Welcome to Summa Academy | K-8 Independent School in Portland, Oregon

Welcome from our Head of School, Amber Kara

Head of School

Hello and welcome to education as it ought to be! Summa is our vision of education for humanity, professional development for our changing world, and the parent support we all deserve as we nurture the next generation. It is our expression of love, truth, and wisdom.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. And then I grew up. While being a marine biologist was an amazing job, it did not satisfy my desire to affect real and lasting change in the world. No matter how many whales I saved, how many people I shared the wonders of the oceans with, my fellow humans seemed oblivious to the big picture. The one where we were hurting one another and our planet, judging ourselves terribly, and living unfulfilled lives. So I quit my marine biologist job and went back to my roots in education. Children and families, that is where real change is possible.

Twenty years later and here we are. With an independent school in downtown Portland that is exemplary in every way. I am honored to present our work. I am thrilled with my team. I am energized to come to work every day. I know that our students will impart the change that needs to happen in our world. They will leave Summa Academy with the confidence to engage their creativity, the self-awareness to find their true calling in life, and the courage to go out there and make it happen. I am proud of all that we do, and I hope to have the opportunity to share our community with you.

Amber S. Kara

Welcome from our Headmaster, Ba Luvmour

Ba Luvmour, Headmaster

As Headmaster it is my pleasure to welcome you to our school. Hopefully, we will have a chance to meet and talk about education, for I love to talk shop and to learn about children and families.
Lately I have been using the shorthand “the next big step” to summarize the innovation and solid research that Summa Academy embodies. These are the core elements: 

  • Academic Excellence and Emotional Intelligence are woven together in all learning and in every class.
  • Natural Learning Relationships, our holistic child development philosophy, provides acute insight into how students organize their world and the relationships and curriculum that optimizes their capacities.
  • Parents play an integral role in the learning community through the BRIDGE program, meetings, and conferences.
  • In addition to their impressive credentials, all educators participate in extensive training in child development, brain research, family systems, and ways to support Emotional Intelligence.
  • Staff meetings occur often and consider all students. We share ideas and strategies, thus creating a genuine community of learners.
  • 11:1 student to educator ratio, experiential and project-based learning, assure that learning is intimate, relevant, and enjoyable.

After 35 years as a leader in progressive, holistic education it thrills me that Summa Academy incorporates the best research and practices in the field. Truly, Summa is a culture in which Trust and Respect thrive.

I look forward to meeting you,