Back 2 School focus: News, investigations, tips and more

Back 2 School focus: News, investigations, tips and more

It's the time of year to start talking about getting the kids ready for school and KATU is helping you get back in the swing of things. We're covering everything from how to deal with serious topics to getting answers to some of the issues parents will face this school year.

In the News

Mother's seclusion room plan for son: 'It's more of a choice to go into it'

A Beaverton mother who was unaware that her 8-year-old son was put into a seclusion room during the last school year says this year will be different.

Portland considering options to merge high school sports teams

A major shift to Portland high school sports could be coming that may mean merging some schools' sports teams in the 2014/15 school year.

When will Woodburn High be repaired after 2012 fire?

The reason the school hasn’t yet been repaired? A squabble among the school district, city and insurance officials over the high costs of building not just a new school, but a safer one. No one can seem to agree on how the school should be rebuilt and what the insurance should pay.

School adds isolation room despite new law against 'seclusion cells'

As of Sept. 1, it will be illegal for a school in Oregon to have a "seclusion cell" on campus, but one Portland school is adding an isolation room.

Youth football leagues opt for new tackling technique

From the NFL down to youth leagues, football season is almost here. But as kids go back to school and the excitement for weekend games builds, fewer kids will be taking the field for tackle football nationwide this year. Much of the blame for the drop is being put on rising awareness about concussions and parents concerned about protecting their kids. Football leagues at all levels - including the NFL - have taken notice.

KATU Investigations

Oregon and Washington far from alone in teacher cheating cases

Following a report that teachers have been caught cheating on tests, it turns out Oregon and Washington are far from alone.

Are school test scores too good to be true?

Oregon schools are under more pressure than ever to improve student test results and tie them to teacher performance. With the state at risk of losing its federal education waiver, control over classrooms and funding is at stake, careers too.  But On Your Side Investigator Anna Canzano has uncovered some local schools' scores that seem too good to be true.

Oregon's school buses: Are they as safe as we think they are?

How safe will your children be when they step on a school bus in a few weeks? Maybe not as safe as you think. A far-reaching search of public documents, and interviews with current and former officials involved in school bus safety in Oregon, reveal everything from buses that are in bad condition to falsified inspection records.

KATU Problem Solvers

School cafeterias: Can you trust that they're clean and safe?

Your kids are going back to school.  Just how safe is their school cafeteria? Our KATU investigation uncovered problems from mold and mildew to mouse droppings at school kitchens across the Portland area.

Money Matters

Got a high school senior this year? Better start budgeting now

Your kids have finally made it to their senior year in high school, which is a wonderful achievement, but that last year is also the most expensive. In her latest Back 2 School report, KATU Problem Solver Kerry Tomlinson shows you what you can expect to pay so you can plan ahead.

Expert Advice

Body language can ward off bullying

Body language can go a long way in helping your kids avoid bullies as they get ready to head back to school. In short, confidence is key, one expert said.


Teen cuisine: High school chefs compete under pressure 

Student's success shines light on achievements, problems

Portland Public Schools would like you to know all about Alexandra Gritta, and who could blame them?

The soon-to-be-senior at Lincoln High School in Portland is a published author. She has set up a charity. She is an award-winning filmmaker. And she was given the Congressional Award Gold Medal, which is given to students who show remarkable achievement and service.

The thing is, while her accomplishments shine a light on some of the excellence to be found in the Portland Public Schools, they also magnify some of the shortcomings.

New school year jitters