Pacific Early Learning Community Expands Through Fourth Grade

Teacher and students in ELC Cedar ClassroomThe Pacific University Early Learning Community is expanding this fall to include third and fourth grades.

Registration is now available for the new blended third- and fourth-grade class. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students, with approximately 10 students at each grade level. Limited spaces also remain in preschool and kindergarten for the fall.

The ELC is a private school run by the Pacific University College of Education. It is open to families throughout the greater Forest Grove region, and sliding scale tuition is available based on family income.

The new third-fourth grade will extend the ELC’s commitment to immersive, experienced-based learning in small, nurturing classes led by exceptional teachers.

“The curriculum will connect with the rich foundational preparation that begins in our preschool classrooms and continues through the hands-on, minds-on experience in kindergarten and first-second grade, adding the next developmental level of meaningful and joyful learning,” said school director and Pacific faculty member Mark Bailey.

Curriculum will include a deep focus on literacy and numeracy that prepares students to be “fluid writers and readers, and thoughtful mathematicians, able to meet and exceed Common Core State Standards,” Bailey said. “But that’s not all.”

Students also will study third- and fourth-grade social studies topics, such as Indigenous history, Lewis and Clark, and the Oregon Trail. And, they will explore science and ecological studies on the Pacific campus, in the ELC’s outdoor Cedar Classroom in the Brim Family Learning Center, as well as through regular field trips to local wetlands and the university’s Blodgett Arboretum.

In addition to learning under the direction of master’s level elementary teachers, students also benefit from the support of several assistant teachers, student-teachers, and even college students in other fields.

Social-emotional learning and artistic expression also are important components of the ELC’s holistic approach to learning.

The ELC was founded in 2007 as a preschool and kindergarten demonstration school, where young children learn in a nurturing, community-based environment.

“We believe that children learn best in a place where they feel good about themselves, where they are allowed to explore their world, and where the learning materials match their interests and needs,” reads the school’s educational philosophy.

In 2015-2016, the ELC added a first- and second-grade class. The addition of the third-fourth grade class will allow students to spend up to seven years in the same school community and prepare to transition to upper elementary school on the same schedule as students in local public schools.

For more information or to enroll, visit or email The 2021-2022 academic year begins in early September.

Monday, May 10, 2021