Pembroke Academy is a wonderful school with a strong academic tradition & history (the academy is celebrating its 200th year in 2018). We moved to Pembroke five years ago in part because of the quality of the town's schools, and we are very happy with the education that our children have received. I have one child who is a Sophomore at P.A. this year, and another child who is excited to attend next year. There is a great sense of community in this school, but as with the case in any school, the student must make the effort to find his or her crowd/niche. There is an optional orientation program for Freshmen the summer before they attend P.A, and it really does help with the transition and expectations. The headmaster is new to the position (but not the school), and seems to be a dynamic leader. The teachers and staff are, by and large, very responsive to the students' needs - although there are always exceptions. Pembroke Academy may not have as many academic electives as large urban schools, but it also doesn't have the other issues that those larger schools have. P.A. typically sends many students to the Saint Paul's Summer Program, which I think is an indication of the academic strength of the school (again, it often reflects the effort that the student puts in). Students can also take electives through VLACS, which definitely expands those academic options.
My son is in his first year at school here. I am impressed it is CLEAN everywhere and all the time! The teachers are very supportive and make themselves available before and after school for help. The music/band program has grown. There are literally hundreds of clubs and activities available. Additional learning and community service is encouraged. Community service is required to graduate. The school is constantly trying to improve upon itself and make itself a community that is a direct reflection of what the students are willing to put into it. Plenty of information is available on line to keep up with assignments and grades. Every student is treated with respect for the variety of people and passions they have now and for their future. It is a place where students will flourish if they put forth their own effort.
As a student who currently attends Pembroke Academy, I have found many of the teachers to be, for lack of a better term, two faced. Many of them are quite kind and very agreeable and willing to work with the parents, yet when I put in a request for something to be done, whether I need a class changed or I have a problem in one of my classes, the teachers appear to always be busy or have a problem helping me with whatever it is I am doing. I have seen many people drop classes or just get relative help but when asked for it appears to be unavailable. Also, many of the students are often under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are many bad influences in the school and many of the students drop out or go to the PACE academy due to drug problems, pregnancy, etc. The staff know about the drug problems and have actually witnessed kids smoking, drinking, etc. and have done nothing about it. It is a disturbing problem and I believe that if the teachers took their job seriously and actually tried to help the children and the overall environment of the school, Pembroke Academy would be a better place
The school offers an opportunity for each student to develope and grow in the area they are most suited. Not a scientist - that's ok if you would rather work on a motor or be business person. We need all different kinds of expertise for future jobs - Pembroke helps each one attain their own goals - not necessarily the goals of the masses. And hopefully provides the morals to lead good, productive, honest lives.
PA may not have all the bells and whistles of, say, Bow, but it has rigorous academics for those who want such, and a solid commitment to inclusion for kids who need special education. My kids have had very good teachers for the most part, better than their salaries would suggest. The teachers are available after school for extra help. There are lots of opportunities to get involved. The lack of bus service for Pembroke students can be a hardship for some families, and the layout of the entrance and parking is a mess. I have been very happy with the education my kids have received.