Frequently Asked Questions
What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school that may be started and operated by nonprofit organizations but they are authorized to exist through the local school district. For LÊP High, we are authorized to exist and operate as a Portland Public School through the Portland Public School district.
Charter school law provides schools with autonomy over staff, budget, schedule, curriculum, facilities, and governance so that these schools can best meet the needs of its students. In exchange for increased autonomy, charter schools are held to higher standards than most non-charter public schools. They must meet all of the student performance and operational goals listed in their charter contract and the state/federal guidelines (No Child Left Behind Act) or their charter may be revoked.
How is this school funded?
As a public school, LÊP High receives funding from many sources. Overall, we receive about half of the government funding that other public schools receive, so we make many fundraising efforts. In addition to donations from individuals, private foundations and organizations provide funding through grants and donations. The combination of diverse funding sources provides stability and strength for our programs.
Who can apply to this school?
Students living within the state of Oregon who are 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade students can apply to LÊP High. As a charter school, we are able to enroll any student from any school district within the state of Oregon, though those living in Portland Public Schools receive priority. Parents and students make the
decision to apply, and school districts are required by state law to allow the student to transfer
to our school.
Does this school charge tuition?
LEP High School takes seriously our role as a public school and never charges tuition or fees. Families are periodically asked for contributions, but these are always voluntary and do not influence a student’s standing in the school or access to any program or activity. We believe in a high quality public education system for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status.
What are the requirements for admission?
How does transportation work for this school?
Similar to all Portland Public High Schools, students are responsible for their own transportation
to school.For parents using Tri-Met, our advisors will assist each family in planning your travel to and
from our school. You can also use Tri-Met’s trip planner
.We subsidize bus passes for all students with 80% or higher attendance.
Do you provide special education programs and services?
With the hands on learning and teaching methods, extra academic supports, small school
environment, and rigorous and relevant curriculum, we feel that special education students will
be served well in this environment. As a public school, we are required to follow federal laws
pertaining to special education (e.g., Section 504, Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act
(IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Charter schools must provide a free
and appropriate education for children with special needs identified in an individualized education
plan (I.E.P.). As a Portland Public school, we will receive special education services from the
school district, just like any other PPS school.
What are the credentials for your teachers?
We realize that one of the most important aspects of our school is to have a strong, quality staff.
Able to choose from a diverse and large pool of applicants, we are only hiring staff members
with prior teaching experience in similar education environments. We also have a rigorous
process with screening at multiple levels to ensure that we select the best staff members possible
for our students. Lastly, our employee compensation is competitive and rewards quality
performance, allowing us to further attract and retain a strong teaching staff.
All of our teachers will meet the Federal standards for a highly qualified teacher. Charter school
law also requires that 50% of our teachers and administrators be certified.
Does this school have extra-curricular activities such as sports, art, music and drama?
As a small school (approx. 80 students in each grade) we are not be able to offer many of the
activities found in large comprehensive high schools. Students are also allowed by law to play
sports on their home neighborhood high school’s sports teams. We also have partnerships with
local nonprofits and other schools in the area to make sure that interests are served, if not met by
our school. Please contact us individually to learn if and how we are able to offer extra-curricular activities.
Lastly, we encourage our students to take on leadership roles and plan activities that meet their
interests. If a group of students wishes to form a certain club or plan an activity, we will support
them through the process. Some of the student initiated extra-curricular clubs that exist are the
Indoor Soccer Team (undeafeated 07-08), Philosophy Club, Environmental Club, and Student Council to name a few.
Does this school have many social events similar to other high schools such as dances, etc?
Yes. We average three main dances per year and many social events such as BBQs, Student
Exhibition Nights, and a Student Art Gallery. Since our school centers on the theme of leadership & entrepreneurship, we encourage our students to take the lead and plan activities that meet their interests. Our staff is prepared to help students take on these leadership roles and facilitate the process of planning school events such as dances, game nights, etc.
When do you accept applications and enroll students?
We accept applications year-round. We prefer that students start school at the beginning of the year
in August, however, we do admit students throughout the year based on availability.
How can someone visit the school?
If you would like to setup a meeting with an administrator at LÊP High, please call the school to
setup a tour and appointment. We are very happy to show you around our school and answer any
questions. For more information on our tour, please click HERE. If you are interested in shadowing a student at LÊP High for a day, please contact our staff and we will arrange that for you.
To schedule a tour, a student shadow, or for more information, please contact Theresa at
Theresa Smallwood @lephigh.org, or (503) 254-2537 X191