This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Portland Jewish Academy5
Posted February 02, 2014
- a parent
Nurturing. Caring. Warm. Fun. Great teachers. Small class sizes. If you are looking for a school that offers these qualities plus music, art, field trips and so much more then I urge you look no further than PJA. My kids have been at PJA since the age 4 (they are 7 and 10 now) and have thrived! We have had wonderful teachers who really know our children on a personal level and who like communicate with us. The teachers adapt the school plans for each child so it is not a one size fits all lesson plan. My kids are challenged and really love to learn and I credit their teachers who make it fun and exciting! PJA students also learn about respect for yourself and for others, kindness, and community service. You do not have to be Jewish to attend PJA and it is a wonderful community of families. We are happy that our family has chosen PJA as our school.
I am so grateful for my many years at PJA! As a current college student and former PJA student, I can honestly say that PJA continues to impact my life positively. The school highlights the importance of being a good community member, friend, and leader through many critical lenses. The faculty creates an inspiring community to fully nurture the students. The community as a whole has the best interest of the students at heart and never slacks in giving support when needed.
PJA is an outstanding school with warm and caring teachers and a responsive administration. We started out at the preschool and now have two children in the lower school. There has never been a day when our children said they didn't want to go to school. All of the teachers they have had are their "favorites." They can't choose just one! We love the wonderful community of families, the individualized attention our children get, the values they are taught, the fact that they are learning to read, write, speak and understand a second language. We were astounded at the fall conferences at how well the teachers knew our children after having had them for just a couple of months. A bonus is having onsite aftercare (Kidscorner) as well as a plethora of afterschool activities at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center including music, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, dance, swimming, etc. We couldn't be happier to have found PJA and encourage anyone--Jewish or non-Jewish--to consider checking it out.
PJA provides a warm, nurturing environment with small class sizes, dedicated teachers and a responsive staff as well as an active community of parents. My family has been very happy at the school. We feel that our children are not only challenged, they are engaged. We had been at another school prior to PJA, and the difference in the quality of the education is tremendous.
PJA has been great for our family and our 3 kids. The small class sizes ensures that they get all the attention they need from teachers, the general curriculum teachers are fantastic, and the Jewish Studies and Hebrew teachers are incredibly knowledgeable. I love the individual attention each student receives at PJA. There is no way a child will be able to "slip through the cracks" at PJA. The enrichment the kids get is really wonderful. There is music, computers (used daily in the classroom in later elementary and up), art where they go to an on-campus art studio and PE where they get to use the indoor full soccer field or the gymnasium at the MJCC. The PJA community is amazing and welcoming to families of all denominations. We were welcomed with open-arms when my son started in the 3rd grade and have continued to feel part of the PJA family. We have 3 children there and have been incredibly happy.
My daughter has been a student at PJA since kindergarten and my son since third grade. She is now in 6th grade and he is in 9th. I can honestly say PJA has given both of my children a sense of themselves they could not have gotten anywhere else. They are nurtured in a way both emotionally and educationally to find and become the people and the students they are supposed to be. The small class sizes allow each student the individualized attention they need to excel. The community is warm and open to new families. The biggest compliment I can offer to that point is last year a new teacher to the school learned somewhere in the middle of the year that 2 new 8th graders joined the class (2 new students in a class of about 29 kids who have been together many of them since kindergarten). The new teacher did not know which 2 kids were the new students. The kids simply embraced the new students as one of their own and moved forward. Their actions are a testament to their character, to how the school shaped how they present themselves to the world. My son is now in public school and is more than prepared academically for what is being presented to him. Socially, he is confident
I am an alum of the school, former teacher, and current parent. While travels have taken us to other states and schools, I know that the community that we have in Portland and at PJA cannot be rivaled. So much more than a school, PJA not only inspires children to enthusiastically engage in learning, but also builds character and teaches responsibility for themselves, their family and friends, and the greater community. PJA not only grows minds. . . it nourishes souls!
We have two children at PJA and we are so happy with the school in terms of both the academic education and the strong focus on values. Most importantly, our kids love PJA and consistently rate their days as a 9.9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10. Sometimes they even rate it as a 10 plus! The teachers provide a very hands-on, personalized approach and the students are very engaged. The principal is an absolutely incredible person who is not only nice and approachable, but who knows every child's name and truly cares about the students. We feel confident that our kids are in a nurturing and positive environment as evidenced by the fact that they are both thriving at PJA.
I am a parent of 3 alumni who are now out in the world doing interesting and exciting things, including Jewish youth group leadership, arts, science, athletics, music and more. They are all mensches (good people) who got so much of their foundation at PJA. I am grateful every day for the love and support that was given to our children every day of the many years we spent at the school. As parents we were always heard and accepted. We appreciate the relationship that the school has with the JCC. Because we are on this wonderful campus students have the opportunity to use a state of the art gym and pool, and can avail themselves of all of the great after school classes that the JCC offers. It is essential to the day to day working of the school to have and maintain this very strong relationship with the JCC. We truly are grateful for the years our children spent here where the academics are strong, teachers are excellent, and where students are seen for who they are and challenged to take risks and dig more deeply into their learning. PJA is a great place. Happy 50th PJA. May you know 50 plus more years of educating wonderful children.
We have been going to PJA since our kids were 18 months old. They are in 2nd and 3rd grade now. We moved from London and were very nervous about finding a great school for our children. We put them in PJA and could not be happier. The school really does feel like a family. My kids know kids across all grades and they really feel nurtured when they are there. They KNOW that they have lots of people watching out for them and that care about their welfare. Academically, we are very satisfied. They are engaged all day long and come home challenged by the work they do. They sing Jewish songs in the shower and know look forward to shabbat. Merrill Hendon has done a fantastic job leading the school and under her purview I have watched the school evolve in a genuinely wonderful way. She knows every child's name, but beyond that she remembers the smallest details about the families. The rest of the staff also is terrific and everyone feels like they are the same page -- to make PJA the best it can possibly be. We are happy. We just wish there was a high school!