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Our Approach

Core Values & Philosophy

Cascades Academy is a student-centered community. What's best for our students is at the heart of what we do each day, and in every decision we make. Our core values are to: ignite curiosity, learn by doing, foster belonging, empower individuality, embrace challenge, and share joyfulness. 

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Cascades Academy seeks to create a safe, nurturing community where we honor our unique selves, embrace the diverse perspectives and backgrounds of others, and promote social responsibility both within the school and beyond.

Program Overview

Cascades Academy offers a meaningful, challenging curriculum that integrates traditional academics and experiential learning. Our small class sizes allow our students to be known and valued. Our teachers work with each student to find the right balance of challenge and support to help them excel in a caring and dynamic community. For a link to our college admissions profile click here. 


All grade levels have instruction in English language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, Spanish, and fine arts. In addition we offer a variety of specialty classes including Storyline, fitness, electives, Maker classes, robotics, and internships.

Experiential Learning

We often get asked about what "experiential learning" means and how do we "do it". To us, experiential learning means that students are engaged and learning by doing. They are active. They are solving problems independently and collaboratively. They reflect about what they've learned, and the learning sticks because of their engagement. We know that "studying for the test" seldom supports learning that lasts. Active learning supports creativity and deeper understanding of the subject matter. Visit our Program page to learn more, or check out our division pages for lower, middle, and upper school.

Social Responsibility

Part of our vision is to inspire our students to be a force of positive impact in the world. Throughout their years at Cascades Academy, students have many opportunities to participate in outreach efforts with community partners. Depending on the age of the student, this may look like a day of service at a local wildlife hospital, or a six-month internship with a non-profit of their choice. To learn more, check out our Social Responsibility page.

History & Governance

Cascades Academy was founded in 2003 in order to fulfill the need for an independent, PK-12 college preparatory school in Central Oregon. The school opened its doors on Studio Road in mid-town Bend with 61 students. In the fall of 2013, the school moved to a 21-acre campus in Tumalo, and added a third wing to its campus in 2017. Since 2019, the school has added an additional 32 acres to the campus, bringing the campus size to 51 acres.

The school is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees.


Cascades Academy is an accredited member of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) and Cognia. Cascades Academy is also proud to be a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).


We deliver meaningful, challenging, and experiential education to inspire lifelong learners who are socially responsible individuals ready for a diverse and changing world. 


Ignite Curiosity
Learn By Doing
Foster Belonging
Empower Individuality
Embrace Challenge
Share Joyfulness


Cultivate Engagement
To foster lives of understanding, purpose, and meaning.

Build Community
To deepen connection, appreciation, and collaboration.

Inspire Goodness
To be a force of positive impact in the world.

Students & Faculty at a Glance

  • Grades: Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade
  • Faculty and Staff: 50 full & part-time faculty and staff
  • Student Body: 236 (PK-12)
  • Target Class Size: 18-20 students