We want to love ANLC but are struggling to get past many of it's faults. It has many wonderful programs that distinguish it from other schools, we have had one really good teacher, the new campus is beautiful, and there are a small community of families that do all they can to make it a wonderful place. However, although the leadership is accessible, it is weak. Decisions need to be made and problems need to be resolved, not just discussed. Discipline is very relaxed and ineffective. We have also had a teacher that was lazy and disengaged. It is certainly a school that is in transition. For us it's still better that many of the other Valley schools, but it could be so more with real leadership.
It is important to recognize that when one is truly confident with a given choice, in this case an educational fit, they feel no need to angrily defend their position. Comments like "completely off base", "your child needs more discipline", Veritas is right down the street", are certainly unfortunate and do not reflect well on the ANLC community. It is wonderful the previous reviewer has found a good educational fit for their family. Some of us had a very different experience at ANLC. Both positive and constructively critical feedback are outstanding tools for process improvement. Defensiveness closes the door on learning.
The reviewer who believes that ANLC students spend "precious hours catching up" when they get to high school is completely off base and clearly doesn't know many ANLC graduates. ANLC students do extremely well at Arcadia high school and many take honors classes. In fact, the valedictorian of Arcadia high school a few years ago was an ANLC graduate. There are 10 eighth graders and one seventh grader taking honors GeoTrig (10th grade math) at Arcadia high school and doing very well (I can speak for my son and one other who are both making A's). My slightly nerdy children have yet to be bullied once at ANLC and my oldest is an 8th grader! So the "rampant bullying" comment is also absurd. Seems there is a propensity to exaggerate the negative experience of one child and draw inaccurate conclusions about an entire school. If your child is ready to learn, ANLC is a wonderful environment where learning is celebrated. If your child is in in need of more discipline, then Veritas is just down the street!
As a parent and professional who has worked with countless schools, I can easily state that the commitment of education at ANLC is beyond that I have ever experienced elsewhere. It is not a school for every child and I am convinced that those who rated this school low had different expectations than what the school could deliver. It's main goal is to create self-motivated, self directed learners. Teachers look at what is in the best interest of the child. Even with the ridiculous demands imposed by the state and district, (class size, testing, new rules), ANLC is working to hold true to it's origin. I have never seen a school which embraces students, parents and staff members to do what is in the best interest of the child. Spend some time attending one of the Celebrations of Learning and you'll know what I mean. ANLC is a leader is progressive education. SUSD's standards based report cards were started at ANLC over 20 years ago! Enrichment class, projects, differentiated learning, independent projects, - they've been doing it for decades.
We did a lot of research before enrolling our 1st grader in public school. We chose ANLC because of the educational philosophy, the sense of community, diversity, and child-centered environment. As a non-conformist, I liked the fact that the kids were not expected to walk in lines. As it turned out, it was a really rough experience for our child, who felt unsafe, lost, unclear on the expectations, routines, and schedules. Chaos. He cried every single day in class and felt harassed by other students. I spent time in the classroom and was underwhelmed by the quality of the instruction. Class size was enormous and there were many high needs students, but only one teacher. I learned that our child needs structure/sense of order, clear expectations, and some nurturing...and he didn't get those at ANLC. That said, I was impressed by my interactions with the administration and have several friends who have had fantastic experiences at ANLC. It's all about finding the right match between classroom/teacher and student needs. Could be a great school with a mediocre classroom teacher.
This is not your school if you are not among the gifted or self motivated. The idea of a K-8 school a good one, howver the Progressive Learning Environment doesn't work well for the student needing structure. Many of ANLC's graduates are not well prepared for high school and spend precious hours "catching up".
My child went to school at ANLC for Kindergarten and 1st grade and neither year was anything to be proud of. His kindergarten teacher LOST him TWICE because he wandered out of class. She also thought he was a bit "slow" no matter what I said to her until she gave him a reading test and he passed with the highest grade in the class. 1st grade was even worse! I got no communication from his teacher even after he was diagnosed with some emotional and learning disabilities. Other parents told me they had similar problems in which she would complain about the child having problems in class, make a plan to get in touch once a week with updates and then change her mind about how the child was doing and say the communication was no long necessary. This school was suppose to be really awesome and progressive and all I've found so far is that the teachers make snap decisions about a child and forget them.
Absolutely love ANLC. Both of my boys have attended this school since K. The K-8 experience is so important because it allows the students to interact with each other outside their grade level. The teaching staff is very supportive of each other, and recognize the responsibility they have to all students. Teachers also look at the whole child. Parent involvement is evident throughout the school, and the Principal, Vice Principal and office staff are very approachable.
2 kids at this school, first year, attracted to mixed-age classes, some Montessori influence in teaching, and afterschool activities. We LOVE ANLC. Principal is very involved/engaged; teachers are positive, professional, accessible and communicative; parents are all over the place volunteering; very active/organized PTO. The happiness seen on kids faces at school speaks volumes and when they don't want to go home at the end of the day, you know they love school! Each child is assessed for abilities, and cirriculum is customized to provide interventions or academic challenges for remedial and advanced needs. Every level appears to be served. Diverse activities, balanced homework with fun, tons of activities and opportunities for families. Sense of community is tremendous. Hoping academics are rigerous enough; but the love of learning is certainly fostered. Only complaint is there aren't enough hours in the day to participate in all the wonderful things going on there! One must see and experience the school to truly appreciate the unique environment ANLC offers.
I am a former student at ANLC. Now I am 21 years old working on getting my Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education. I went to ANLC from kindergarten through sixth grade, went to a middle school in 7th grade and hated it, and I convinced my mom to send me back to ANLC for 8th grade. ANLC is a fantastic school - I can say with confidence it prepared me for high school, college, and beyond very well. I know some parents may be uncomfortable with the idea of multi-grade classrooms, but this is what I loved most about this school. I got to stay with a teacher for more than one year, and I formed deep friendships with my classmates due to the fact I got to stay with the students in my exact grade for more than a year. It is a beautiful campus with wonderful, caring teachers. I can honestly say I did not want the school year to ever end as a student.
I have had 3 kids go to ANLC. 2 are currently in High School ...one in all Honors and AP classes. They both made a very successful transition to Arcadia High. I have one child still at ANLC. This school provides challenging academic opportunities and a community of learning that can't be beat. Feel lucky if your child gets in. Some of our kids also went to Hopi for K-5...we liked Hopi but we LOVE ANLC. Love not having to switch to Ingleside.
This has been a great experience for our K student. She has excelled with the multi-age communities by being pushed to do more by her peers as well as supporting others. There is a great sense of pride, community and respect among the students. This school promotes positive social skills and involvement with others of all ages. The teachers have been amazing and the principal is very involved and enthusiastic about the school. The parent volunteers have provided incredible experiences for the children and are able to be involved in day to day activities. There is NOT a cliquish attitude with the parents, they are diverse, and passionate about caring for the school and ALL of the students. Coming from a Montessori program, we are thrilled with the communication and involvement for the parents which was seriously lacking in the Montessori school. We are very pleased and excited to spend the next 8 years here AND in a brand new facility!
This school is the best kept secret. The multi-grade classroom approach requires cream-of-the-crop teachers so most teachers at ANLC are more highly skilled than your traditional classroom teacher at Hopi or Kiva. Kids are really stretched and inspired and allowed to go way beyond the "standard" curriculum for their grade level. (A lot of ANLC's teaching philosophies are based on gifted students learn) My daughter's teacher has a PH.d and is PASSIONATE about instilling a lifelong love of learning into young minds. Strong community of (mostly) caring parents and high quality of kids.
My son attends kindergarten at ANLC and absolutely LOVES it there. My 4 year old already loves it there and has met MANY friendly kids on the school grounds before and afterschool. We have had numerous positive experiences at the school from the groundskeepers to the principal, We also are blessed to have an experienced teacher who is PASSIONATE about teaching, It is contagious!. I feel the culture at ANLC is very positive. There are 'bad seeds' everywhere... The 'PTA' has spend a lot of effiort fixing up the grounds. It is looking nicer all the time...I think sometimes people/parents expect everything without pulling their own weight in helping teach and inspire their kids, volunteering their time, experience, $ to help fix the problem. We are so grateful for ANLC and all the staff and families that have embraced us there!
My daughter is in kindergarden, school yr is almost over thank god, I haven't been very satisfied however I think it definitely depends on the teacher.
As parents with children at this school, we think ANLC is best described as unrealized potential. One of our children has done quite well here; an experienced teacher and the right Gleam makes all the difference. The other child has not been so lucky. Two duds as teachers--if you're connected and teachers like your child, you have the potential to soar. For those on the outside, you're at the mercy of placement and inexperience... with teachers who lack the ability to engage, communicate, control bullying (we've seen it too), or motivate your child to do his/her best work. The motto 'do your personal best' works better in theory than practice. We wish our experience matched the school's reputation, but have been disappointed.
I am in our 2nd year as a parent of a 1st grade boy. We LOVE it. I have volunteered in our classroom, but not in other school activities. I feel communication with our teacher (ms. gramer) is great. Email - newsletters - phone, she is easily accessible. I would definitely recommend her! My son definitely ISN'T a bully, and hasn't complained at all about being bullied. When I walk through the halls to pick him up after school I'm impressed by the middle schoolers. I personally went to Cocopah in the early 90's and think these kids are definitely on the GOOD side of the MS spectrum. I hear the occasional cuss word, and boy/girl interest, but nothing horrible. The school size is small, so you recognize everyone (kids, adults) if you walk on campus, too. The combined ages are what I absolutely LOVE. I think it's a great school.
My daughter is in kindergarten and I am a single parent with no other children. I have found the lack of communication by my child's teacher frustraing. I tried on several occasions to contact her about parent teacher conferences and never heard back from her. Not having any specific feedback regarding her progress towards the end of the year and no follow through on a behavior plan mutually agreed on has left me less than satisfied about her current school and teacher
ANLC has great potential. Very talented children, parents, and teachers here. Creativity is not tapped into here at the level of potential of the students. Terrible attitudes here of elitism. campus not maintained very well. pto has always been a country club where you're not wanted, so the result has been parents have no input into the school. in the past, terrible bullying problems and no accountability for the students behavior. some things are changing, more accountability and pto changing maybe.
My children are now in the 5th and 3rd grades at ANLC; both kids have been there since kindgergarten and have thrived in this caring environment. I especially appreciate the multi-age classrooms which have allowed my children to establish a strong relationship with adults. At the same time, it allowed us, as parents, to create a relationship with their teachers. Because of our kids ages we were lucky enough to be with Mr. Welch for 5 years. I would recommend ANLC to any parent who wants a school that expects and wants parent involvement.
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