Meet Katie O'Toole - Breakwater First and Second Grade Teacher

At Breakwater we want for our students to explore the world confident in themselves, with a sense of purpose and compassion, belief in their own agency, and the resilience to embrace mistakes. We affirm the integrity of childhood by placing high value on play, balancing the education of the heart and the mind equally. Breakwater's ability to succeed in this is made possible by a talented, enthusiastic, and loving faculty who live these same aspirations in their everyday lives. Our teachers and staff are recruited and retained based on their professional skills, their willingness to model our mission in every respect, and their commitment to professional and personal growth. Check back every month to learn more about our amazing Breakwater faculty

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Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

We are in complete awe of the 22 members of this graduating class and are full of gratitude for the many ways they have contributed to our community. Every year our commencement ceremony features a personal speech from each of our graduates sharing who or what they are most thankful for at Breakwater, a special memory of their time here, or what they will miss the most. This year was no different. Read on to hear memories and words of wisdom and gratitude from this year's graduating class as they embark on their lives beyond the breakwater.

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Fifth Grade Trip to Mt. Cardigan

Fifth Grade Trip to Mt. Cardigan

Mt. Cardigan is typically one of the adventure trips that is most often mentioned in 8th grade speeches, in memories of Breakwater by alumni, and by parents as one of the most character building, inspiring and memorable trips at Breakwater. Fifth grade students spent nearly eight hours hiking through the fresh fallen snow 3,155 feet to the summit of Mt. Cardigan or just below to PJ Ledge. Some went on a hike to Welton Falls while others went sledding down a nearby hill. They cooked several meals, put on a memorable talent show and found so many ways to connect with each other, with their teachers, and with the natural world. They pushed themselves and were well rewarded with spectacular views, some hot cocoa, and new personal stories of strength, resilience and pride.

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The International Tale of the Turkey Unicorn

The International Tale of the Turkey Unicorn

One of the guiding principles of our unique teaching model is the integration of subjects across the curriculum. Educators know that children learn best when approaching a subject the same way grown ups do: with all lenses wide open. Young children are naturally integrated learners as they are full of questions and wonder about everything having to do with a subject. For their integrated studies this fall, students in third and fourth grade have chosen six countries that they have found interesting. The six countries of interest are: Greece, Morocco, Peru, China, New Zealand and Canada. Just after Thanksgiving break Jesse, who is one of our third and fourth grade teachers, began an integrated unit with his students that involved a mythical creature, storytelling, graphing, foreign language and geography.

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September at Breakwater

September at Breakwater

September at Breakwater is such a magical time of year. Teachers and students alike are creating and strengthening the essential bonds needed to help support each other while they grow, learn, explore, and create together. Making these important connections early on promote self regulation, encourage students to take risks, strengthen problem solving skills and create a positive and collaborative environment in which students can best learn and play.

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The Breakwater Youth Corp (BYC) is hard at work!

The Breakwater Youth Corp (BYC) is hard at work!

The BYC has been hard at work this summer, bringing the Breakwater spirit to new spaces and projects on campus, as well as working to maintain and improve the special places we call home. This program offers a great way for our alums, qualified current students, and Portland area youth to give back and stay connected to our community, as well as learn how we keep our facilities maintained, safe, and beautiful over the summer.

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Join the Breakwater Youth Corps (BYC)!

Join the Breakwater Youth Corps (BYC)!

Learn essential job skills, give back to the Breakwater community, and have some fun with your friends this summer, through The Breakwater Youth Corps. The BYC is an opportunity for eligible current students and high school-aged students to provide service to the school and, if applicable, earn a little income. The program runs in two week sessions throughout the summer.

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