Portage is recognized statewide for its outstanding public education system. The Portage Community School District is committed to helping students achieve educational goals and formulate future plans. Seven elementary schools serve students in grades K-6 and an outstanding junior high school emphasizes a progressive core curriculum accentuated by advanced classes for 7th and 8th graders. Portage High School has varied curriculum that caters to student interests, with many Advanced Placement and honors classes, along with a school-to-work program, which gives students an opportunity to gain experience in the workforce while still attending school.
Cooperative Educational Service Agency #5 (CESA 5), located in Portage, provides services and support to public school districts in central Wisconsin. CESA 5 makes it possible for these schools, regardless of size, to work together to share staff and resources to affordably extend educational opportunities to teachers and students.
Two elementary-level parochial K-8 schools, St. Mary’s Catholic School and St. John’s Lutheran School, provide an excellent educational alternative for students as well. Working parents with busy schedules have access to many licensed and/or certified day care providers. A before- and after-school program provides supervised activities for preschool children.
The University of Wisconsin Center campus in Baraboo, just 20 minutes from Portage, provides academic courses in a rural campus setting. The University of Wisconsin at Madison is only 45 minutes away and is the cornerstone of the statewide University of Wisconsin System. A proud member of the Big Ten, it is recognized worldwide for its teaching and research facilities. Madison is also the home of the main campus for Madison College and Edgewood College.
Madison College-Portage is a community-based post secondary institution serving the educational and training needs of Columbia and Marquette counties. Associate degree level programs and certificate courses are available in various fields at MATC-Portage. Area businesses contract with MATC to provide customized training to their employees. MATC-Portage also provides Adult Continuing Education and Adult Basic Education throughout the year in community centers, schools and churches based upon local requests. Adult Basic Education provides instruction to individuals 18 ½ years old or older to prepare them for completion of the GED or HSED. ABE is located at the MATC-Portage campus and is also available in Montello, located in Marquette County.