Public education in Northeast Portland is provided by Portland Public Schools. The district serves pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade, with approximately 100 campuses and 50 special needs facilities. There are several elementary sites in the northeast region, plus four middle schools. There are some particularly excellent schools in the 97212 zip code, such as Alameda, Laurelhurst, Irvington, and Hollyrood elementary schools. High school students normally attend either Jefferson or Grant High School. Portland Public Schools is at its highest graduation rate in the past decade, and Northeast Portland is home to some of the best schools in the district, making it an attractive choice for families looking to raise their children.
Living in Portland provides access to a range of convenient transportation options for getting around the city. These include busses, light rail cars and the Portland Street Car. The city also maintains a system of bike paths, for use by bicyclists, skaters and skateboarders; this bike-friendly attitude earned Portland the designation of #1 cycling city in America by Bicycling Magazine. The city has also been recognized by Walking as one of the best walking towns. The decision was based on Portland's short blocks, street shopping, city parks and the abundance of statues, fountains and other aesthetic elements decorating city streets.
One of the most interesting areas of Northeast Portland is the Alberta Arts District, located on Alberta Street in the Concordia neighborhood. This lively section of town is a rich mix of art galleries, studios, coffee houses and eating establishments. Visitors can explore the work of local artists leisurely, or perhaps enjoy lunch at a taqueria.
Visitors may also enjoy a visit to Grant Park, made famous by author Beverly Cleary, who used the park as a setting in her enormously popular children's books. Today, the park is home to the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden, consisting of life-sized bronze sculptures of three of Cleary's most popular characters.
Portland's reputation for wet, rainy winters has some merit; the city sees about 40 inches of rain per year. While this is a lot relative to West Coast cities, it's about average compared to many East Coast communities. Portland's rain supports its lush green landscape and is appreciated by local gardeners. Precipitation is concentrated in November, December, January and February. Spring months receive some rain as well, but the wetness trails off sharply in June. What often goes unsaid about Portland's climate is the beauty of its summers, which are dry and warm.