Student Life

Student Life

Northwest Academy high school students often describe themselves more as a family than a class. We’re too small to bother with cliques but not so big that a student can disappear. High school students earn off-campus privileges, giving them the freedom to become expert downtown citizens. They enjoy our downtown campus and all Portland has to offer, especially its amazing food carts.

Highlights of our High School culture include

Retreats.   High School students go on academic and community-building retreats in the Fall Semester.  Freshman travel to Newport for a Coastal Ecology retreat. Sophomores go to Ashland for the Shakespeare Festival. Juniors focus on Transcendentalism and Drawing, hiking the falls at Silver Falls State Park. Seniors begin their year with a retreat on the Oregon Coast, where they plan high school activities and focus on their new status as the school’s cultural leaders.

Arts Week.  Every May, Esprit!, our high school showcase, features outstanding student dance, music, theater, and art.

Friday Lunch Events.  Students enjoy an extended lunch break on Fridays.  High School students participate in special Lunch Events, including club meetings and guest speakers from the community.  Once a month, High School students get to use the Lunch Event time for an extended lunch out in Portland.

Homecoming and Spirit Week. Northwest Academy may not have a football team, but we still have Homecoming, Spirit Week, and our own twist on the Pep Rally.  Spirit Week features daily competitions among high school students and even faculty.

Visiting Writer’s Series.  Professional authors from around the country visit Northwest Academy to read and discuss their work with students.  What makes this experience extraordinary is that all high school students read these authors’ works, creating a more informed and shared experience for students and visiting authors.

Costume Day.  The High School’s annual costume day is just what you’d expect from a school of creative, innovative students. Faculty and staff costumes are amazing, too!

Talent Show.  High School students organize their own talent show featuring improv, music, poetry, and other art.

Prom. There is nothing quite like Northwest Academy’s prom, which is open to all high school students and even friends from other schools.

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  • Exceptional Faculty

    Teachers include professional artists, writers, and performers as well as former college instructors.

    Exceptional Faculty
    Teachers As Mentors
  • Creativity Matters Here

    We value creative, independent thought in both our academic and arts classes.

    Creativity Matters Here
  • College Counseling

    Our College Counselor works with students to find schools that will be a good match for them. Northwest Academy graduates attend a diverse selection of colleges and universities across the country including Duke University, Bard College, New York University, and Rhode Island School of Design.

    College Counseling
    College application workshop
  • College-prep Academics

    Northwest Academy students write two substantial, college-level thesis projects in their senior year. All juniors and seniors receive college credit through the PSU Challenge Program.

    College-prep Academics
    Senior Thesis Presentation