Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

King School

Building a Community of Learners

4906 NE 6th | Portland, OR 97211
Phone: (503) 916-6456 | Fax: (503) 916-2647

Turnaround Arts

Turnaround Arts Blog

The staff, parents and students at King are proud to participate in the first cohort of Turnaround Arts and are thrilled that Sarah Jessica Parker has chosen King as her partner school. Funding partnerships with local arts education and cultural organizations, art and music supplies and professional development, the Turnaround Arts initiative helps us deliver high quality arts education to every student at King. To learn how our students are benefiting, please read the monthly updates below. To learn more about Turnaround: Arts, visit their website.



October 15th King school enjoyed a visit from actor Doc Shaw. He entertained students by reading to them from their favorite books, acting out scenes from his TV shows with them, playing theater games, and answering their thoughtful questions. The highlight of the day was when he joined our 8th graders on stage at our all school assembly to perform the African dance that they had just taught him.

He was a delight to meet and he spoke highly of our students and staff. He committed to someday return to King and promised to spread the good word about all we do in his travels. 

Here is a photo stream highlighting some of his visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41430185@N08/sets/72157636599342374/

Or watch a video message from Doc Shaw below:


Turnaround Arts Inspires Achievement

Turnaround Arts

A signature initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), of which First Lady Michelle Obama is Honorary Chair, Turnaround Arts helps us provide a comprehensive, integrated arts curriculum to every student. At King we believe the arts present a unique opportunity to engage our school community and to inspire student achievement. See how Turnaround Arts is making a difference at King.


King School African Drumming

Students in grades 6-8 performing for the school.



Sarah Jessica Parker visited King School on April 10th as part of the Turnaround Arts program.  She led workshops with students throughout the day and watched an all-star assembly performance from our drama and dance students, as well a spoken word performance.  For more on her day at King, check out the following media coverage: http://www.kgw.com/news/Sarah-Jessica-Parker-visits-NE--202400061.html

April is also a busy month full of art-related school assemblies.  The Oregon Children's Theater will be performing "Texting the Sun" for our MYP students.  The Musicality Network will be performing "Share the Music Portland" for K-5, and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony will be performing for grades 3rd-8th!



Students in grades 5-8th will be participating in the Doodle 4 Google contest during art class or homeroom this month. Students in K-12 are eligible to participate and more information can be found at www.google.com/doodle4google!


February is a busy month for the visual arts. Our Right Brain Initiative residency brings five weeks with photographer Julie Keefe. Keefe will be working on photography projects with students in grades K-5 that combine literacy and the arts. Recently named Portland’s first Creative Laureate, it is an honor to have Keefe working with our students.

Students in grades 6-8 are already underway on their Object Stories project, a partnership with the Portland Art Museum. Before trips to the museum commence later this winter, students are working on literacy and writing skills and working with guest artists Michelle Swinehart and Julie Keefe.

MYP students will be working with a curriculum from White Bird Dance, including a field trip performance. 5th-8th graders will partner with Portland Baroque Orchestra to develop an in-school performance.


The highlight of January was our Middle School African Dance performance. King students are exceptional and Mr. Walker “Sekou” showed us as a community that all young people can practice the art of dance as well as make the cultural connections that dance introduces.


Play Writing Contest: The Bully Project

Oregon Children's Theater is hosting an anti-bullying script writing contest open to students 5th through 8th grade. Because King school believes in the talent and potential of all students, we are ensuring the opportunity for every student, 5th through 8th grade, to participate by hosting play writing workshops during homeroom and integrated arts time. This is truly a collaborative effort on the part of our staff at King, with our arts coordinator, media specialist, counselor, positive behavior coach, IB coordinator and resident playwright all working together to facilitate these workshops.

For more information on this contest, please visit the Oregon Children’s Theater Website. 

The King School Theater program concluded their fall performance in December with a packed house to see “Armannie” and select scenes from “Sisters in the City.”


Drama Students Perform for Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker watched King students perform this week in a Skype video call. Parker provided feedback on student performances and answered questions about her acting career and family.

Students perform at the Winningstad Theater

Students involved in the Portland Playhouseʼs Fall Festival of Shakespeare performed at the Winningstad Theatre on Sunday, November 4th. Students worked on their renditions of Romeo & Juliet since the beginning of September.


Portland Playhouse Announces Residency

Portland Playhouse announced its Shakespeare immersion program for King students through the Turnaround Arts initiative. The immersion program culminates with all students performing at King, and some students performing at the Fall Festival of Shakespeare in downtown Portland. Students will be introduced to Romeo and Juliet through playful games, ensemble building, text, air broadswords and dance. Those students performing in the Fall Festival of Shakespeare will perform at the Winningstad Theatre with five other area high schools.


On Monday, September 17, Margo Lion, co-chair for the Turnaround Arts committee, visited King. Ms. Lion, a talented movie and theater producer, had the opportunity to meet with Ms. Gustafson’s 5th grade class. Students asked Ms. Lion what it means to be a “producer” and what it is like to work with the President.