Develop ‘WHO YOU ARE’

“I like who I am…”

We understand how difficult and confusing this stage of life can be for students. To enhance the positive aspects of adolescence, we recognize each child where they are to help them find their own path forward.  We are acutely focused on providing a supportive, safe space for students to be themselves, where they are better able to communicate and connect authentically with their peers and teachers. Graduates of the PNA Middle School are confident, they are people of character, and they are able to appreciate themselves and each other for who they are.

“I am an advocate for myself and others…”

The PNA Middle School is where empathetic leaders are nurtured and developed. Here, we give students the skills and experience needed to become advocates for themselves, their peers, and their communities. Project Based Learning (PBL) challenges students to tackle complex community issues, engage with local organizations, and use their critical thinking skills to solve real-life problems. This model for education gives students a vehicle to transport their vision for the improvement of themselves and their communities. PNA graduates can be seen as self-assured leaders who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

“I am ready for the next challenge…”

Going into high school and being prepared for high school are two very different things. Through a personalized learning model, PNA graduates are not only academically ready for high school, they are socially and emotionally ready as well. With our small-class environment, innovative curriculum, and dedication to academic excellence, students graduate PNA with a foundation that has prepared them for a lifetime of success and the confidence to take on the world.

End of Year Trips: The World Outside

Middle School end-of-year field trips take progressive steps beyond South Central Alaska. In a typical year, 5th and 6th grades alternate years going to Kodiak Island to study Aleut culture and WWII history, and going to the San Juan Islands on the Salish Expedition for marine/eco-biology, leadership, and a sailing experience. 7th graders go on a week-long trip to Washington, D.C to study government, and the 8th graders culminate their time at PNA with a trip to Costa Rica, where they engage in ecological learning including reforestation, sea turtle rescue, and are immersed in the Spanish language and culture they have been learning for many years. Pacific Northern Academy’s field trip program is designed to both challenge and ignite students’ curiosity in the world around them.



How can you recognize a PNA graduate?

They are comfortable in their own skin. They are lifelong learners. They are fun to be around. They have good character. They are PNA kids for life.

What is the transition from a middle school to a high school like for a PNA graduate?
It is different for every student, yet PNA prepares every graduate in a multitude of ways for them to be confident and considerate individuals. They are prepared academically, and they feel confident socially. They have developed strong interpersonal qualities in a small classroom setting and have a great deal of experience working with a team.
What are the key components of the PNA Middle School?
What are the skills that PNA teaches for high school readiness?

Middle School at Pacific Northern Academy provides students with the social, emotional, and academic support needed to be confident, organized high schoolers on the path to excellence. Following National Standards-Based Instruction, PNA teaches 21st Century skills (i.e. learning, literacy, life skills, etc, etc…), growth mindset, Project Based Learning (PBL), and executive functions. In an integrated studies approach, PNA Middle School students learn to dive deep into complex topics, think critically, and engage in hands-on creative projects. Students grow to be self-aware, and to be community-minded, empathetic, active citizens.

What opportunities are there for students to join a sports league in the community?

Through our Personalized Learning model, our schedule allows for students to participate in ASD team sports. PNA has had several successful athletes walk our halls and we love to support them in their pursuits.


What is the value of a small, independent Middle School?

“My community felt larger at PNA than it did at the larger schools I’ve attended. A school of 130 felt bigger than a school of 2000. Why? In a school of 2000, you choose your few friends and you remain there. At PNA, I knew everyone. And, like family, you can not love everyone every minute. It taught me how to navigate, communicate, and collaborate with people I never would have chosen to. And it wasn’t a one and done thing. I practiced this everyday. Every year. It challenged me and broadened my community in a way that doesn’t always exist at a large school.”

-Claire Rhyneer, PNA Graduate