Richmond Elementary School

The Japanese Magnet Program (JMP) began in 1989 with two kindergarten classes at Richmond Elementary School. It is now a complete PreK-12 language immersion program with students starting at Richmond for pre-school or kindergarten and staying through grade 5. Students move to Mt. Tabor Middle School for grades 6-8 and Grant High School for grades 9-12.

The JMP is a "partial immersion" program in elementary school. Students spend half their day learning in Japanese and the other half in English. Teachers provide lessons in literacy, math, science, social studies, music, and art in both languages.

The classroom bridges the Pacific when, after 5th grade and during 8th grade, JMP students may travel to Japan. The chance to speak and hear Japanese in its natural setting brings their lessons to life. Students live with Japanese families, attend sister schools, visit historical landmarks, and participate in cultural and recreational activities with their hosts. For many, it is the experience of a lifetime.

Middle school students take the lead in organizing their trip: researching airfares, interviewing chaperones, and selecting gifts for city officials. Once in Japan, they complete field assignments and hands-on research on a topic of their choice. Upon their return they make a formal presentation of their travels to friends and families with a sense of pride and ownership of a job well done.

High school students are required to complete a Community Based Learning credit. This real-world experience might include studying or volunteering in Japan, interning with a local Japanese company or tutoring Japanese with elementary students.


Benefits of Our School

Richmond provides students with a warm and supportive learning environment and a bilingual curriculum that is stimulating, rigorous and fun.

The self-esteem of our students grows as their speaking, reading, writing and listening fluency develops in Japanese and English.

Learning about another culture fosters diversity of thought among our students and nurtures a global view of the world.

Our students' innate passion for learning is enriched and encouraged by Richmond's highly skilled and committed staff.

Our history of strong achievement assures families that academic excellence is the norm. For example, in 2006:

  • 98-100% of 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students met or exceeded the Oregon math benchmarks; and
  • 93-98% of 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students met or exceeded the Oregon reading benchmarks.


Our Mission

To provide an excellent education for our students while developing and maintaining fluency in both the Japanese and English languages.

Experienced Teaching Teams

Our English and Japanese teachers work as partners to determine which part of the curriculum is best taught in each language. This complementary approach allows our students to make connections between their English and Japanese learning experiences and improve their fluency with each language. Portland Taiko workshop at Richmond

Enrichment Opportunities

Students can extend their Japanese language and cultural learning beyond the school day and year through classes in Taiko, calligraphy, and kendo; our Kurabu summer camp; annual 5th grade trip to Japan; hosting Japanese interns; and hosting visiting students from partner schools in Japan.

Award-Winning Curriculum

In 2001, teachers within the Japanese Magnet Program worked with a team of national linguistic experts to develop a comprehensive language curriculum for grades K-12. This well-planned and carefully implemented language curriculum ensures our students learn not just academic language but everyday, social language as well. Our language curriculum helps students develop their fluency with:

  • Oral language (forms and functions, grammar and vocabulary)
  • Written language (Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana)
  • Cultural insight (Japanese cultural perspectives and practices)


Wednesday morning assembly presentation Wednesday morning assembly presentation

(503) 916-6220