Using This Site

Get the lay of the land for Portland area schools. Learn the basics of navigating the system.

Determine what you’re looking for in a school, and what your child might need.

Get the essential details on your school options, and learn how to interpret the data.  Give and get the scoop in our Schools Forum

Know how to get the inside scoop on a school. Learn what to ask and what to look for on a school tour.

Make a plan to go after the schools you like best. Understand the application or lottery process.

When you finally commit to a school, get tips on how to transition successfully.

Recent Comments

Search

Follow Us

Schools

Abernethy Elementary (3) Ainsworth Elementary (2) All Saints School (1) Arbor School of Arts & Sciences (2) Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School (1) Atkinson Elementary (1) Be Academy (3) Beach Elementary (2) Beverly Cleary (1) Bridlemile Elementary (1) Buckman Arts Elementary (4) Cathedral School (1) Catlin Gabel (5) Cedar Hills Kindergarten & Preschool (1) Cedarwood Waldorf School (3) Chapman Elementary (1) Childpeace Montessori School (1) Class Academy (1) Cleveland High School (2) Creative Science School (2) Duniway Elementary (1) East/West Sylvan Middle School (1) Emerson School (5) Faubion K-8 (2) French American International School (1) German American School of Portland (1) Gilkey International Middle School (2) Glencoe Elementary (1) Grant High School (1) Grout Elementary (1) Hayhurst Elementary (3) Homeschool (1) Hope Chinese Charter School (1) Hosford Middle School (2) International Leadership Academy (1) Irvington Elementary (1) Ivy School (2) James John Elementary (1) Jefferson High School Middle College for Advanced Studies (1) Laurelhurst Elementary (1) Le Monde Immersion School (2) L'Etoile French Immersion School (1) Lewis Elementary (1) Lincoln High (1) Maplewood School (1) Markham Elementary (2) Martin Luther King Elementary (2) Metropolitan Learning Center (5) Northwest Academy (1) Northwest Chinese Academy (1) Opal Charter School (2) Oregon Connections Academy (1) Oregon Episcopal School (2) Portland French School (2) Portland Public Schools (11) Portland Village School (1) Providence Montessori School (1) Renaissance School of Arts and Sciences (1) Richmond School (Japanese) (2) Rigler Elementary (1) Scott School (1) Sitton Elementary (1) Southwest Charter School (2) Sunstone Montessori School (2) The International School (2) The Living School (2) The Odyssey Program at Hayhurst (5) The Portland Montessori School (1) Trillium Charter School (1) Valley Catholic Elementary (1) Vestal Elementary (1) Whitman Elementary (1) Wilson High School (1) Winterhaven (3) Woodlawn Elementary (1) Woodstock Mandarin Immersion (2) Your School Not Listed? (1)

Categories

Grab a Badge



Archive

« School Research: School-by-School Vaccination Rates | Main | School Choice in Hillsboro: City View Charter School »
Tuesday
Nov292016

CLASS Academy – profile

CLASS Academy is a small, for-profit private school across from Montgomery Park in Northwest Portland.  It has two classes per level, with classes that average 12-13 students and are capped at 15.   All students wear uniforms at this school.  While its levels roughly correspond to traditional grades, CLASS groups students by ability rather than age and so avoids the normal terminology. 

The Half-Full Scoop

CLASS Academy offers a well-thought-out program that will appeal to many families.  The facility, while somewhat limited by its small footprint and urban location, is bright, colorful, and open.  It includes a small indoor gym to allow for physical activity on even the rainiest day. 

As noted above CLASS offers small classes, allowing for more individual attention.  It breaks each class down further in the early grades for reading, with students generally working in small groups of about five for reading instruction.  Reading success in the early grades is strongly correlated with long-term academic achievement, and this individual attention helps ensure no student slips through the cracks.  The CLASS curriculum is also rigorous and somewhat advanced, which will appeal to many parents.  CLASS’s system of grouping students by ability rather than age may also appeal to parents with a child who just misses the September 1 birthday cut-off for kindergarten entry, as the school is willing to assess these students for individual placement.

CLASS also offers all students art, music, science, and p.e. every day.  Further, all students have two recesses each day.  This, coupled with a specifically designed educational system in which the day is divided into 30 minute lesson blocks that are further divided into three to five teacher-led activities that often included games and physical movement, ensures students have a lot of changes to move and be active during the school day.  Students also move throughout the building over the course of day, visiting “specials” teachers and going back and forth between the two classes at their grade for various activities.

Finally, CLASS offers a unique year-round schedule that will appeal to many working parents, as well as students who crave consistency.  With the exception of brief breaks at the beginning and end of the summer, school continues uninterrupted throughout the year.  During the summer the programs transitions to a different, less academic mode that more resembles many camps and even includes swim lessons.  This is a relief for many working parents, who aren’t scrambling for childcare coverage during the summer.  Many children also benefit from the consistency this offers. Unlike many schools, CLASS also offers full-day care as part of tuition, with teachers providing before and after school supervision, rather than outside providers.

The Half-Empty Scoop

First, with annual tuition and fees ranging from $11,330 to $11,810 depending on grade level, the school is a significant financial commitment.  Parents should remember, however, that this covers both year-round school and full-day care, however, saving working parents other childcare costs.  For parents who don’t need the extended day care, however, it may feel like paying for a service they are not using.

CLASS’s facilities may also be a concern for some families.  While the building is open and colorful, it has limited natural light and can feel a bit like the concrete box that it essentially is.  The school also has exceptionally limited outdoor space, with only a small playground.  Similarly, there is very limited parking at the school, which may be a concern for parents.

While CLASS’s unique schedule may be a positive for many parents, it is important to not that the summer program is not optional, which may be a negative for parents who have more flexibility to be home with their children during breaks, or who have children who look forward to participating in the wide range of summer camp options available in Portland.   Parents have also expressed some concerns about a high level of staff turnover, which may result from the long hours required to provide the extended day and summer coverage.

The school’s focus on teacher-led rather than inquiry-based instruction may also be a significant negative for some families.  Similarly, the intense academic push may not be an environment in which some children thrive.

Finally, the fact that the school is for profit may be a concern for some families.  The vast majority of private schools are nonprofit enterprises; for-profit schools naturally raise concerns about how the school balances what’s best for the students with the bottom-line.

The Final Scoop

CLASS Academy may be a great option for parents looking for a year-round school and extended day coverage, as well as those who like its balance of active, developmentally appropriate learning with its teacher-led instruction.  It has limited facilities but makes the most of them to offer a well rounded curriculum with lots of opportunities for movement, music, art, and science. 

Do you have a child at CLASS Academy?  Share your experience in the comments!

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>