My older son went to NCCL for Kindergarten through 8th grade. He transitioned to Newark High School with no issues. He has been in honors classes all through high school. He is now a senior, taking 4 AP classes and is doing well in all of them. He has also been accepted at all of the colleges he applied to. I attribute much of this to NCCL, where he learned HOW to learn, and didn't just memorize rote facts. He also learned how to communicate well with other people, both adults and children. The local public schools are forced to teach toward the state testing; not so at NCCL, where kids can actually have fun learning. My younger son is now in 7th grade at NCCL and is becoming a well-rounded person. I am confident that he will be well prepared for high school, just as his brother was. NCCL might not be the right school for everyone, but my husband and I have both been very happy at how our sons have turned out as a result of attending NCCL.
Overall I would rate this school as fair. I would say that the majority of the faculty were good and had a mastery of the subjects they were teaching The early groups were weak academically. I am basing this decision on having taken our children out primarily because we had moved. Our younger kids were way behind in Math and close to gradel level in Reading. Our midddle schooler seemed to know some things but be completely lacking in other areas. The teachers at the new school said this can happen whenever you change schools. But when my younger children entered second and third grade the teachers felt they were very unprepared. We needed to get tutoring to get them up to speed. The written reports from NCCL and feedback from the teachers were glowing. So it was a surprise to find out that they were behind their peers in their new school. Again my middle schooler just had the usual adjustments to make going to a new school - somethings had been covered some things had not.
Great school is an understatement... this is the BEST. There is no other school like NCCL in the state of Delaware and I am delighted that we found it. My boys absolutely love it and it has truly fostered a "love of learning". If you can afford it, by all means do not deprive your child of this experience, as it will remain with them forever.
NCCL is an amazing school. They combine rigorous teaching/learning of the three Rs with in depth projects that foster a love of learning. Kids at NCCL love going to school and exhibit an enthusiasm for their school work that I just dont see in my friends kids that attend other schools. My second grader is currently studying ancient Rome and doing a report on the Hera/Juno right now. She now mentions when she sees Roman connections in architecture without any prompting and has noticed how various gods are used regularly in pictures and art. She has a great enthusiasm for books. Her weekend playdates with her friends from school often turn into book discussions (again spontaneously with no parental prompting). Her math/science skills are also developing strongly and she has been having fun learning about various geometric relationships recently. The school also has amazing music/art instruction. My seven year old is performing in a full production of the Mikado in May (as a school girl of course :), draws better than I do (she gets great formal art instruction) and is learning how to sing both in key and with harmony. NCCL also starts formal instruction in Spanish in kindergarten, when learning a new language should happen. If you are looking for a school that will foster a well rounded, enthusiastic learner, you can not make a better choice.
Tremendously fun & caring learning environment. Engaging, hands-on curriculum, topically based so kids are exploring the same themes in each subject area simultaneously. Emphasizes creative & clear writing, math concepts, scientific inquiry & experiment. My children are extremely happy there, and learning a ton.
this school and its staff are very professional,well educated,and caring. they are very detailed with the programs,but make learning for the children extremely enjoyable! we are very happy and proud of our sons school!!
My kids love going to school and it is unbeleivable what they have learned
NCCL is a parent-cooperative school that encourages involvement at all levels. NCCL offers a supportive, hands-on, student-centered education to all children. The philosophy of the school is one that should be emulated by more schools in this world! Their mission: Our primary goal is to inspire and encourage students to take responsibility for themselves and their own education. Our talented teachers create environments and relationships that capitalize on children's interest and curiosity. With guidance and direction, our students become fully immersed in their work, enjoying their pursuit of knowledge. NCCL believes in teaching the children that they are stewards of the earth, teaching them to be responsible for their environment through recycling and special projects. Also teaching them to be aware of the world outside their community through projects such as Pennies for Peace and The Big Give. I can't say enough good about this school!!! I wish it went through high school! Check them out at ncclschool.com
My daughter went to NCCL and now her children are attending. They love school.The activities they do are interesting and meaningful to them. Children naturally love to learn and if they are presented with a stimulating environment instead of boring worksheets, they will continue to love learning. That's what NCCL does and it works!
Thi school is a wonderful place full of great teachers that inspire my children on a daily basis. I couldnt reccommend NCCL enough! It has been another family for my children and both of them as well as myself feel that they are always safe and comfortable there. A great choice in the scary world of education these days! Maria Sommer
After 12 years of having kids at NCCL, I can say confidently that my kids got a nurturing, encouraging environment and a decent all-round education with strong personal development. Most importantly, they enjoyed school and loved learning. This is priceless. However, NCCL can be a serious problem for some parents. The project-based curriculum often seems erratic and obscure. The demands on the child's organizational skills and diligence are minimal. 'Conventional' teaching by memory has merit of its own, but is largely rejected at NCCL except in the excellent music program. The foreign language program has little impact. And parents expecting strong sports and school spirit should look elsewhere. I have found the school much more receptive of criticism than the reviews say. Compared to with other 'alternative' schools (like The New School nearby) NCCL is far closer to the mainstream and deserves a serious look for a great liberal education.
If you really want to know what the school is like, try to talk with someone whose children have attended recently- Especially 7th and 8th grades. Talk to a family who has left the school and why. We found that after 8 years of attending the school and being very supportive, that they would not listen and were not interested in any criticism. This was not true for just our family, but several. Too many good and loyal families have pulled their kids out of the school because the Administration and Board (who are all the same people) will not listen to any suggestions or criticism. If you don't go their way then find another school. Their way or the highway. And find out who oversees NCCL for the State of Delaware. If you even think you might leave DO NOT PRE PAY YOUR TUITION and watch what you sign.
It is a great learning environment. There motto is Tell me I will forget, show me I will remember Involve me I will understand
I can't imagine a better school for any child! While NCCL is strong in all academic areas (Gym may be the only weak one), each child receives individuallized attention to reach his/her potential. I know that some of the parents who have left the school, and possibly are the ones who have left previous reviews, were extremely difficult, demanding and had unrealistic expectations. When their child had an issue, they were quick to turn things around on the school and teachers. You couldn't find a more nurturing and caring environment for your child. My suggestion to a prospective parent is to go and visit the school. You'll see why we fell in love with it.
This school has many of the strengths of home schooling in a more structured environment. The number of kids that get accepted into programs like Newark's Cambridge Program, Wilmington Charter etc speaks to the academic standard of the school. For the writing program, ask to see the Grades 5 & 6 newspaper project.
This school is not a great school. It may have been at one time, but it has gone down steadily in the last few years. Talk with someone who has attended recently before making your decision. And try to talk with a family who has left the school about there concerns. Chances are the administration at NCCL did not talk with them. We found that they did not tolerate any criticism of the school no matter how fair it was and how useful it may have been. Too many good and loyal families have pulled their kids out over the years as evidenced by the low enrollment in the lower grades. NCCL has a great philosophy on teaching, learning and living. They just seem to have lost site of that philosophy. They are problems academically as the school does not prepare its students in math or reading. And there are problems with how they run the school. After all, it is a business and these folks seem to have forgotten who the customer is.
My child got a fabulous education at NCCL. Not only did she learn content but more importantly she learned how to learn. Her teachers inspired her to work hard and through their guidance she developed a love of writing and reading. All along the way she was given construtive criticism and helped to reflect on and refine her work. She learned subject matter deeply, not just through memorization. She says she got the best education possible at NCCL.
My child started and graduated from NCCL. She was extremely well prepared for high school both academically and emotionally. NCCL provides a strong academic program while fostering a sense of community. It's a great school!
I have been to this school and I think it is the best school I have ever gone to! I am 12 years old and I have lots of friends at this school. The teachers are nice, inspiring, and helpful. I used to hate going to school but now it is fun!
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