After committing the resources for Abiqua I felt a bit mislead. Despite the small class sizes students DO NOT get individualized teaching. I found out late in the year that the testing they do is just for the office and doesn't benefit the kids. Students are all clumped towards the mean and advanced students are held back for teacher convenience rather than placed based on their test results. The music program leaves a great deal to be desired and repeats identically each year so no opportunity for advancement exists. There is a culture of extortative intimidation by the administration to solicit donations which begins once you sign your contract. Despite the advertised cost there are numerous "hidden fees" that add up quite a bit such as "field trip fees", "technology fees", "technology maintenance fee", inflated costs for iPads that you have to buy through the school. Plus they change required technology arbitrarily so you might have to buy multiple iPads or computers. Plus tuition rises each year despite the fact that they do not provide more each year. Finally, any attempt to address any topic with the office is met with a smile, a nod, and no further action.
Abiqua Academy is not only a wonderful place to work but it is one of the best schools in the Willamette Valley for PreK-12. Students are given one-on-one time with teachers at every grade level. Abiqua provides an environment that allows students to thrive.
Having had multiple kids at the school for multiple years I have noticed a trend towards mediocrity. Despite ever increasing tuition which is now over $10 K per child the overall quality of education is declining. The school has had a great deal of teacher turnover recently. The classes are being combined and taught at a lower level than they once were. The Principal acts like a greeter at the door each morning but cannot retain good teachers. Additionally, the principal wants zero parent involvement (unless you are donating more money). Discipline has also been a major problem especially with bullying which the school seems unable to manage.
Abiqua school has been drastically changing it's direction in recent years. This shift causes valid concerns on either side of the issue. There are people happy with it and others quite unhappy. Both sides will have valid views. The reputation it has enjoyed is shifting and where that will stop is still to be seen.
Tuition at Abiqua School is over $10,000. Annual giving donation is a requirement. Registration Fee is $1000 per child. Capital Campaign contributions are made through binding contracts. Since the school is in an aggressive growth period, more of this hard earned tuition money is being spent on speculation. As a parent it feels like academic preparation has taken a back seat to creating an illusion of exclusivity. In the past teachers were allowed to keep pace with the individual student so that advanced children could be challenged. Now our new administrator prefers that all the kids get the same curriculum and meet the same standards. The result is that even though some classes are as small as seven kids some are lost and others are bored to tears. It just is no longer a good value for academics.
My children are entirely different learners but Abiqua's individualized attention makes it possible for each of them to be confident and successful, despite the rigorous curriculum. The teachers and staff really know what they're doing. We couldn't be happier with our choice.
Dear Board Member: We are writing you this letter because we disagree with the path the school is taking under the direction of the new Head and we believe it is no longer safe to voice these concerns to her. It would be easy for each of you, individually, to decide that the problem is a few outspoken people who get everyone riled up . You may never imagine who has contributed to this letter. Contrary to what the Head has said, we are not mad at the school . We think the school is great and feel lucky to have hired so many talented and loving teachers. This special staff has been built over years of careful selection and they are absolutely devoted to their profession. Furthermore, we have a great new facility with a beautiful playground and tons of parking. We pay our tuition in full, contribute to all requests for donations and volunteer whenever possible. We are a supportive part of the Abiqua community. We have chosen to stay at Abiqua even though there are other private school options for us, as she has offered.
At Abiqua obedience from parents is a requirement. Head of school knows what is best for your child. Dear Parents, Abiqua has a mission to provide the best for our students through an integrated, engaging curriculum in all subject areas. This commitment is implemented and created through a shared vision of the teachers and administration. As an Independent School our teachers work collectively to develop and present a rigorous curriculum aligned with our mission by constantly keeping current with best practices. This begins with looking at the standards. Educational standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. Standards provide clear goals for student learning. While individual states have developed their own standards, the nation s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of .... blah, blah, blah... Jo Ann
Abiqua is a wonderful, supportive place! From kindergarten onward, students are taught positive values that are integrated into all aspects of their education. Academically, the children are given one on one attention which has challenged both of our children to meet (and often exceed) their personal goals.