Common ground is a great option for parents of special needs students who can't find the right fit in the new haven public system. Our son is graduating this year and after two other new haven schools (his 9th and 10th grades) I didn't think we would get here. Common ground seems to specialize in catering to students on the autism spectrum and their teachers and aides work hard to educate without the stigma of "special ed segregation" If you have an 8th grader in the new haven area who falls on the autism spectrum I highly recommend you consider common ground first. I wish we had.
My son just graduated from CG and my daughter is a current Sophmore. My son was well prepared for college when he graduated due to the excellent teaching staff who really go above and beyond to ensure that students succeed. Not only are the classes and teaching of good quality but the extra-curricular opportunities are wonderful as well. They have a small basketball team but no other team sports. They are adding on a new "green" building which is much needed and will definitely improve the facilities of the place which are a bit run down. Although they don't have every AP available they have enough to keep you busy and will make every effort to send students that are way above in a certain subject to local colleges to take a course if need be. My son graduated with an amazing array of outside activities that the school made available and was sought after by colleges because of this. It's a great school!!
Students are held accountable for their actions and the quality of their work. Because it's such a small school the teachers know the students well and can encourage them to work on their areas of weakness.
The hands down worst school my daughter has ever been too. The staff is horrible and make no attempt to help a student when failing. My daughter missed a handful of days and immediately called a truency officer, despite her having a 504 plan and doctor notes. They didn't even try to help her when she got out of the hospital, instead kicking her out of several clubs. Kids pick on her for her disabiliy, yet nobody does anything about it. Unless your some wealthy family, your child will likely hate this school and the horrible people in it.