our students to enjoy an active life therefore we emphasize collaboration, inclusion, and skill development in all our programs. Music, sports, community service, and many more opportunities help further the development of our students as they discover their own passions and interests.
Cathedral Music Program
Music classes are closely tied with liturgical preparation. Each class is tasked with preparing and leading the school in prayer services (Prayer on Wednesday) and masses during the school year. During music class, students select and rehearse music for the liturgies. Children in grades two through eight interested in furthering their music training and performance can participate in the Cathedral Children’s Choir that performs at school masses and monthly parish family masses. All Cathedral students participate in the annual Christmas Program held in St. Mary’s Cathedral where individual classes as well as all students together present Christmas selections culminating in a reenactment of the gospel story of Christmas complete with choral accompaniment.
Open to all children in grades two through eight, the Cathedral Children’s Choir provides additional opportunities for vocal instruction and performance for students beyond the school day music instruction. Children practice afterschool and perform both at bi-monthly school masses as well as the monthly Parish Family Masses. As students advance, they are trained and perform as cantors at these masses as well. The choir focuses on liturgical music but blends popular music into instruction to keep the experience fun and engaging for the participants.
Mrs. Barb English
Mrs. English has been teaching at Cathedral School since 1980. Before joining the Cathedral Staff, she taught at Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Oswego and at St. Mary’s in The Dalles, Oregon. While at Cathedral Mrs. English has taught Second Grade, General Math, Music and Computer. In 2012 Mrs. English returned to music room and is now the Cathedral School Music Specialist. Mrs. English received her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Western Oregon University and is trained in Kodaly and Orff music teaching methods. Mrs. English loves her guitar, reading, rainbows and spending time with her husband and two grown children.
Cathedral Spanish Program
Recognizing a well-rounded Catholic education includes exposure to the discipline of learning a world language, an appreciation of diverse cultures, and development of a connection between faith and language, all Cathedral students study Spanish. Children in Pre -Kindergarten through Fifth Grade attend Spanish two times per week, often in small groups. In Middle School, Spanish is part of the core curriculum and students are taught three times a week. The curriculum is tailored to each age group with each grade’s students progressively broadening their vocabulary and increasing the complexity of their language.
Communicative language use is a focus at every grade level with the youngest students learning to reply to simple questions and the middle school students engaging in full-length improvised conversations. The middle school curriculum is designed to give students a solid base in Spanish level 1 and an introduction to Spanish level 2, so that students may test out of high school level 1 if they choose. Students who opt to study a new language in high school are well prepared with the language learning skills they have attained.
Throughout the school year, the connection between the Catholic Church and Spanish-speaking countries is explored through celebrating an annual prayer service in Spanish, honoring religious holidays important in Hispanic communities (such as the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe), and the learning and reciting of Catholic prayers in Spanish.
Ms. Walker's Website
Ms. Shelby Walker
Ms. Walker joined the Cathedral Staff as a Spanish Teacher in the fall of 2013. Before relocating to Portland, she taught Spanish to multiple grade levels at St. Andrews Episcopal School in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Mrs. Walker received her Bachelors of Arts with an emphasis in Spanish Language and Literature from Kalamazoo College. She received her Masters of Teaching from the University of Southern Mississippi. Outside of Cathedral, Ms. Walker loves Yoga, visiting the library, anything outdoors and spending time with her husband.
Cathedral PE Program
Physical fitness, sportsmanship, and athletic skill all come together in the physical education program at Cathedral. Throughout the year, students learn and participate in a variety of different team sports with the goal of exposing students to sports they may pursue outside of school and fostering teamwork and cooperation between classmates. Students are also encouraged on an individual level through FitnessGram, an educational tool to determine students’ overall physical fitness and suggest areas for improvement when appropriate. All the while, PE is a time where the fun of sport is celebrated and encouraged. On the playground, sports education blends with recreation and play when the PE Teacher supervises (and referees) recess play. At Cathedral, all students are athletes and student achievement in physical education is measured based on effort, participation, skill growth, cooperation, and most importantly, sportsmanship.
All Students must wear non-marking athletic shoes. Starting in grades 7 and 8, students are required to wear a white Cathedral School PE uniform shirt and solid navy or black shorts (white trim and small logos are on the leg are allowed). Socks and athletic shoes are also required. Cathedral School PE shirts are for sale for $10.00 in the school office. Shorts, socks and athletic shoes are to be provided by the student.
Mr. Joe Nadalsky
PE and Health Specialist
Mr. Nadalsky joined the Cathedral Staff as a P.E. Teacher in 2013. Before relocating to Portland, he taught PE to multiple grade levels at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Grapevine, Texas. Mr. Nadalsky received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He received his Teacher Certification through iteachtexas. Outside of Cathedral, Mr. Nadalsky enjoys soccer, football, basketball and mountain biking. He also loves spending time with his wife and three beautiful daughters.
Cathedral Art Program
Cathedral maintains a collaborative partnership with the Oregon College of Art and Craft that supplies a skilled teacher to run our art program. In all grades, drawing and painting instruction are combined with opportunities to work three dimensionally with clay, paper-mâché and sculpey. Notable artists (last year, Matisse, Van Gogh, Warhol, Mondrian, and Kushner) and works, like The Colosseum, inspire student work.
Funds from Run 4 Cathedral and Cathedral’s donors make Cathedral School’s art program possible.
Cathedral Art Show
Every first Thursday in May (to coincide with the Pearl District Art Gallery’s First Thursday Program), the Cathedral community gathers to celebrate the students’ achievement in art during the school year. Cathedral’s gym is transformed into an art gallery where all students’ work is featured and displayed. Parents, students, and friends of Cathedral are invited to stroll and linger in the gym-gallery. The evening is topped off with a community building Spaghetti Dinner prepared by parents of Cathedral and served by our 7th Grade Students.
Mrs. Karen White
Mrs. Karen White will be joining our team of specialists for the 2016-2017 academic year. Mrs. White brings over 20 years experience as a teaching artist/educator to the Cathedral School Art program. Mrs. White received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Metropolitan University of Denver. She has designed and facilitated innovative programs to engage participants in creative practices using both traditional and non-traditional methods. Mrs. White has developed programs for schools, community centers, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. She looks forward to the opportunity to encourage Cathedral students to apply creative practices in everyday opportunities.
Cathedral Technology Program
Cathedral School implemented a 1:1 iPad program during the 2011-2012 school year. The 1:1 environment utilizes technology as a tool to enhance teaching and improve learning. Apple technology has enabled Cathedral School to become a leader of innovative education in the Portland area as well as an Apple Distinguished School.
Portland news agencies are taking note of Cathedral School’s focus on STEM as illustrated in this story which recently aired on KOIN Channel 6.
Cathedral Elementary and Middle School both participate in the local Portland-area CYO program. As part of the program, our students learn the value of teamwork, good sportsmanship and fair play while developing fundamentals and skills. All eligible youth are given the opportunity to participate. The following sports are offered to all students, regardless of skill level.
- Volleyball (3rd through 8th grade girls)
- Hot Shots Basketball (1st & 2nd grade boys and girls)
- Basketball (3rd through 8th grade boys & girls)
- Registration will open mid-October
- Track and Field (3rd through 8th grade boys and girls)
- Player registration for Track & Field will be in early March.
- Lacrosse* (1st through 8th grade boys and girls)
Cathedral takes great pride in its library. In 2000, when a major expansion of the school was undertaken, putting in a state-of-the-art-albeit traditional-library was of paramount importance. The school and generous donors have continued to invest in the library keeping it up-to-date and fully stocked with books and technology to be a great resource for all students and faculty and a place of calm for the children during busy school days.
Students in Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth Grade attend library two times per week. The librarian works in cooperation with the classroom teachers to engage the children in thoughtful curriculum that complements the focus of instruction in the classrooms. In addition, the librarian helps introduce and foster aptitude in research skills both with traditional paper resources in the library and online sources through guided direction on the proper and effective use of Internet research on iPads.
Children in Fourth through Eighth Grade have the opportunity to participate in a variety of programs (for example, Battle of the Books and Lunch Bunch) that complement the literature curriculum of the classroom, provide additional opportunities for independent reading for the voracious reader, and foster a sense of academic camaraderie through teamwork and competition.
Mrs. Cindy Glenn
Every Fall, in partnership with Scholastic Books, Cathedral hosts a Book Fair to both promote and generate excitement for reading and to raise funds to continue to purccathase new books for the library. Cathedral’s interior courtyard is transformed into a full service bookstore with titles and offerings for babies and toddlers to adult. Designed, set up, and staffed by Cathedral’s librarian and parent volunteers, the fair is open to the school, parish, and visitors to Cathedral.
Visit Online Store
The Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award is sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries and is named in honor of Beverly Cleary, the beloved Oregon-born children’s book author. The award is to encourage reading by highlighting good quality literature written on the second and third grade reading level. The contest encourages reading books that students may not otherwise find on their own and are not necessarily the popular best sellers. Cathedral’s Second and Third Graders are encouraged to read at least four books from the list of nominated books and then are eligible to vote for their own choice. Mrs. Glenn then submits the votes on behalf of Cathedral’s students and shares the winner once it is announced.
The Oregon Readers’ Choice Award is co-sponsored by the Oregon Library Association along with the Oregon Reading Association and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Targeted at children in Fourth Grade through high school, ORCA has two categories that Cathedral Students participate in: upper elementary school division and middle school (intermediate) division. ORCA is intended to be a fun and exciting way for young readers to become enthusiastic and discriminating readers by reading a variety of books and then voting for their favorites in a democratic process. Cathedral students in grades four through eight are eligible to vote once they have read at least four of the books from the list of nominees.
Battle of the Books
To enhance and complement the literature curriculum in the classrooms, the library supports many programs to challenge and nurture eager readers. Led by Cathedral’s librarian, Cindy Glenn, Cathedral fields two Battle of the Books (BOB) teams every year: one comprised of Middle School students and one of Fourth and Fifth Graders. BOB is made possible with funds from Cathedral’s Run 4 Cathedral annual fundraiser.
Cathedral bases its program on the model by the Oregon Association of School Libraries. Cathedral’s teams compete against teams from other Catholic schools in two battles in the spring. The battles consist of quiz-show type questions challenging children’s knowledge of content on sixteen selected books. All children in the selected grades are eligible for the team and to qualify, must read eight of the sixteen books and demonstrate proficiency by passing a quiz on the Accelerated Reader Program or filling out an assessment form about the books. Practices for the team are led by Mrs. Glenn at lunchtime and before school in the months leading up to the Battles. The mission of the Battle of the Books program is to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, promote academic excellence, and foster cooperative learning and teamwork among students.
The Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) is a database for student research. It provides access to reliable on line databases for students to guide students in in class and at home research projects. It includes encyclopedias, periodicals, opinion pieces, and many other credible sources. In addition, OSLIS works with iPads and can provide a tool for helping beginning readers master sounds and words. Cathedral students and parents may access OSLIS as follows:
- Link: www.oslis.org
- User Name: cathed (case sensitive)
- Password: oslis (case sensitive)
- Online Library Documents
Birthday Book Program
The Cathedral Library Birthday Book Program offers parents, grandparents, and friends the opportunity to provide a lasting tribute to celebrate student birthdays. An $18 donation funds the purchase of a library book that has been selected with the honoree in mind. This book will be tailored to both the interests and reading level of the birthday celebrant, and will be presented during the student’s class. The celebrant will then have the honor of being the first student to check it out from the library.
To participate in the program, print and complete the Birthday Book form, and return it, along with the $18 donation, to the school office.
Birthday Book Form
Programs with Multnomah County Library
Taking advantage of its proximity to the main Multnomah County library, Cathedral has formed a relationship with the children’s librarians of the Multnomah County Library to complement our own curriculum with the activities and programs available with the public library
Cathedral’s own librarian, Mrs. Glenn, has partnered with Multnomah County librarians to run voluntary book club style “Lunch Bunches.” Beginning in Grade Four, each month, children who sign up for Lunch Bunch read a book from a list compiled by the Multnomah County Librarian. Students bring their lunch and participate in a discussion led by Mrs. Glenn. The program highlights current award-winning children’s books and challenges children in reading comprehension and analysis skills. Participating children enjoy reading a variety of books, including many that they would not typically select on their own.
Library Card Sign-Ups
Every year, Cathedral’s kindergarten class participates in the Great Library Card Adventure, the Library’rs annual campaign to sign up school children for library cards. With all of our students enjoying their own Multnomah County library card, the full use of the programs available at the Library is ensured.
Banned Book Week
Designed to coincide with Banned Book Week in late September, Cathedral School Seventh Graders are treated to a presentation from a county librarian that includes an overview of issues of censorship and an introduction to a variety of banned and challenged books. Banned Book Week celebrates the freedom to read and the presentation helps children value free and open access to information in the library.
Summer Reading Program
As Cathedral students prepare for summer and set goals for summer reading, Multnomah County public librarians again visit our students to share information about and preregister all students for its annual Summer Reading Program. The librarians feature books being published during the summer to create excitement for the coming months of reading. Cathedral Students have volunteered at Multnomah County Libraries during the summer to help administer these programs and encourage fellow young readers.
We are excited to share our school with you!
As a ministry of St. Mary’s Cathedral parish, Cathedral School provides an excellent education in the Catholic tradition. Students grow in faith through prayer, study, and service. As they develop their academic skills, they learn to think critically, to work collaboratively, and to understand themselves as learners. Students develop the skills and attitudes that will help them become contributing members of society.
The search for the right school is an exciting and challenging prospect for parents. Our goal is to help you learn about our community, academic programs, and staff, providing everything you need to inform your decision. Explore our website, and contact us to arrange for a tour of the school. The best way for you to get a sense of our core values, students, staff, and vibrant school life is to come and visit.
Students applying for pre-kindergarten must be four years old on or before September 1st. Students applying for kindergarten must be five years old on or before September 1st. Applications may be submitted beginning September 1st of the year prior to entrance.Request Information
Portland, Oregon 97209
Part of a commitment to and understanding of Cathedral School is the development of a partnership with the parents of all students. Parents at all levels are encouraged to be involved in the academic, social, and spiritual development of their children. Many volunteer opportunities exist to help parents be directly and indirectly involved with their children and their children’s friends. A parent may volunteer to be a room parent, library aid, and hot lunch--just to name a few opportunities.
Cathedral School recognizes parents as the primary educators of their children. We are committed to work in partnership with parents to engage students, develop in faith, knowledge, service, and community. There are many easy ways for parents to get involved at Cathedral. We train, no experience required. We need your talents in both big and little ways. Volunteering at Cathedral School is an expression of commitment to your children, your school, and your Christian faith. When a parent donates time at school, our children see the image of an adult as a giver, and they see the demonstration of one of the most poignant lessons from the Bible – humbly serving others.
Lunch is available for purchase through the vendor Fresh n Local, Monday through Friday with hot entrees on Mondays and Fridays and a sack lunch for the remaining weekdays. Milk is included with the purchase of hot lunch and is also available five days a week with the purchase of a milk card. Use the button below to prepay or visit the school office.
Lunches are made with fresh, local and natural ingredients. All lunches include fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Cathedral School Extended Care Program provides quality and consistent care before and after school for enrolled students of Cathedral School. The Extended Day program follows all regulations set forth by the Child Care Division of the State of Oregon.
Cathedral School's goal is to provide students with a positive atmosphere where they will have opportunities to continue their learning through activities and recreational fun. Additionally, for those students with homework, a designated staff member will supervise "Study Hall" and assist students with homework assignments. Children will be supervised by adult caregivers at all times.
The Cathedral School Advisory Council is the chief consultative body to the principal on matters of administration and policy. It fulfills an important role by recommending policy to the principal and supporting the mission of the school.
Council members can be either elected or appointed and serve a three-year term in which they are expected to attend all meetings and sit on one of the following committees: Finance, Marketing and Development.
The Parents' Association (PA) promotes and stimulates interest in activities that ultimately benefit the students and staff of Cathedral School. Our Mission is to create community through the events we sponsor as well as encourage and organize volunteerism through various volunteer programs. All parents and school staff are members of the PA.
All Cathedral School parents are members of the PA and invited to join the PA board at our meetings. Mettings take place at 8:15 a.m. in the school courtyard. Meetings during the 2016-2017 school year will be held September 15th, October 20th, November 17th, January 19th, February 16th, March 16th, April 20th, May 18th, and June 8th.
The Parent’s Association sponsors several events and supports school-sponsored events throughout the school year. Click the Schedule button to explore.
- Back to School BBQ
- Staff Hospitality- Welcome Teachers and Staff
- Book Fair
- Wreath Sale
- Staff Hospitality-Conferences
- Special Friend’s Breakfast
- First Thursday Art Show & Spaghetti Dinner
Welcome Cathedral School Alumni!
What do you remember most from your days at Cathedral School? Perhaps you’ll answer "friends" or "teachers," or "the building itself."
Perhaps you’ll recall the strong bonds you formed as part of a Catholic parish school or the sights and sounds of a school that contiues to educate children in an environment you remember as if it were yestereday. Whether you graduated last year or decades ago, we want Cathedral School to be a continuing part of your life, keeping you connected with Cathedral and with each other.
With a presence in NW Portland since 1896, and in our current building since 1962, there have been many changes to Cathedral School over the years. We’d like to keep you up-to-date with what’s happening around your alma mater. You are also welcome to stop by for a visit! Check the calendar for upcoming events and join us in the Cathedral for any school Mass.
Celebrating Tradition . . . Embracing Our Future
We welcome your suggestions and information—especially photos—that we may consider for inclusion on the school’s Facebook page or website. Click the button below to fill out our alumni connect form or email us your current information and photos.Alumni Connect
Run For Cathedral
Run 4 Cathedral, our 2nd largest fundraiser, is an annual jog-a-thon in which Cathedral School students participate to raise funds for enhancements to the school curriculum that would not be able to be funded through the school’s operating budget. A major portion of the proceeds raised provides the funding for the school’s 20 hour per week art program, in partnership with the Oregon College of Art and Craft. In addition, Run 4 Cathedral provides a portion of the funds for students to participate in Outdoor School and the Oregon Trail Overnight, and fully funds all field trips, in-class presentations, assemblies, student retreats, as well as other curriculum enhancements.
Leave a Legacy
Cathedral School is beginning a “Legacy and Faith Program” to encourage alumni, parents and other friends to make a lasting gift for future generations of Cathedral School.
"Legacy" gifts are bequests or estate designations in your will, trust, life insurance or retirement plan to benefit Cathedral School. They are placed into the Cathedral School Endowment where they are preserved and the earnings are used for the ongoing support of students needing financial aid, maintaining excellent academic programs, and retaining the very best teachers.
"The greatest need we have is to provide financial aid for students and families who cannot afford to pay tuition," said Amy Biggs, principal. This past school year, 42 students, or 18 percent of the student body, received $95,500 in financial aid. "Catholic education is a value and we want to be there for those students and families who otherwise would not be able to benefit from a Catholic education," she said.
A legacy gift speaks to the people you love and who matter most to you. Think of children from families who desire a Catholic education, but can’t afford to pay. The gift of an excellent Catholic education lasts for a lifetime. Make that gift possible with your legacy provision.
There are many ways to structure a legacy gift. It can be a fixed amount of money or a bequest of a specific item of property, such as a house. Another way is to leave a residuary gift in your estate. That involves leaving a percentage of the remaining value of your estate after all other bequests have been made.
Consult your estate-planning advisor to make sure your legacy plan expresses love for those who are most important to you. We hope you will include Cathedral students among those who you love and want to remember. To include Cathedral School in your legacy planning, our legal name is: Cathedral Church, Portland Oregon. Tax ID #93-0978500. Please contact our principal, Mrs. Amy Biggs regarding your legacy plans.
The Cathedral School Annual Auction
The Cathedral Auction is our school's largest fundraiser, accounting for 10% of the school's annual operating budget. Our teachers, staff and administration are innovative and funds from this auction help to ensure that our children receive an exceptional education, grounded in Catholic principles and values and enhanced by a strong focus on Science, Technology, and Engineering.
Our auction supports our students not only by raising funds but by helping to build a vibrant and loving community where our kids can thrive.
We would like to thank the numerous generous supporters--both individuals and local businesses who helped to make the 2017 Cathedral Derby Auction a success.
You can still donate to our 2017 Paddle Raise, Project Safe Play and if you are a current Cathedral family, there are still a few Easel Parties to add your name to. To make your donation or register for a party, click the links below. Project Safe Play Register for Easel Parties