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Portland Jewish Academy

Private | PK-8 | 205 students


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Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $267,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $880.

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35 reviews of this school

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Posted October 6, 2009

I have 3 children that go to PJA. A 6th grade girl, a 3rd grade boy, and a TK boy. My two older kids have been at PJA since kindergarten. All 3 of my kids have had amazing teachers every year and have been challenged every year. PJA makes education an adventure and so the kids can't wait to go to school and learn. My kids go to camp, other classes or sports teams and the counselors, teachers and coaches are always amazed at how responsible, kind, hardworking, and together they are. They are responsible for all their own homework and learn how to pace themselves to get big projects done little by little without the panic all nighter at the end. The kids are so supportive that everyone has a positive attitude about trying something new. We have been incredibly happy.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 24, 2009

We have two children at the school, and this is our second year. We could not be happier! The IB program and small class sizes have kept our son, who is performing above grade level, challenged and engaged. The community is very welcoming and reflects the values taught at the school. The teachers and staff have made a real effort to know our children as individuals and have been truly outstanding.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 12, 2009

my daughter is in her second year at the school. She thrives there and is learning not only the subjects being taught. she is learning how to be a caring and giving person. The atmosphere is amazing and the staff from the teachers to administration is wonderful. The smaller class sizes really allow for individual attention. My family loves this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 17, 2008

We had our children at PJA for nearly 6 years and every year considered leaving until, finally, we did. It is no place for a child who meets the state criteria for TAG as we fully appreciated once leaving. Socially the parents are sometimes overinvolved which, in such a small community, can have a very negative impact when challenging situations arise; the school can be a very non-inclusive environment due to this parental impact. This phenomenon persists despite school efforts to the opposite goal; clearly many of the parents do not share the espoused goals of the school itself and this makes for negative community experience as the school cannot possibly control parental forces. The education is good but not outstanding as one would hope for in the private school setting. Many of the school's 'innovations' are actually replicas of better instituted programs at other establishments.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 16, 2008

PJA is a fantastic school academically, but as a current 8th grader the only reason I've stuck around is the Israel Trip. Very small class sizes may appeal to parents, but 8 years of everyone knowing your business gets tiring. I've heard people gush about our amazing teachers, but in reality only about half are good. The other half are absolutely terrible. Sure, we are practically joined at the hip as a class, but being joined at the hip to people you don't really care for gets old pretty quick. The lower school is worth it, but once a student hits middle school, it's time to leave PJA
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 25, 2008

we have had mixed experience with teachers' qualification at PJA. My son has had teachers that were not skilled enough to run a classroom to teachers that were very skilled in running a classroom. If you have a child with sporadic( mixed) skills level, the school is not a good fit.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 18, 2008

Our family loves Portland Jewish Academy! It is a very nurturing school that allows my two sons to be who they truly are. The teachers are focused on providing an excellent education, while encouraging each student to do their personal best. My children love going to school everyday and come home with smiles on their faces. My oldest son cried when school ended last year, I think that just says it all!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 2, 2008

My son entered the first grade this year after a disappointing kindergarten year in a well-regarded public school. I cannot express my joy at bringing my son to school every day at PJA. His teacher is extremely skilled and nurturing, and with only 11 children in the class, she has a chance to take a genuine interest in each student. Above all, I value the loving and calm atmosphere and the emphasis on becoming a good person--something I felt was missing in his public school experience. The best result is I have my sweet son back, and I know he feels supported, because he loves going to school. Another note: PJA has families with all levels of observance--I do not believe that any family would feel out of place here!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 30, 2007

My daughter has been at PJA for the past 2 years and we are sending her to another school for the 2007-2008 school year. The school has a warm environment and some wonderful teachers, but there is a high turnover rate of teachers and the school seems to lack the ability to inspire gifted students. They do not have a 'gifted' program at all. If your child is above grade level in any subject they do not have much to offer. I was lead to believe, when I selected the school, that my child would join another class for subjects that she excelled in -- this was not the case. She is often bored by the work and has asked to attend a different school. We weighed our options and are moving on. If you want a private school and your child is an average student than PJA is fine.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 3, 2006

PJA struggles with a 'one shoe fits all' mentality. If your child has academic and/or social concerns it is probably not the best fit. The judaic program is aligned with the egalitarian movement. Teacher turnover remains high each year. The school has a blue ribbon award, but this may be due to keeping the children who 'fit' while encouraging other's to go elsewhere. The school community is great and parents are very involved.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 12, 2006

PJA is an outstanding school that has been given the Blue Ribbon Award. I graduated from PJA last year and am now enrolled in sophmore and junior classes as a freshman. This is due to PJA's care for every student, small classes, and great teachers.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted March 3, 2006

My doughter studies in 2 grade ,she improved her reading, math and social skills . Also she is learning hebrew in a very high level. She was born in Israel, and for us is important to keep the language.She gets individual clases in hebrew each day. The School has a blue ribbon prize.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 20, 2006

PJA is an outstanding school that provides individual attention and tailored learning programs for each child. Gifted children have the opportunity to work at a more advance level, while those who have learning difficulties receive supplementary instruction and guidance. I am gratified, day after day, at the richness of the curriculum, the professionalism of the faculty and the overwhelming warmth of the school community. Our children are given the tools to become good citizens of the world and knowledgeable, ethical leaders of the Jewish community. In addition to the standard academic subjects, the kids take music, art, P.E., Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The school has two science labs, a computer lab and a library with full-time librarian. Artists, musicians and other guest instructors are frequent visitors. Parental involvement is always welcome. I can think of no institution I would rather have as a partner in raising my child.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 14, 2005

I used to go to PJA and although by the end of my 8 years there I was beginning to get tired of the small atmosphere, I now realize that it nurtured me and helped me for my future in many way. The teachers, are fantastic, top of the notch. And because of the small class sizes there can be more one on one and individual work. Although there is little to nothing offered extracurricularly, there has never been a large need for one as many of the students who go there are finding activities to do outside of the community anyways. The community is very open to parent instruction and participation, yet at the same time retains the leadership to know when the decision making and leadership should come down to the teachers. Overall, it is one of the greatest schools offered in the Portland and Beaverton area.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted February 10, 2005

My child has been going to this school since TK. Although he has experienced nurture and care most of his years he is now a 8th grader and very happy to leave. They lack in Humanities Dept, Elective classes and most of their Jewish studies classes. My son is on the basketball team and they have the same coach for all 4 teams and because of this they are not doing so good and it lowers my sons self-esteem. I feel the teachers lack in their field and proper involvment. My son can not wait to graduate this year. I feel that the amount of high tution i pay every year i am not getting half of what i deserve.
—Submitted by a parent

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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.

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 97% 65%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 2%
Hispanic 1% 21%
Black 0% 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Two or more races 0% 5%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Julie Smith, Head of School -- Patricia Schwartz, Principal
  • Coed
  • Jewish
Fax number
  • (503) 452-7001


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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6651 Southwest Capitol Highway
Portland, OR 97219
Website: Click here
Phone: (503) 244-0126


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