The Summa Difference

Family castle building
Summa Institute unites family development, education and research through an unprecedented child-centered, family supportive learning community where inspiration and wisdom emerge.

We are offering you another choice: for your child to actualize their full potential. It is what we do. And we don’t just do that for your child, we do that for your whole family. Is it worth $13,250/year to know your child is actualizing their full potential? Is it worth it to love your family time, to look forward to family dinners and vacations?

Every student at Summa Academy has his or her own Personal learning plan which is created in collaboration with Summa Academy educators and the parents. The child’s input is invited, welcomed, and weighted according to his or her age and developmental capacities.

In a multi-age classroom, children move from easier to more difficult material and from simple to more complex strategies at their own pace. They are viewed as individuals, and expectations are adjusted for each child to promote social, emotional, physical, aesthetic, and cognitive development. Students are required to produce ideas, integrate knowledge, and complete tasks that have real-world applications.

Project Based Learning allows students to address community issues, deepen communication skills, interact with people of all ages, use technology, and present their work to audiences beyond the classroom. Project based learning excites students as they engage new skills, and enjoy the satisfaction of a completed work.

Summa Academy is Portland’s only Natural Learning Relationships school. We relate to each student as an individual, teaching to his or her strengths and creating opportunities for development in areas of his or her greatest need. Education is most effective when it nurtures the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual development of students. That is why we maintain these 4 goals of education, while many other private schools focus primarily on the first goal.

Testimonials from our parents:

“I can really feel the respect that the kids are given here.”

“Appreciate the focus on interpersonal learning and skill building.”

“Summa fulfills and completes our fantasy of what education could be.”

“Our son’s confidence is through the roof, that is something he has gotten after only 4 months at Summa.”

“Amazed at her progress.”

“Working great, we feel so lucky to be at Summa.”

“We love the one on one attention she gets, multi-age classrooms, and the way the educators support our daughter’s learning style.”

“The parent education is phenomenal and the teachers are amazing.”

“I’m such a fan.”

“I am really impressed with everything; you all have done an amazing job, really professional.”

“My son is really engaged in his education for the first time ever.”

“First term, A+.”

“The parent nights are really informative and educational.”

“You are doing everything right for our son.”

“We love the parent classes.”

“I feel such relief and that we finally found home for our family.”

“Our favorite things: the relationship based model, that there is movement as part of every day, reflection of self, small student to teacher ratios.”

“We love that Summa is small, includes the whole family, and that it is child centered and holistic.”

“We love the building, it is a safe harbor and it makes me feel welcome.”

“This place offers a holistic approach to who my children are.”

“This community has been wonderful.”

“We love the humanness of the interactions and the opportunity that the students get to explore learning in many ways.”

“Staff and educators are by far my favorite part of Summa, they are all amazing!”

“My favorite part of Summa is the attention to the developmental stages of our children – grow together indeed!”


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