Sojourner’s vision for elementary education is different. The school was created for young children; offering varied learning opportunities, which span all intelligence areas as defined by Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. Every child has an innate desire to learn, know, and do. It is in this spirit that Sojourner’s instructional program has been designed. We honor the development of the whole child by creating an environment that touches the mind, heart, and body of each student.
Sojourner School began in 1995, as a conversation among the founding group (Denis Hickey, Mike Wong, Denise Robles-Torres, Pat Wong, and Carole Moses) about ways to enrich and enhance the educational experiences of children. After three years of planning, thinking and dreaming and with the support of North Clackamas School District, North Clackamas Education Association, and the Oregon Department of Education, Sojourner opened its doors in the fall of 1998 to 104, K-3 students. The following three years saw the addition of grades four, five, and six bringing the total number of children to 182.
First known as PS 2005, the name was changed to Sojourner School in the fall of 2000. The name PS2005 was initially chosen to reflect the year that the first kindergartners would graduate from the school. PS is short for Public School. The name “Sojourner” was chosen because of the inherent nature of education. Each child who accompanies us on this journey is with us for only a brief time or “sojourn”. Perhaps this quote by Henri Frederic Amiel describes best the spirit in which Sojourner was named: “Life is short and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”
Based on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence, Sojourner School occupied a wing of the former Oak Grove Elementary School. In 2000, the school moved next door to its current facility. Sojourner was established initially as a district charter school, which would designate its operation according to an agreement or charter between the school and the NC12 district.
While it would receive 80% of the state average daily membership/weighted, Sojourner would then have to pay for all services that had been provided by the district. Charter school status was rejected and though Sojourner maintains its agreement with the district, it is considered now to be a magnet school, which attracts students from across the district in order to participate in the educational experiences offered here.