Teaching to the Open Minded Individual

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Business Feature: APT Academy
By Patti Jo Brooks, Contributing Writer


APT Academy has been proudly teaching students of Canby and the surrounding area since 2020! Utilizing a small group format, students have been able to make huge gains in their education and move at the pace they need to be successful. Created when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States, the academy’s founders Brant and Erin Walker became concerned that the study materials coming home were not ideal. In an effort to provide higher-quality education for their children, the Walkers hired Julene Koenig (a teacher with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a Masters in Trauma and Resilience Training) to teach the necessary materials for the children to be successful in the future.

The amount of material covered and the knowledge gained during the remainder of the school year showed Brant and Erin how their own children could achieve an educational potential beyond what the public school system was able to offer. Although the pandemic kickstarted the process for APT Academy, there were many other reasons to continue this homeschool tutoring idea. With many other parents inquiring about  it for the following year, the program began its first official year as APT Academy in September of 2020. With the goal  of teaching to the needs of each individual student, propelling them to be their best, and challenging them to gain the most ground in their education, APT Academy was additionally dedicated to offering a wholesome education with Christian values to create well-rounded students that were prepared for their future in this world as well as productive members of society.


Since opening, APT Academy has grown to four teachers and classrooms, educating preschool students through eighth grade. Julene Koenig remains with APT Academy teaching preschool and kindergarten in all subjects. Julene shares that while, “the academy was initially founded to provide educational challenges for higher academically-centered children, it does not discriminate.” The program is equally available to all children on every level including diverse learners. “We meet them where they’re at,” Julene says of
the students, “because when we do that they can progress fairly quickly.”

Offering a tailored learning experience for each child, students progress at their own pace and are not advanced to the next level until they show they are ready. Classrooms are blended, allowing older students to peer-mentor younger students; they likewise challenge one another. Students are encouraged to explore the world, research what they are interested in and exercise their creativity, allowing them to learn to their full potential.

APT Academy focuses on core educational blocks for teaching students: reading, comprehension, writing and mathematics. Karen Jacobsen,  APT Academy’s head administrator, also professes, “We believe that pen-to-paper is a foundational element in helping the student to learn, in addition to the technology that is out there. And yes, we do teach cursive.” Furthermore, students have the opportunity to go on field trips to expand their educational experience. They visit medical and dental offices, farms and construction sites; they interact with crafters, builders and artists. This first-hand experience allows students to see how their knowledge applies to any career field. In addition to classroom teaching, APT Academy provides tutoring services to students, regardless of their current school enrollment.

The administrator, Karen Jacobsen, came to the organization after leaving her corporate banking position as a compliance officer. Karen’s children were attending the academy and she thought that administration seemed like a good fit for her experience and a welcome new challenge. Karen comments on the parents’ enthusiasm for APT Academy, “Our overall input from parents has been that their children have really flourished here and they’re actually enjoying coming to school.”

If you are interested in what APT Academy may have to offer your students, come meet the teachers and see the facilities – you’ll be glad you did!

APT Academy is located at
426 NW First in Canby. Give them a call at (503)266-1505 or email admin@APTacademy.org. For more information visit their website APTacademy.org.