We were excited to start my daughter's schooling at Salem Academy. They have great teachers, friendly staff and the kids generally have fun. Fast forward to 2014 and my daughter's second year at Academy in the Preschool Program and they still have great teachers, friendly staff (for the most part) and the kids still have fun. Parent involvement is good, but there isn't much in diversity. If you don't fit the ideals (even though you pay for your child's education like everyone else), you're viewed as an outsider by the parents. The school is great with the kids, but lets face it, the parents make a huge difference. Since the same kids/parents you start with seem to be the same kids/parents you continue your journey with we decided NOT to return to Salem Academy for the K-12 years of school. In our short two year experience, we started off loving Salem Academy and now can't wait for our child to be done.
No school is perfect, and there are pros and cons for the public and private options currently available in Salem. Some strengths of Salem Academy include a safe learning environment pre-K through HS., high standards for student behavior and character, good classroom sizes, and a strong sense of community allowing parents to be closely involved with their students progress. Unfortunately, there is not much diversity within the school, which is a detriment to students who will graduate into a global world market/economy.
What i love most about SA is the people. That may sound overused and cliche, but i really mean it. Recently, i returned their from a year at the local public school, and the difference in attitude is humongous. The teachers really have a passion for teaching, and seem to actually enjoy their job. They know how to make the classroom enjoyable, and make your time with them pleasant. The teachers' happy attitudes are transferred to the students, who are nicer, and value there education. They feel an actual desire to learn, because the teachers actually desire desire to teach. Sure, the kids aren't exactly balls of sunshine after being assigned homework, but not everything in life can be fun and games, right? The point is, at Salem Academy the people are happy, excited abut class, and ready to learn (or teach).
The school is very generous with their scholarships, affording opportunities for those who otherwise couldn't afford it. However, getting in the door does not remove the stratified divide between those scraping to get by and those with affluence. Talk to your student about these things so that they may thrive in this reality, regardless of what side of that spectrum you are on.
As a parent we worry about many things within the middle school and high school years. One of the best things about this school is that those worries are less. Salem Academy is a smaller "family" style school. I know most of the students at Salem Academy, even if my kids are not best friends with them. I feel comfortable with any parent to go up and talk to them and they feel comfortable to talk to me if they see one of my children acting in a way that is not acceptable. I never understood the expression of it takes a village to raise a child until my kids started to go to school here. You add that to great teachers who actually know who I am and who my kids are, even if they aren't in their class. We are not a number, but a face, a person with individual needs and concerns that get taken seriously. My kids have grown spiritually and turned into great teens who show strong leadership qualities and have a love for learning. No school is perfect, but we would recommend Salem Academy to anyone!
I Have gone to SA since Pre-k its been about 11 years now and i still go here. I love the classes and would recommend this school for anyone interested. At most schools there are cliques and certain "popular" groups, but at SA everyone is popular in your own group of friends. If your new your likely to be talked to alot and asked a bunch of questions by students and teachers both. we are very hospitable and LOVE newcomers. But there are a few things I would change, as anyone can find fault in anything if you look hard enough. I would change two things, i would like to have more science/biology/chem Lab classes. And the sports i don't think we need a racquetball or golf team and i feel its a waste of money that could be used and other things like new computers for teachers and supplies as they tend to run out of it about a third of the way thru the school year. Overall great school with lots of fun activities and field trips.
Academics are high. All teachers (2005-2006) have degrees. Students have gone on to Stanford, West Point, etc. The choir placed 5th and 9th in the State the last two years (There are 72 2A schools in Oregon). The band program is small, but growing. 2D, 3D Art and Industrial Arts offer several courses. Several sports are offered: Football, Volleyball, Basketball (b&g), Baseball, Softball, Track & Field. Salem Academy is very diverse: this year (2005-2006) there are 44 international students from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. This has enhanced the educational experience for all of the students. Salem Academy is a small 2A school (245 high school students), but is a dynamic, growing school which provides a high level of academics and encourages a high value on personal relationships. Students are not just a number, but are seen as precious, loved persons with much potential!
Academics are strong, but there are not always qualified teachers. Often, there are teachers without degrees or still in the process of completing them. There are many sports available, almost all except, swimming, wrestling, &cheerleading. Not all electives are available, just the basics. No econimic classes, writing or speech,etc available. Parents are very involoved becuase funding is low and volunteering is required.