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Columbia Academy Elementary & Middle School

Private | K-8 | 235 students


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Living in Columbia

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $296,300. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,530.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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3 stars

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28 reviews of this school

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Posted March 15, 2014

My child has attended Columbia Academy - Ellicott City (toddler room) for almost 2 years. I must admit that I was extremely happy with this program when he first started. Well currently there has been entirely too much staff turn over. I am aware that inevitably you cannot control who stays and goes, but the people who are leaving are the ones who seem to be the most vested in the students, and the replacements just lack the same compassion, love and structure that was once there. The staff/teachers make a the environment. When my child first attended here, hands down I would have rated this school a five, but today I am giving it 3 stars, and barely. Honestly for the cost I would expect more.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 18, 2013

Look the other way. Go public and save money, sanity, and your child's frustration/self-esteem! My daughter was in the Jr. K program and the curriculum was too advanced... Beyond what would be appropriate for challenging children this age. The fact that the class sizes are small did not lead the teacher my child had to differentiate whatsoever. They focused on worksheets and old-school academics. The administration "listens" but not much is ever done. They gave the JR. K (4-5 year olds) a standardized test!!! They expected these children to sit for 4 days for 40 min time periods of no talking! When I asked my child to be exempt, the principal said no... Unless we wanted to keep her home all week. I'm quite pleased to put my child in the HCPSS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 18, 2013

This School is the best, My little girl is grown up and going to high school, she went from being a b student to straight as:) Thank You Columbia Academy:)
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 20, 2012

I highly recommend Columbia Academy's Pre-school program. My son attended both the 3 year and 4 year old programs. Initially, he attended the Goddard school in Hanover where I found the program to be very rigid. The biggest difference I found between both schools was that at Columbia Academy my son was learning at a very high rate while having fun. My son enjoys the academic programs and really loves his teachers. He was a 2012 graduate of the 4 year old program (Pre-K) at the Kendall Ridge location. Additionally, the administrators are hands on and also involve themselves in fun classroom activities. Staff is very creative and finds numerous ways to keep the kids stimulated. My son attended the George Washington University Reading Program this summer at the 1st grade Reading level. He just turned 5 (June 2012). I credit his teacher at Columbia Academy Kendall Ridge for his achievements.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 1, 2012

My son attended Jr. K and K at Columbia Academy, and we had nothing but positive experiences. The teachers and staff are wonderful, a great balance of young enthusiastic teachers, and older experienced ones. The before and after care was a lifesaver! They are open until 6:30pm, and stayed open for non-academic days on snow days and holiday breaks so parents are still able to get to work. They were able to provide a lot of individualized instruction and fantastic field trips. I was able to spend time in the classroom, the children were happy, well behaved and respectful. If we had not moved across the country I would have loved to have kept my son there for first grade.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 15, 2012

It is simply by luck that my son is only 5 years old and I began to realize how horrible this Columbia Academy school is! My son has been in the Columbia Academy preschool for more than 2 year. The teachers are OK, but the management is plain horrible! They are arrogant, have no idea how to run a school, and just blame on others to cover their own incompetence. Especially for the 2012 new management, they messed up their billing system and said that I should pay my son's tuition by week and lunch by week! seperately! We never had this type of problem before! we never know this change and they want us to pay the so called late fee no matter how hard we tried to explain to them it is not our fault! I mean, I understand that maybe one or two teachers might not be good enough, but if the management is this incompetent and arrogant, this school has simply lost my trust and respect becase you cannot trust they will make any good adjustment! I have transfered my son out of this school immediately and my family and friends will stay away from Columbia Academy as far as possible1
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 2, 2011

My daughter is in JK here and loves it. She cant wait to go to school everyday. She is learning to read and math skills that are going to give her a huge leg up next year.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 31, 2011

I went to this school up until 5th grade. I left because they didnt give a good education and because of the neglected resources. Public school is a way better option. Everything was falling apart by the time I left.

Posted April 7, 2011

i was an 8th grade student and this is what i have to say: The School was challenging in many was a good wake up to the bad funding and neglected resorces. If you want a good school without paying all the money... just send your child to public school...Thats all i have to say

Posted March 16, 2011

Columbia Academy is a welcoming, family-friendly environment. The Junior-Kindergarten program pushed my child and I could not be happier. My child is reading, writing words, and knows all of the letter sounds. Their math teaches them the beginnings of time, money, patterns, etc. This is a great program if your child has a birthday between September and December! They are constantly learning and are challenged based on their skill level. I would highly recommend this program to anyone I know!

Posted February 17, 2011

Both of my children went to preschool here. My son was at a different (no closed) location where he was neglected rather than instructed and allowed to do his own thing rather than be steered into class activities. He regressed a tremedous amount for the time he was there. We met with the head of this location adn what would be his teacher and had a great deal of confidence that it would be better. It was in so many ways and he transitioned to first grade in a public school without incident. Due to Howard County schools policy, my daughter had to go an additional year to "pre kindergarten" which is nothing more than preschool. She reads, spells, writes and comprehends far beyond what they are able to challenge her with. The costs are ridiculous and the summer camps even more so. Every time I turn around there are fees and charges due for things over and above tuition. In my opinion, this place just isn't worth it. I am counting down the days for this school year to be over and being able to recoup that cost. I don't see where the money goes. They did finally improve the playground area, but there are rooms that desperately need paint and maintenence.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 10, 2010

It is a business and that's it. They don't car about your kids. Below public school standards and when you switch your kids will be behind that of a public school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 23, 2010

My daughter spent first through sixth grade at Columbia Academy, then transferred to the local public school. Her transition was very rocky; despite having earned high As in reading, I found, to my shock, that she was two full years behind Howard County public school standards. Her low scores required that she be placed in a special reading program, which both puzzled and humiliated her. My advice is that you should not waste your money at Columbia Academy unless you need extended day care.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 16, 2010

I do agree with the last reviewer. This so is basically a good public school with uniforms. Instead of trying to soar above the public school system, they seem to want to conform to it. If you are in the position to send your child to a good public school, do so and save your money.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 26, 2009

Columbia Academy is little more than a public school with uniforms. You do not get what you pay for. The teachers do not instill much confidence and the admin staff appears over it's head. The hours a very nice for working parents but that's where the value ends.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 16, 2008

My son was one of the first graduates of Columbia Academy middle school. He was there from kindergarten through 8th grade. He learned to go to school every day and is now a junior in college on his way to Law School. C.A. provided the educational foundation that he needed to soar academically in high school and he was awarded 5 scholarships to college. I highly support this school now and forever.!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 15, 2007

Great school. Ratio is great (14:1). She loves the teachers and the environment. Behavior issues are dealt with and she is clearly above grade level in math and reading.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 24, 2007

My 6 months old baby has been there for almost 3 months now and we love columbia academy so much because her care givers are fantastic! They are full of love, friendly, nice, and professional. We had been gone through other daycare before we came here and definitely can see the differences. It's a perfect choice except the parking lot.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 23, 2007

My child attended this school for one year. His transition from Kindergarten at Columbia Academy to a public first grade was very difficult. He had not been well prepared academically. Also, the school provided little guidance in learning to form letters appropriately and he still struggles with his handwriting. It seems that the administration is more concerned with making money than providing a strong academic environment for its students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 26, 2007

My daughter was at this school for 2 years and academically it is a great school and she learned a great deal. However, I have not been happy with the way school management handles issues that arise.I think the staff in general could use some PR/customer relations training. Some are quite abrasive and unfriendly
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 38% 35%
White 34% 42%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 17% 6%
Two or more races 9% 4%
Hispanic 2% 12%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mark Etzel
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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10350 Old Columbia Road
Columbia, MD 21046
Phone: (410) 312-4213


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