Frequently Asked Questions


Why are there volunteer requirements?

Tuition alone does not cover the cost to educate a student. To help close this gap, we offer a variety of volunteer opportunities and require each of our school families to participate in share hours. Parent volunteers can work within the classroom, volunteer on projects from home, work on school events and fundraisers, join parent committees, and coach youth sports teams.

We believe that strong parental involvement is an important factor in your child’s academic success. Share hours offer an opportunity to meet your children’s teachers; get to know your school/parish community and to play an active role in your child’s education. Sharing your time, talents and gifts with the St. Agatha community keeps our tuition rates down and our sense of community strong. For those truly unable to volunteer, we offer an opt-out option through a financial contribution.

Do you do background checks on all employees, teaching and non-teaching? What about volunteers?

St. Agatha provides our students with the safest environment possible. In 2008 the Archdiocese of Portland implemented its Called to Protect Program. The program was created in partnership with Praesidium, and is used in many Archdioceses across the nation, as well as many private organizations. All staff, clergy, and volunteers working with children must complete this training. This program is also implemented in our health curriculum for K-8 grade. All staff and clergy submit to background checks before hire and during their employment. Contact the front office at 503.234.5500 for more information. 

What are my tuition payment options?

Each family has the opportunity to pay the academic year tuition in one annual payment, semi- annual payments, monthly payments for 12 months, monthly payments for 11 months, or monthly payments for 10 months.

What other special programs do you offer?

We also offer Music (2x/week), Art, Physical Education (2x/week), Library and Technology.

Do you offer a foreign language?

Yes. Spanish is offered K-8

Do you have a registration fee?

Yes. The registration fee for the 2019-2020 school year is $400 for new K-8 families and $200 for new preschool families per family. This is paid at time of registration and is non-refundable.

The registration fee covers administrative costs and pays for a portion of the supplies required for your child’s classroom.

Who sets the tuition rates and why is there a difference in tuition for Catholic families?

The school’s School Advisory Council establishes tuition rates based on the school's budget requirements. Because the parish subsidizes the school, the tuition rate for students (K-8) who are members of area Catholic parish families (not limited to St. Agatha Catholic Church) is less than for the students who are not members of a Catholic parish. Each parish has its own requirements for qualification to receive the tuition subsidy. These requirements may include volunteer time towards the parish, regular Mass attendance, and regular tithing.

Preschool is not subsidized. All families regardless of parish affiliation pay the same tuition rate.

How big are your class sizes?

Our current student to teacher ratio is 11 to 1 including instructional assistants and specialists. Our average class size is 20.

Do I have to be Catholic to attend?

You don’t have to be Catholic to receive a quality education at St. Agatha. Nearly one quarter of our families are not Catholic. All of them, however, believe in the value of a faith-based curriculum where faith, learning and service are practiced daily and supported through our challenging curriculum. A strong moral compass, a commitment to serving others and a desire for academic excellence are beneficial to children of any faith.

We recognize parents are the primary educators of their children and work in partnership with parents to support their child’s faith development.

How do your student’s academic achievements compare to the local Public School?

Unfortunately, comparing private to public school test scores is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.

Public schools use their own set of standardized tests, which they use for a variety of purposes: assessment and diagnostics, to name two. Private schools use a different set of tests - some derived from the same basic tests public schools use and created by the same companies - but still different enough that they can't be compared side by side with public school tests.

We hear over and over from parents who have left public school to attend St. Agatha that our curriculum is challenging compared to what their child was learning while enrolled in public school. Our Catholic high schools report that St. Agatha students consistently arrive well prepared for a rigorous high school curriculum, and our students often test into advanced classes.

According to a report by the National Catholic Education Association, Catholic school students are more likely to graduate and attend college than students attending other schools, public or private. The report touts a Catholic high school student graduation rate of 99.2 percent, higher than graduation rates of religious (97.5), non-sectarian (93.9) or public schools (84.1). Source: Broughman, S.P., Swain, N.L. (2013); Stillwell, R., and Sable, J. (2015).

“[Catholic high schools'] effectiveness in educating students, even from disadvantaged backgrounds, has been cited consistently in research published over the last 25 years,” said Marie A. Powell, executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “The Catholic community can be very proud of their support for such schools.”

The report also states that Catholic school graduates are more likely to attend four-year colleges than students graduating from other religious and non-sectarian schools. Additionally, 86.5 percent of Catholic school graduates go on to attend four-year colleges while only 44 percent of public school graduates do.

What time does your school day begin and end?

Each day starts at 8:05 am. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday school ends at 3 pm. On Wednesday, children are released at 2 pm.

What extracurricular activities do you offer?

  • Peer Tutoring: Peer Tutoring allows students who need additional help with homework to meet

    with Honor Society students to receive guidance. Honor Society students are middle school students who are on the Honor's List (GPA 3.2 - 3.69) and Scholar's List (GPA 3.70-4.0) for a minimum of two trimesters of study.

  • Youth Ministry: St. Agatha's Student Council. Middle school officers are elected by the student body during the spring of the previous year of office. Youth Ministry is responsible for planning school wide spirit activities, starting assemblies, doing the morning/afternoon announcements, coordinating school wide service projects, as well as many other activities to promote school spirit and take on a leadership role in the school.

  • Middle School Electives: Students in grades 6-8 attend elective classes once a week for 60 minutes during the school day. There are new course offerings each trimester taught by school teachers and local professionals, and include topics such as Drama, Dance, Fitness, Technology, Photography, Cooking, Mock Trial, Op Art, Engineering, and more.

  • Spring Musical: We partner with the Young People’s Theatre Project to put on a Broadway Jr. Musical each spring (Aladdin Jr. 2018). Open to students in grades 3-8.

  • Choir: Choir is open to students in grades 3-8 and sing at the weekly school Masses year round.

  • Beginning and Advanced Band: is available for children in grades 4-8. Students meet twice a

    week from 3:15 – 4 p.m.. They perform for our school at our annual Advent Program as well as at our Spring Program, as well as an annual field trip. Total cost is $150 for the
    year. Scholarships are available.

  • Guest Programs: We also offer programs from outside sources, such as Tennis, Judo, Chess, Saturday Academy, and Mad Science.

  • CYO Sports: (see below)

Do you have Sports Programs?

Yes. St. Agatha is a member of Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) which competes with other member schools within the Portland Metropolitan area. All eligible youth are given the opportunity to participate with no "cuts." Programs offered are: football, volleyball, basketball, swimming, lacrosse and track and field (Grades 3-8). Hots Shots Basketball is offered for students in grades 1-2.

How do you support students with different academic challenges and learning styles?

We believe that every child has the potential and desire to succeed academically but understand that every child is unique when it comes to learning. With that in mind, St. Agatha created The Learning Support Center (LSC). LSC is a program that supports creative and individualized learning within all grade levels, so all students can grow academically.

The LSC uses a variety of instructional methods to support each student's unique academic needs and learning styles. An Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) is created and monitored by the Learning Specialist for students with a diagnosed disability. There are no additional fees for the LSC.

Collaboration between the Learning Support Specialist and the classroom teachers allow for classroom coursework, set forth by the Archdiocese of Portland, to be accessible and meaningful to all students. The teacher and the Learning Support Specialist differentiate instruction and provide necessary accommodations for each child to be successful. Through this differentiation, all enrolled students benefit throughout their academic journey at St. Agatha.

The LSC gives assistance through:

  • Individual / Small Group Content Area Support (both push in and pull out as needed)

  • Drop-in Resource Center Support

  • Peer Tutoring Support

  • Teacher Collaboration and Consultation

  • Counseling support

Isn't the Learning Support Center a program specifically for dyslexia?

No. The Learning Support Center replaced our Harris Literacy Center program that was designed to assist only students with dyslexia. The LSC now gives assistance to any student who needs extra help academically through:

  • Individual / Small Group Content Area Support
  • Drop-in Resource Center Support

  • Peer Tutoring Support

  • Teacher Collaboration and Consultation

Do you offer financial aid or tuition assistance? How do I qualify or apply?

Yes. Catholic and non-Catholic families are eligible to apply for tuition assistance. Tuition assistance is only available for K-8 students.


  • Archdiocesan Financial Assistance (Catholic families only)
  • St. Agatha Catholic School Tuition Assistance (All families eligible)

A committee will determine the families financial need based on application information. Applicants who do not turn in their online F.A.C.T.S Financial Assistance application will not be considered for assistance.Please review the details and deadlines for tuition assistance on the registration form.

Do you have an online grading system where parents can monitor grades and missing assignments?

Yes. St. Agatha uses Option C, a web-based system that allows parents and students to monitor their progress in each class. Every student is assigned a unique login and password for security. Our teachers update their classes every week which allows parents to view grades per assignment, per trimester and see any missing assignments.

Do you require Immunizations?

St. Agatha Catholic School follows the State of Oregon Immunization Law. Our current non-medical exception rate is 6%. All students are required to have up to date immunizations or have a non-medical exemption CIS form with an immunization education certificate on record with the school.  

Do you offer extended care before and after school?

As a service to the parents of our students enrolled at St. Agatha, the school operates a day care program. Care is offered before school to all students starting at 7a.m. In the afternoon care is available to preschool and K-8 students until 6 p.m. It is offered every full school day and most half days. Care is not offered on holidays, Christmas vacation, Spring Break or during the summer.

Our extended care program is certified and inspected by the State of Oregon.

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Average number of instructional hours per day for Kindergarten


Average number of instructional hours per week


Average number of school days per year

178 DAYS

Accredited by Western Catholic Education (WCEA)


Student Teacher Ratio


Religious Content


Facility meets earthquake building codes


Hot lunch program


Christmas Pageant


Spring Concert


Year the Facility was Built


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