North Wasco County School District serves approximately 3,000 students in Kindergarten through grade 12. Three elementary schools serve grades Kindergarten through fifth; sixth through eighth grades are located at The Dalles Middle School and The Dalles High School main campus serves 9th through 12th grade and belongs to the 5A-5 Columbia River Conference District as part of the Oregon Schools Activities Association. Two Charter Schools - Wahtonka Community School serves grades 9-12th grade and is located at the Wahtonka Campus and Mosier Community School, serves approximately 220 students in grades K through 8th grade, and is located in Mosier, Oregon.The district is organized with a seven-member elected board of directors and a board-appointed budget committee. The district employs about 400 teachers, counselors, administrators and support staff. A strong connection with Columbia Gorge ESD and Columbia Gorge Community College exists to support an effective educational environment. District 21 collaborates with many strong local Community Partners working together and establishing a systemic and comprehensive approach to teaching and learning.Built upon the hills of the Columbia Gorge, The Dalles terrain is a combination of forests, orchards, and high desert, offering great outdoor recreation and an area rich in history and resources. The Dalles has served as a center of trade for more than 10,000 years and is the Wasco County seat, providing service to over 70,000 residents of Wasco, Sherman, and Hood River counties in Oregon, as well as Klickitat and Skamania counties in Washington. Our downtown area is a registered historic district featuring architecture from the late 1800s and the early 1900s.The Dalles provides a small town atmosphere with strong community support for education. A variety of cultural activities are available, including a community theater and concerts. The medical community has earned a progressive reputation for providing state-of-the-art medical services.
Recreational opportunities include fishing, hiking, boating, windsurfing, and the region's newest addition, the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. This new resource is the main interpretive center for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and will provide historical, cultural, and geographic interpretation as well as educational opportunities in conjunction with area schools and the Columbia Gorge Community College.
With the Columbia River at its front door and the Deschutes River nearby, opportunities for water sports are limitless. Windsurfers from all over the world come to The Dalles to experience some of the best sailing available. Those with an interest in skiing, either cross-country or downhill, can enjoy their favorite sport at Mt. Hood.
The Dalles Dam is a massive link in the chain of dams on the 1,200 mile Columbia River. Lewis and Clark first camped near The Dalles in 1805. Oregon Trail wagons traveled through the area on their way to the Willamette Valley.