Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Why is growth in adults so important at Summa?

We are glad you asked! Adults who participate in Natural Learning Relationships (NLR™) grow cognitively and emotionally. They gain confidence from meeting the child’s developmental needs. They heal their own childhood wounds. Most importantly they experience sustainable relationships with all children.

Adults gain insight into how children perceive their world and so they can meet their developmental needs with ease. Because meaning is formed in relationships, sustained effort in conscientious relationship to the child can allow the parent or professional to access greater trust, to engage the process of self-inquiry, and to make new meaning throughout life in relationship to the context of his or her world. The results of our research have revealed that deep involvement with the children in our lives can break open the adults’ hearts to greater well-being and self-awareness.

2. How do I enroll myself and my child at Summa Academy?

We are happy you are considering becoming part of the Summa family! You should take a look at the Admissions page. There you will find all the answers to your questions. The process begins with you submitting an application or scheduling a tour, or requesting for more information. We hope to hear from you soon.

3. What is Natural Learning Relationships™?

In essence, Natural Learning Relationships (NLR) maps the development of the innate capacities in children and offers guidelines to creating relationships that lead to optimal well-being for both the child and the caregiver. Learn more at /natural-learning-relationships/

4. What is the tuition rate for Summa Academy?

See here:  /academy/tuition-fees/

5. Why is family education a requirement at Summa Academy?

At Summa, we strongly hold that creating a continuity between home and school is essential for the development of healthy families and children. By engaging in parent education and whole family programs, parents participate in creating a learning environment that supports the whole child. Read more.

6. When will Summa Academy open?

Summa Academy opened in the fall of 2013. We are now enrolling K-8 students for the remainder of this year and for next fall.

7. Where is the Summa Academy located?

We are located in downtown Portland, Oregon. Learn more about our campus on our Summa Campus page.

8. What is the Summa Academy?

The Summa Academy is an extraordinary school for children 5-14 and their families in Portland, OR. We have 4 simple goals for your child:

  1. Academic excellence and a mastery of all the important skills needed to maximize their educational potential
  2. The social ability to bring greater perspective, understanding, compassion and problem solving to the world we live in
  3. The ability to self-reflect in a way that builds confidence and helps a child know their place in the world
  4. An enriched – never diminished - ability to find joy and wonder in themselves, the world, and people around them
9. Is Natural Learning Relationships based in religion?

No. Natural Learning Relationships is not affiliated with any particular religion or spiritual philosophy.

10. Why should I be interested in Natural Learning Relationships?

Natural Learning Relationships offers considerable information on each developmental stage.

For instance:

  • Creating environments that support (or poison) well-being in the child.
  • Clear, simple descriptions of the special qualities, nature, phases, and characteristics of each stage.
  • An in-depth appreciation of how a child moves from one developmental stage to another—often the most difficult times for parents and teachers.
  • The importance of the language of each stage—key to successful communication.
  • The development of meaning within each stage.
  • Shifts in the perceptions of time and space during the stages and their implications for intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual learning.
  • Identification of developmental malnourishment and of remedies that restore well-being in the child and the family
11. Is Summa Academy part of the Beaverton, Oregon school district?

No. That’s a different Summa Academy. See


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