High School

College-Prep Curriculum

The academic program of Portland Lutheran School is designed to prepare students to be competent, caring citizens who recognize the value of education and service to others. The high school curriculum utilizes Advance Placement classes to prepare students for a successful college experience, with 95% to 100% of graduates attending college.

Recent graduates have attended Columbia, Howard, Pepperdine, Reed, and Stanford Universities; as well as Boston College. Community service is a required component of the academic curriculum, providing students with the opportunity to grow in service to others.


College Credit Courses and Dual Credit

These courses are for students who have demonstrated capacity for college-level work. In each semester of their junior and senior years, they can enroll in college-level courses, as they are offered. Students are enrolled both at PLS and at the university/college. Withdrawal from a college course must be in accord with the withdrawal policies of the university/college and PLS.


Honors and Advanced Placement Program

The PLS Honors Program is designed to give students with ability and desire an avenue to expand their education. The Honors designation on the transcript may have a positive impact on college admission and scholarship grants.

The Honors program will use the standard curriculum for a given course. The student will complete an additional independent, original project germane to the course work of the class or complete a project which expands on the content of the course. All projects are under the guidance of the instructor.


Project Breaker

In the spring of 2014, Mrs. Kaufman and two of the high school faculty members were invited to participate in the professional development portion of Project Breaker.  Concordia University Portland hosted this program which drew students ages 17 to 25 from around the country to take part in challenges that encompass design thinking.

Portland Lutheran’s student, Ian Lortz, was chosen that spring to participate in the two-and-a-half week event that involved developing empathy for the various local manufacturers, defining the needs of those people and their businesses, and creating solutions to meet those needs.

The event culminated in “pitch day” during which they pitched their products/services to the many people who had been involved: teachers,  professors, professionals from Wieden+Kennedy, Nike, and PIE, and, of course, the business owners.

Mrs. Kaufman then worked closely with the creator of Project Breaker, Juliette LaMontagne, as PLS created their own design challenge for the winter term. The goal was to design the challenge around the needs of the Rockwood community and their businesses.

project breaker

Project Breaker and Design Thinking J-Term

PLS high school students 9th through 12 grade students embark on a design thinking challenge each January term— Project Breaker http://www.projectbreaker.org/.  Their challenge is to Design Services and Service Projects that Affect Positive, Lasting Change in the Rockwood Community.
The entire student body takes part, and engages community members and professionals as well as speakers who are experts in design.  Final presentations are then made at the end of January at the school and all are invited.
Students engage in the design thinking process as put forth by the Stanford Design School and based on the model of Project Breaker which implemented its challenge, The Future of Stuff, in the spring of 2014 in Portland. (see vimeo.com/98883216 and http://www.projectbreaker.org/ for more information) . 

If you are interested in finding out more or lending your expertise in design or input on the Rockwood Community to this event, please contact principal, Kara Kaufman, at kkaufman@portland-lutheran.org.