Northwest Academy Students often describe themselves more as a family than a class.
Highlights of Our School Culture
Both our middle and high school students head out on academic and community-building retreats at the beginning of the fall semester. These retreats range from trips to farms where students do hands-on farm work while getting to know each other, to trips to the coast where students embark on a coastal ecology retreat, to a state park where students hike, cook, and bond around the campfire. All of these retreats are meant to bring our students together, prepare for the school year ahead, and enjoy some much-needed time outside of their normal classroom setting.
Being of service to the community is a cornerstone of our mission. Students participate in a number of service-learning opportunities throughout the year with the biggest being our All-School Service Day, when the entire community—students, staff, faculty, and families—comes together to help our neighbors downtown and in the greater Portland area however we can. Whether it be a neighborhood clean-up, creating care kits for our houseless neighbors, trail maintenance, making meals, or making art, we're here to help! These opportunities are a way for our students to better understand the needs of their immediate community while building crucial skills that will help them lead with compassion and care as they navigate through life.
ArtsWeek is our annual all-school arts event where students, staff, and faculty leave core subjects alone and are fully emersed in the arts! Every May, Esprit!, our high school showcase, and Dynamo!, our middle school showcase, features outstanding student dance, music, theater, and art.
We also hold a number of faculty and student-led art workshops ranging from crochet to poetry to hand lettering to mural making to stop motion animation...you get the idea! It's an opportunity for our incredibly talented community to share what they love with each other and for the participants to learn something new!
Friday Lunch Events
Students enjoy an extended lunch break on Fridays, where they participate in events ranging from guest speakers to in-person performances to club meetings. High School students also get to use this time for an extended lunch out in Portland, heading to favorite spots like the Farmers market, food carts, and local eateries in the area—it's a great opportunity for our students to get to learn more about their community and support local businesses!
Homecoming & 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.
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!
High School students organize their own talent show featuring improv, music, poetry, and other art.
There is nothing quite like Northwest Academy’s prom, which is open to all high school students and even friends from other schools.
What We're Up To @ Northwest Academy
Middle School Clubs
Middle school clubs meet during the day during our Friday Lunch Event times. Currently, due to our COVID-19 protocols, the clubs are split up by grade. The list of current middle school clubs is below!
List of 17 items.
Downtown Awareness Work Club
Food Fight Club
Fun & Games Club
How Can We Break It Club
Marvel Movie Drawing Club
Movies & Art Club
Sports Talk Club
The Hangout Club
The Only Digital Club
Warhammer & Mini Paintings Club
High School Clubs
High school clubs are student-led and meet during the school day, after school, and even on weekend when needed! The current list of student-led high school clubs can be found below:
List of 10 items.
Computer Programming Club
Decompress & Vibe Club
Jewish Student Union
Mountain Biking Club
Social Justice Club
The Art Gallery is a physical and digital space where student, faculty, and staff work can be displayed. Our physical gallery space is located in our Main Street Building.
In The Classroom
Our classrooms are unique spaces where students can explore, question, and dig in to their subject matter with engaged and supportive teachers.