There are OUTSTANDING teachers for the 3 Rs in the pre-school - junior high. Our children regularly testing at high school and college levels across the spectrum and were clearly at least a full grade ahead of Catholic and public school peers (and we had experience at both) in Language Arts -- reading, writing. In the High School the Literature teacher and advanced math (Pre-Calc through Calc) in particular are Phenomenal! My daughter received a 4 out of 5 on the AP English exam and AP Biology exam and received a 34 super score on the ACT! The art teacher is also phenomenal! She wasn't even at the top of her class. There were about 5 other students in her class that also got in the upper tier on the ACT and did very well on the AP exams.
There are some faculty members that get it -- e.g. the nurse, the guidance counselor, some teachers; there are others that unfortunately do not and take a rather inflexible view of accommodations. I have a son that was diagnosed with ADHD and he actually did better here than he was at the public school with a very elaborate accommodation plan and a bit too many special ed helpers. He seemed to thrive not having the stigma of a learning challenges, although for tougher assignments and less flexible teachers, he struggled. They did replace 2 teachers several years back that were inflexible -- one in a primary grade and one in the high school who actually didn't believe Dyslexia was real. This shows the school does listen and takes corrective action.
There is a zero tolerance policy that I have seen result in expulsions when the parents were uncooperative with the school administration's assessment. When the bully's parents are reasonable they will give a suspension and coaching to help the bully correct the thinking and behavior. My own son and his friend were on the receiving end of bullying behavior. They tried to deal with it but then when I observed it, they confided in me. I spoke to someone in charge. He followed up by interviewing all three boys and the bully ended up with a suspension.
CLA gets the most important things right. I do think there are some upgrades they could make at some faculty positions, but even without those, this is a better place to send your children than any public or private school in the area. Trust me!
I have been a volunteer coach at both the high school and middle school levels and I am consistently impressed and awed by the goodness in these kids. While Calvin taught about "total depravity" and the church is Calvinist/Reformed, I am so thankful for the goodness, compassion, friendliness these kids from the pre-school through high school and alumni demonstrate. Doors are opened for you. If you have a lot to carry, 1 or more kids comes up and just helps you. You are greeted by the kids with a smile and a "Hi Mrs. ---". This is not the norm at other schools!
There is actually too much homework currently, in my humble opinion. My children never get enough sleep and they are very much challenged and struggling to keep up with the homework. However, you will also hear from many that they went on to be well prepared for college level work and found their peers not as well prepared.
We still have 3 children at CLA. One has graduated. My husband and I are very thankful to have a place that is unabashedly Christian in behavior and worldview. The best testament that it is a great place is the welcoming, friendly, caring way you are treated whether a long-time parent, or a visitor. The faculty, coaching staff, and parent helpers are wonderful. The kids themselves give off a wholesomeness in the way they dress and treat each other and strangers. The academics have been very strong. Besides having a robust athletic program the school also has superior art department, fine art extracurricular activities including band/orchestra from kinder-strings, children's choir, drama junior, fall drama and spring musical that draws actors from the middle school through the high school. Electives are also excellent from culinary arts, baking, to electrical, programming in java, woodshop, etc. They have graduates currently attending not just the best regional Christian schools but one at USC and another at University of Chicago, and several at big 10 schools -- U of I and Wisconsin. Please come to the school. You will be delightfully surprised at all it has to offer, and how wonderful the faculty and students are!
I was a student at this school and was shocked by its teachings. They completely deny climate change and the evolutionary theory. they teach flawed history courses which claim that the earth is 6000 years old. They enforce the idea that there was a literal worldwide flood 4000 years ago, which killed all life forms except those which took refuge on Noah's arc as a fact. I majored in biology in college and am just disgusted by what i was taught during my time at cla and how flawed it was. i feel sorry for the children who current go there, and are being indoctrinated by cla's staff. cla constantly enforced ideas like homosexuality being a choice and my fellow students would whole-heartedly believe that. I remember once when a student said otherwise and was shunned by our peers. please, if you value your child's future, and who your child becomes as a person, do not send them here. i am speaking from experience and it sickens me that in the year 2016 an institution like this still exists
This school has a very good science class, we learn about all the necessary things such as the solar system, minerals, genetics, biology, etc. The science teacher is also very good, but there are some problems with the school. They completely deny things such as evolution and give already disproven arguments as to why it is wrong. The chapter for fossils in the science book was about 85% talking how evolutionists misinterpret fossils and what not, however, the arguments for this are very poor. (They barley talked about the fossils themselves) They make claims that "archeopteryx" is not a transitional fossil (without giving a single reason as to why it is not.) They say that fossils are found out of order in the way evolution says they should be found. This however is a complete lie and talking to any real paleontologist would explain why this is completely false. (We do not find higher evolved animals with lower evolved animals, for instance, we do not find humans with dinosaurs, smilodons with trilobites, we do not find mastodons with tiktaalik, and apes in Precambrian rock layers.) They also completely gloss over the fact that we have hundreds of thousands of transitional fossils, and they do not teach evolution with biology, even though evolution is one of the foundational parts of biology! They also claim that the earth is 6,000 years old even though we have trees that are over 9,550 years old. Anyways what I'm saying is if your child wants to major in paleontology or biology in a secular college then I don't suggest sending them here. I have to educate myself on evolution on my own time now because I was deprived from learning about it. (I want to be a scientists and or paleonontolgist)