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Public charter
Aliso Viejo, CA

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23431 Knollwood
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

School website
(949) 831-4272
(949) 643-2434
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Community Roots Academy address.

January 14, 2015
We were petrified to say the least, to switch from 15 years in private schools, to go public or charter. Luckily, a local friend who I trust told me about this school and surprisingly, it's the best choice we could have made. We are finally saving a lot of money we were spending on private education, and all our kids are very happy, self-confident and look forward to going to school here. It feels good to hear it from them. There is very little homework, and I am not too crazy about Kindergarteners, 1st graders and that young age kids having to do homework on iPads and computers, but that is the way a lot of schools are headed. I wish they 'd do a little more traditional work for homework, or even projects, instead of computer based. However, technology is a reality and the kids are learning. It's a little "easy" for my kids, but I honestly think they are learning more and the retention of that material will last, as opposed as the traditional way of just memorizing facts.

- submitted by a parent

December 05, 2014
CRA is awesome if you want project based learning. If you do not know what that is or do not like project based learning, the school is not for you and you will be disappointed. The school leaders founded the school and are committed to its success. They seem to be there for the long haul. The teachers are great and committed. I have been told there is a very high teacher retention rate. I see that to be true. That is a great selling point. CRA rocks.

- submitted by a parent

October 02, 2014
We have been at CRA from the start. While there certainly were some expected growing pains, any complaints that I might have are miniscule compared to my praises. This school is definitely helping my kids develop into confident individuals, conscientious citizens, and avid learners. We have never considered jumping ship for a "conventional" public school. However, we know of families who did and are now on the CRA waiting list to come back. As it goes - you don't know what you've got 'till its gone.

- submitted by a parent

October 02, 2014
After a few years at CRA, we decide to leave and have never regretted our decision. I wanted so badly to enjoy our experience there but the "growing pains" were too much to deal with. In the end, I think the leadership was lacking, the focus of "project based learning" fell short, and the things we didn't realize would be an issue like parking or having access to a library started to pile up. I also think that many of the teachers are inexperienced (as is the leadership) and though new "Pinterest ideas" are fun for the walls, I would have liked to have teachers who could really teach my children. Again, we are lucky to have left and found success in a neighborhood school.

- submitted by a parent

June 18, 2014
The project-based approach keeps my girls engaged and excited about learning. The teachers are caring and loving. Overall, we have been very happy at this school.

- submitted by a parent

February 25, 2014
my 2 children have been in this school from day one starting at K and 1st and I could not be happier. both of my children are excelling and are challenged every day. I love that my children are learning to think for themselves and come up with their own solutions. they have become confident in there work, in speaking in front of the class. I have no doubt that if I put them in a regular public school they would excel. however, I truly believe that good schooling is only a small part of their eduction you have to implement what they are learning at home. as a parent I read to my children, I express to my children the importance of reading on their own, practicing math, critical thinking, and problem solving in our every day life. This school may not be for every child. I am grateful that it works for both of mine, and I am grateful that I have a choice. There has been growing pains at this school but the excellence helps me over look that small stuff.

- submitted by a parent

February 08, 2014
We have been with CRA from the beginning and are very happy to be a part of it. While class sizes have grown bigger than we had hoped, all the other positives out weigh that factor. Students are taught Public speaking, given hands on projects and a diversity of projects keep our son interested and stimulated. The quality of teachers is amazing. Yes, there might be a few negatives, as there are in every school, but CRA is a wonderful learning environment and offers so many opportunities that other public schools do not.

- submitted by a parent

January 08, 2014
We wrote a glowing review of this school from last year. To be fair, we pulled our child from this school and we are completely happy in our new school. My list of reasons are long and would make this school sound horrible. To lighten it up- This school has a bright flight problem. They do not challenge students in any way and have no plans to do so. They over promise and never deliver. The teachers are teaching grades that they are not meant to teach, some of them are teaching subjects they are not meant to teach. The principal means well but he is not capable of leading the school to a successful future. Finally, the school has an incredibly high percentage of kids that cannot make it in a regular school, whether it is behavioral or other disabilities, so their parents sought an alternative. This has created an extremely chaotic environment that is not found typically in other schools and I believe hinders their ability to teach effectively thus resulting in mediocre learning and the flight of brighter students. Lastly the classroom ratios are no longer that much smaller than other public schools.

- submitted by a parent

January 07, 2014
This is my kids first year at CRA. My Son which always made reading a chore, now reads on his own will and is finally enjoying books! My daughter loves loves this school, She has always enjoyed school, but now she gets upset if she misses or even gets to school late. She wants to learn and isn't afraid to speak up in class if she needs help or further explanation for anything. Their teachers are wonderful and seem very excited to be the there. The principal is great and does have a presence at the school.

- submitted by a parent

December 15, 2013
This school has a great idea but lacks implementation. What students actually learn is different than what is explained to parents. There is very little homework in all grades and the academics aren't rigorous. The class sizes are small which is a plus and there is a strong sense of community and community partnerships. However, students in multiple grade levels did not perform well on last years CST test despite the small class sizes and innovative approaches. The school spends a lot of money on technology , but not on textbooks. Some grade levels did not have core textbooks and workbooks until half the year was over and some grade levels do not have them this year either. While project based learning is an innovative approach, students spend too much time on projects in the classroom and not enough time on math and language arts. The principal is often unavailable and does not respond to suggestions well. He is defensive and lacks follow thru. Overall, the school was a disappointment.

- submitted by a parent

December 05, 2013
Community Roots Academy is a much needed blessing in the South Orange County area. The school administration & staff are professional, the PBL curriculum is proficient, & the environment offers a sense of true, grounded balance. My son is eager to go & is better for having been there. He told me recently he was happier now, & when I asked why he simply said, "School." What more could I ask for?

- submitted by a parent

October 21, 2013
Excellent! I couldn't be happier. Charter schools are the best, and project based learning is the best. Why not teach kids to love learning, remember what they learn, and not just be at school for hours.

- submitted by a parent

September 26, 2013
Fantastic school! Teachers, administrators, staff are all very friendly and professional. The community of parents and students are very welcoming! Parking for drop off and pick up and a little challenging but they are constantly working on making it flow better.

- submitted by a community member

September 26, 2013
This is my granddaughters school. I joined her and her mother on her first day of kindergarten and was very pleased with the organization of the school and classroom, and the welcome I received as a visitor on this busy, hectic day. I also attended some parent organization meetings and was so very impressed by the enthusiasm and inclusiveness of these groups. I am a retired elementary teacher, so I had some idea what to look for, and I look forward to my granddaughters first year of school.

- submitted by a community member

September 19, 2013
Fastastic school! The administration and staff is dedicated, caring and every single one of them believes in the school's mission. Parents are thrilled to be here, students are learning, having fun and gaining important lifelong skills. This is a place where creativity, leadership, passion for learning and teamwork are a part of the school's culture. My favorite things about CRA: - narrative report cards (in addition to the standard numerical grades) that describe the child's strengths and weaknesses, and truly evaluate their overall performance - oral presentations, group projects, and other classroom activities that teach important life skills in addition to core subject matter - art, music, drama, spanish, an excellent after school enrichment program, field trips and special projects - lower class size, associate teachers in each classroom - everyone is here because they want to be! You don't get the feeling that this is "just a job" from any of the educators working with your child - the culture extends beyond the classroom ... students and parents act as if they are on a shared mission with the school A truly great schoool and a great place to be a student!

- submitted by a parent

September 12, 2013
We completed our first at CRA last year. The best assest of the school was our particular teacher. We also enjoyed the project based learning. However, the school has a few key areas they need to improve upon - communication with parents, organization across the board and improving their school facility (it is outdated). If you have a child with special needs, I also highly recommend that you keep your own set records and check in often with the administration to make sure your child how is progressing on their goals. Stay involved.

- submitted by a parent

June 26, 2013
Just finished our first year at CRA and we couldn't be happier. Our daughter's love for learning has returned and she know is excited to go to school. Presentations and group work have helped her to grown tremendously in her self-confidence and leadership. Skills that she has struggled with in the past are not clicking because they are being presented in more meaningful and interesting ways. Having minimal homework has bettered our home life and given us back the balance in our life. Staff and parents are amazing. Feels like a private school and we feel blessed to be able to attend CRA.

- submitted by a parent

June 19, 2013
This is our second year at Community Roots Academy. From the Project Based Learning curriculum to Active Citizenship projects in the community ... all with an active faculty, staff and PTO team who are talented, dedicated and loving ... we couldn't be happier.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: January 14, 2015

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Community Roots Academy
23431 Knollwood, Aliso Viejo, CA  92656
(949) 831-4272
Last modified Community Roots Academy is a Charter school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Community Roots Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 18 reviews. Top