Heidi Dodge, May 13, 2013
I have had the pleasure of serving as the Principal / Executive Director of CLASS Academy since 2011. I am so proud to collaborate with such an enthusiastic, energetic, and dedicated group of educators. Over half of our teachers have been teaching at CLASS Academy for over five years! CLASS Academy is a community of families and teachers dedicated to the social, emotional, and academic education of our spectacular students. We welcome your inquiries and feedback. If you are interested in learning more about our school please call us to schedule a tour!
I am a grandparent, and retired teacher whose two grandchildren attend Class Academy. I follow their progress in school and find this school to be excellent. The teachers are responsive to each child, are organized, and have an excellent curriculum. Students get much individual attention due to the low teacher student ratio and the curriculum is age appropriate. The principal is experienced and knows what she is doing. Children have exposure to art, science, language arts, physical education, music, and math at a young age and my grandchildren are learning many new and exciting things every single day.
My 2 children ages 7 and 9 have been at Class Academy for 2 years now. Although it is not easy for me to pay for 2 children to attend the school I would sooner sell my home than pull them from this school!! The academics are great and although they go about things in a different way then most schools I consider that a blessing. My older son attended one of the higher rated public schools in the Portland area and Class is SOOO much better than what we experienced there. 30 kids in a 2nd grade class is a joke! I loved his teacher there but what can 1 person do when trying to teach 30 kids!!?? The people who bash this school are entitled to their opinion but I must disagree with alot of what is said. Yes the principal is strong, but thank goodness for it. My children get so much more individual attention due to the small class sizes. They promote public speaking, creativity, and the normal studies that any school would teach. If you want your child to be a good test taker send your child to public school. If you want a child that knows how to think critically and be well rounded then consider Class Academy. Our children and family are better for it.
After almost a year at Class Academy we pulled out. The principal is micromanaging every process at the school. If you don't have a really good feeling of her when visiting the school - don't enroll! Collective punishment is used when disciplining, but the management refuse that it takes place. But it does... An example: a teacher asks a group of students to look at the ceiling - if one student refuses, all the students are asked to pick up paper or clips from the floor. Also, several reward systems are based on group behavior rather than individual behavior. When a school accepts children with behavioral issues these methods of collective punishment and rewards can back flip and create tensions between the students. The school doesn t nurture or appreciate any feed back or communication. No parent-teacher conferences are scheduled during the school year. The principal wants to sit in on all parent-teacher meetings why conferences aren t appreciated.
This school, if you can call it that, is nothing more than a glorified daycare. Maybe back when the school was founded, they had a real vision for making a difference in children lives, but that was lost when the founder/principal started to chase money instead of doing what is right. She is not open to feedback, the staff is not dedicated, evident by the high turnover. They do not listen to anything from the parents, and tell the parent how to be a parent, which is not the roll of a school. The staff approach to most issues is for the parent to conform or leave. If a student is outside of normal, the school does little to assist. They lack discipline and do not address known behavioral issues at the school. As a whole, they do not accel above grade level. If you want a daycare, you might consider this place, if you want an education for your child, find somewhere that is really concerned about your child. And I do find it funny that teachers are claiming how great the school is after honest reviews from parents, the one that have nothing to gain if you dont choose class academy.
I have been a teacher at CLASS Academy for the past 7 years. I hold a Bachelor's degree in History and Art History and a Master's degree in Elementary and Middle School Education. I currently teach the 6-8th grade curriculum at our school. The ages in my class range from 9-12 years of age. I am very fortunate as a teacher at CLASS to be able to work with such incredible students and families. My students ARE several years advanced in their curriculum instruction. They consistently score in the 95th-99th percentile when taking such tests as the SSAT and have been invited to exclusive summer camps held by John Hopkins University due to these scores. As an educator at our school I am fortunate to work with small class sizes of approximately 15 students, provide a hands on and creative approach to teaching that aligns with both State and National Standards, and to continually encourage my students to think critically in their studies. I also enjoy providing them with opportunities to fund raise and help in their community.
We recently removed our children from Class Academy for a variety of reasons. The main reason, however, is that as a parent you either like the school or you greatly DISLIKE the school. Per a recent review of the school, how can a student be completing the 8th grade at the age of ten when the school only goes to the 7th grade and a ten year old should be in the 5th grade - hmmm? Class Academy spends a lot of time convincing parents that their student(s) is/are academically advanced, but reality is that when they go to any other school, including a public school, they will be properly tested and shown to be either at grade level or one to two years BEHIND! We are pleased to have moved on. Select this school only after very careful observation. Most parents keep their children at Class Academy because they need the childcare since the school offers an extended day before and after school.
My child,10 yrs, has been at this school since PK and is now finishing the 8th grade. The school lives up to the reputation of advanced scores and placements for students. It has been one the best experiences for my child academically and socially. The staff is supportive, caring and dedicated which inspires students to perform at a higher level. We are extremely fortunate that the core staff remain at the school for long periods, create continuity and set high standards for achievement. The students here are polite, thoughtful and intellectually curious. Children are challenged on daily basis to think about logic, cause and effect and how any learning is applied in the real world. They participate in volunteer efforts, meet the community and understand that they are citizens of the world. I appreciate that diversity is celebrated. I remember when my child came home showing off yoga poses learned between class breaks which re-energized bodies and mind to focus. Many schools can teach the basics however Class Academy sparks the passion for learning for lifetime. There is so much a child needs beyond the ABCs and that is why I know every year spent at Class Academy is priceless.
Some of the teachers at this school are wonderful; some are not. You find that anywhere. What you also find at this school is a principal lacking flexibility to work with students with special needs. The principal is unwilling to work with families that question anything in "her school" and unlike public school, you can either take it or leave it. The school is not required to give your child an appropriate education, even though you pay for it. If you've got a great kid that fits the mold, you may enjoy this school. If you've got a great kid that doesn't fit the mold, suggest you look elsewhere.
Our son has been at Class Academy for 3 years, and we have found that there s nothing quite like it in Portland. From our first meeting with the principal, we saw something different about Class Academy and its vision to perceive and tap the potential in all kinds of kids with all kinds of gifts and needs. As we continued with Class it became more, more and apparent that a foundation for lifelong learning was being laid deeply. It has been a privilege to experience Class Academy's unique teaching and care, and we are so grateful for the time our son has had there. His progress has been amazing thanks to a corps of committed and innovative teachers and staff. His teachers have excelled in addressing and respecting his individual needs while encouraging him to persevere, It has been a rich experience for him academically and socially.
As a teacher, I couldn't ask for a better place to teach. An abundance of resources, teaching teams for collaboration, and low student to teacher ratios allows me to focus on the needs of my students. I work with a talented group of teachers, many of whom hold masters degrees, who care deeply about educating children. What I love most about CLASS is the community that a small school creates. I know every one of my students' parents by name. The parents are involved in the school and the education of their children. There are ethical obligations we adhere to as educators (FERPA) that on occasion prevent us from sharing certain details with parents. This can upset some in our close-knit community, but our first priority is protecting our students. CLASS Academy is not only a great place to teach, but in my humble opinion a great place to learn!
I have been a teacher at CLASS for four years and I consider the principal, staff, and students my second family. I enjoy waking up and going to work everyday to see my students. I have grown exponentially as a teacher and a person thanks to the experience I have had at CLASS Academy. I am a better teacher for the training and support I have received, and still do receive, everyday. I feel so lucky to be a teacher at CLASS Academy. I have 14 students in my 5th grade class. No two children are the same and with the small class sizes, we are able to adjust and meet the individual needs of all of our students. Education is a partnership and I work and communicate very frequently with my parents to ensure we are all doing what is best for each student.
My daughter has been at Class Academy for 4 years now and we think it is one of the best schools in the area. My husband and I wanted a rigorous curriculum and an environment that would instill high self-confidence into our child and the school has exceeded our expectations. The school is different from other schools in the area in the following aspects: 1. Low teacher-student ratio 2. A well-balanced curriculum that includes daily classes in Math, Science, Language Arts, History, Geography 3. For a well-rounded personality, there is a strong emphasis on public speaking, art and Gym 4. Low tuition compared to other private schools in the area We love the school and would recommend it to anyone looking for quality education.
My 8 year old and 10 year old both attend Class Academy, after attending the public school system. Within 4 months of attending Class academy I started to see their attention to detail, academic passion, self confidence, social skills, and academic level improve. We live in a great school district, yet the public school lead to academic stunting and a lack of attention on social/behavioral awareness. At Class Academy my daughter and son, are in an environment that is far superior in it's provision of skill development in Math, Science, English, History and the Arts, as well as in developing self awareness, social awareness, and confidence to succeed. The children at Class Academy grow within an environment that supports respecting ones self and others, while advancing their academic, social, and emotional levels the way a Prep School should by developing young Leaders, the impact is lasting and priceless.
We sent our then 4th grader to Class Academy mid-year after he continually expressed his unhappiness with his public school experience. He has now been there for over a year. This was our first foray into private schools and we did it partly out of desperation -- we didn't want a kid who didn't want to go to school. The decision turned out to be a very good one for us and our son. He really enjoys Class Academy. He is ahead of grade level in math. They read challenging books (just finished Call of the Wild for 5th grade level) and I have been impressed with what he has learned about government and history. No school is for every kid, but Class Academy has been a very good fit for us.
This school is not open for feedback and can come out unfriendly. Not sure how they inculcate those qualities in their students.
Our kids have been at CLASS Academy for the past 2.5 years. The teaching philosophy, teachers commitment, class size and every other aspect are as good as it gets. The schools makes the best possible use of the time with the kids . It s amazing how the kids, among all classes , respect each other and help each other. The bigger kids take good care of the smaller ones . in addition to excellent curriculum the staff put emphasis on emotional safety . The daily curriculum includes Math, Science, Reading, Art, and Physical Education and much more. The staff in Class Academy is an amazing staff , they are all doing excellent job with the kids . When we drop our kids in the morning we are sure that this is the best place for them.
My son has been at CLASS Academy for almost a year, and if I could have started a school myself to fit the needs of all children on an individual basis, I would be hard pressed to do a more effective job than the staff at our school! My son feels supported and confident in all areas of learning because each child's learning style is respected and focused on daily. As the parent of a child who has had developmental issues (communication, social, and academic) and has made tremendous strides in overcoming these challenges, Class Academy is a wonderful place for us as a team to complete his development into the childhood learner and friend he is meant to be--curious, fulfilled, hardworking, and so proud of himself. I go to sleep every night knowing we made the best decision sending him to Class Academy!!
On our son's birthday we asked him to share highlights with us from his year. Without hesitation he replied, ' Changing schools to CLASS Academy was the best thing I did.' It is an understatement to say that he has blossomed since we made the transfer. The academics are an automatic and they definitely teach to all learning styles. More importantly we have seen dramatic changes in our son's self-confidence, his curiosity and love of learning, his motivation and self-reliance, and... in his smile. The team of staff members keep him challenged but also help him to feel a great deal of mastery. He feels safe. He feels valued. He feels like he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to. Our only regret is that we waited as long as we did to search for a school that would awaken our son's passion for life the way CLASS has.
My daughter went to this school for 5 years and there is no better school for academics, fun loving and disciplined place at an affordable price than this one. I am not sure what made the other parent write prinicipal uses this school to make money but the budget in which shool runs is very tight and i know how much of personal money principal has put into the school to run when they have to pay double rent due to commitments in their old place. My daughter left the school couple of years back but even yesterday she remembered something that she learnt in this school 4 years back while doing her home work. Principal is very dedicated to the school. Most teachers are very kind and caring. My daughter learnt public speaking at the age 7 thanks to this school. They teach fundamentals well.
We transferred our 4th grader here after months of hearing him tell us that he hated school and did not want to go. We took a risk and pulled him mi-year and enrolled him at Class Academy. We could not be more pleased. He loves waking up and going to school every day. He comes home excited to talk about his school work. He is learning more than his peers in public school. We have only been there for 3 months, and do not know the staff well, but we are very impressed with the enthusiasm anc commitment of all of them.
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