We had such high hopes for this school when enrolled our child in the elementary program.Staff seemed excellent, student/teacher ratio was exceptional. A very caring community amongst parents, etc. Everything was moving along nicely until PNA enrolled a child with serious behavioral issues in the program without any kind of vetting process. That child threatened others, physically hit/punched, spit in faces, threw chairs, threatened to "kill" classmates. Even pulled the fire alarm without so much as a repercussion of being sent home for the day. Administration initially decided to chalk it up to a "boys will be boys behavior." They didn't show support to the classroom teacher in the matter. This child disrupted the classroom from fall until the very last day of school. Several families communicated with administration and the board regarding the issues. The parents had to take measures to protect their own children. In some cases the measures including forgoing paid tuition and children being pulled during the school year.The child causing the problems was never expelled during the school year, but wasn't allowed to return the 2015-2016 school year. I blame all of this on not having enough behavioral policies in place to protect students and teachers. It doesn't matter how good academics are if a child is not safe. PNA has made several changes in administration for the new school year. I hope this makes a huge difference in policies and safety for all. We miss the strong academics, but could not risk safety.
As an alumni parent having just graduated our second child from PNA (EK-8th)I have nothing but the greatest things to say about this school. The staff, faculty and the new physical schoolhouse all are top notch. It is undeniable that this school shapes our young learners into exceptional people whom we all look forward to watching continue to achieve success throughout their lives.
Pacific Northern Academy is a fantastic independent school where children love to learn. Teachers are creative, nurturing and foster an environment in which students are able to develop character and learn according to their individual potentials. Students learn the core academic subjects as well as are taught by a team of specialists in Spanish, visual arts, music and performing arts and physical education. Small class size enables very individualized attention to each student's needs. The regular curriculum is one year ahead of their grade and in math, students are able to be in a class according to their abilities, allowing students who excel in math to be learning one to three years ahead of their grade level. PNA is the best school I can imagine. Any child would thrive in PNA's stimulating and warm environment. I know my 6th grade son has greatly benefited from his time at PNA.
Pacific Northern Academy is a wonderful school. Instead of teaching to 'the test," students are taught 21st century skills and curriculum that applies to our modern day world and makes learning exciting. My students come in everyday excited for school and don't want to leave at the end of the day! The small class sizes (18 students max.) allow me to know each students needs and accommodate for them (both academically and socially). Pacific Northern Academy is the best school in Anchorage.
PNA is a great school not only with amazing teachers, small class sizes and a wonderful art and music program, but all students also learn Spanish. I am thrilled my daughter is able to attend here and encourage others to check it out! It is well worth the investment!
As a 14-year veteran elementary school teacher who has taught in some great public and private school settings, and some not so great, I can honestly say PNA is the best institution I have had the privilege to teach at. The small class size, teacher support, parent involvement, and adequate time allotted for teachers to plan meaningful lessons all make a huge difference in my ability to make learning fun as well as profound. The feeling of camaraderie, the project-based learning, the infectious inquisitiveness that pervades our building is an inspiration! Teaching 28 students (in public school) is sort of like throwing a plate of spaghetti up against a wall and hoping some of it sticks there - even when using "best practices." Teaching 13 students at PNA is more like performing a fine-tuned medical examination. "Where can this student grow in writing?" "What social needs are not being met with that student?" "How can I better motivate the student over there?" These are the questions teachers at PNA have the luxury of asking themselves each day. School reformers would not be wasting their time by observing PNA on a typical day and taking copious notes...
Pacific Northern Academy is a beacon of light in the educational Alaskan darkness. It's a school based on high international standards, a place where all the children are expected to attend a quality university. Teachers teach, children learn, and parents support the process. PNA and the quality of instruction make it possible for my family to remain in Alaska, for without it my children would have no decent school to attend.
It is very important to us that our child be educated in a way that nurtures her innate curiosity, helps her learn to persevere through challenge, and fosters her sense of connection in her community. PNA has exceeded our hopes in every way. The teachers and administrators demonstrate in very subtle (meaning all action, not talk) but consistent ways their attention to developing the students' mind and spirit. We want our child to know that her value in society is as a good citizen before being "smart." We want a school that reinforces that hard work, collaboration, and perseverance will serve her better in life than any innate intelligence she may possess. We want her to know the value of serving her community and accepting help when she needs it. We believe that a good education requires lots of play time outside, art, music, and heart. Her teacher finds ways to challenge her to keep her engaged so that she continues to grow and learn. We are so grateful to the teachers and administrators at PNA that continue to help us nurture our daughter's love of learning.
My daughter has attended PNA since Kindergarten. My husband balked at the cost initially as I am a full time student and we are reliant on his income till I finish my degree. Her kindergarten class had 14 students and two full time teachers, not a teachers assistant, two full time teachers! My daughter grew and matured so very much while attending PNA. We tried Rilke Schule towards the end of her kindergarten year as the cost of PNA was hard for us. While we liked Rilke Schule very much and think it is an excellent school, it just doesnt have the budget and support that PNA does. That isnt Rilke Schule's fault, it is just the difference between a private and a public school. Even though it is sometimes a struggle finacially, we don't regret for a moment in choosing PNA. No other school that we looked at had the small class size, commitment to the arts,and such awesome teachers. Although I regret that we couldn't attend both Rilke and PNA, (I love the German language), there is no doubt in our minds that PNA was the only school that could give our daughter the one on one attention, artistic, scientific, and cultural education. I highly recommend Pacific Northern Academy.
My son attends PNA, and has loved it from day one. The teachers are fantastic and highly qualified, the learning environment is hands on and dynamic, and he is never bored. He's in Kindergarten, and has really blossomed as a learner. Class sizes are perfect, and the teachers give him lots of one-on-one attention. The school overall has had its challenges, but significant parental involvement and a new administration have made our experience more than exceptional. I highly recommend that you consider this school if you want to see your child take charge of his/her learning and enjoy coming to school everyday - it's worth every penny!