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K-8
Public charter
Ann Arbor, MI
Students enrolled: 247
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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3980 Research Park Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

School website
(734) 477-0340
(734) 929-6505
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Ann Arbor Learning Community address.

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August 29, 2014
We had to leave this school due to frantic teacher turnover.While the overall ideals and education are aimed at the whole child everyday functionality of this school is lacking.The are and music classes although existent they function as clandestine entities in the school .The principal is nice but does not implement changes required by parents.Math is most kids weakness and display of kids frustrated over a math problem is common sighting on the hallways.Drama program taught by the Art teacher is great.Gardens are great too.The music teacher is good but overwhelmed.

- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2014
I love this school. My daughter was there from kindergarten through to grade 8. The community structure is incredible, parents and students alike both feel it. My daughter has been taught how to learn here rather than just go through the motions. She learned to think independently and to question all things. I feel the community agreements here have fostered individuality rather than conforming to those around you. This is a fabulous school from having older kids mentor younger kids to working in the community garden. I searched for a school where I knew my daughter would be challenged, safe and to learn to love school and learning and that is what I found at AALC. The teachers are wonderful. It was a total positive experience for our family.

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2014
My children have attended this school since 2004. It seems to have grown too fast. Middle school experience is mediocre to poor. Teacher concerns not addressed since September. There is no where to turn with said concerns as the Principal or "Dean" as they prefer to call it is also in the same role as the Superintendent. There is a clear lack of transparency or accountability by the administrative staff.. Good school for elementary. Do not recommend for Middle school grades.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2013
Nothing is for everyone and AALC is no exception, This is our family's fifth year at the school, so it has obviously met most of our needs. My child is very comfortable here, removed from the aggressiveness of some of the kids in the regular public school he attended in grades K-2. I really have not heard of any bullying, contrary to what some have written here. I do have concerns about the academics in the strictest sense of the word, but really appreciate that the kids learn how to learn here. That, and the critical thinking skills they develop here will serve them well beyond the years of standardized testing we subject our kids to.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2012
This school is unique in that they claim to be a tight community but there is very little accountability for the teachers. If something goes awry in the classroom or a child is not progressing or learning, the problem is always pushed back on the parents - the teachers are masters at pushing back and not resolving problems.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2012
I have very mixed feelings about this school. The most positive aspect of this school is the warm, supportive atmosphere. Classes are small and teachers really care. From teachers and the eighth graders down to the Kindergarteners, they all agree to maintain a supportive, respectful, and cooperative environment. We came to this school from a private school where my child had been bullied badly, so the safety of this school has been a godsend. On the other hand, I feel this school is very weak academically. While I am not in favor of the overly rigorous academics pushed in our public schools right now, I do feel my child will leave this school performing well below grade level. This is *not* a good school for a child with special needs. Although they will supported and cherished by the teachers, and they will benefit from the good social environment, the school is too small to offer much in the way of Special Education services. I do recommend this school for kids in primary school, because of the supportive, warm environment and lack of academic push. I don't recommend it for most intermediate or middle school kids.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2012
My child was at AALC for two years. All classes are blended so there was a grade 2-3 instead of two AND three. The classroom work was the same for all kids in the class regardless if they were grade 2 or 3. The next year, when grade 2 was promoted to grade 3, the kids were placed with the same teacher and given the same work as they had the previous year. What a waste and lack of progress for the kids! Special needs students were placed in the regular classrooms and my child spent two years with two children who would scream, cry, or have tantrums often. That was unsettling and disruptive for the class and made it difficult for my child to learn and perform. MEAP and other tests show that AALC is far behind Ann Arbor and Saline Area Schools, which appear to be the best public schools in the area. We had a great experience with a charter school where we moved from, so we chose South Arbor Charter Academy, which ranked slightly higher than the public schools and far exceeded AALC. My child was fortunate to be admitted there and needed special attention for the first year to catch up to classmates. If I could change the past, I would never have placed my child in AALC.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2012
My kids have attended AALC from Kindergarten, and they have flourished at this community. The school has a fabulous community feel among the staff, students and parents. The small and multi-level classrooms are an excellent benefit for learning and fostering friendships. The reading buddies program is a wonderful learning activity for my children and has really made an impact on the reading level of my two children. I would recommend this school if you are looking for a small, intimate learning environment for your child.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2012
I love this school. It has small class sizes of about 18-20 students, dedicated teachers who have been there for a long time, and a very involved parent community. Some things I like: * Math is on each kid's level - grades 2-8 have math at the same time, so kids go to the level that is right for them * Some teachers teach social studies with simulations, where kids act out the parts. It really comes alive! * Awesome writing program that gets kids excited about writing * Reading buddies: Kids read each week with a partner from a different grade, fostering cross-grade friendships and a love of reading * They don't "teach to the test" * Lots of racial and economic diversity * My daughter's grade is in charge of the organic herb garden. This year she learned to recognize several herbs, harvest & cook them, & save seeds * Peer-mediation program, & anti-bullying education * The art program is amazing! * Kids start public speaking in the early grades and become fairly comfortable with it over the years * My kid loves band! * A tradition of meeting people's needs, as individuals * The school is small enough to know each child as an individual. My kids really thrive on that

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2011
I find AALC to be a very nurturing and cultivating learning environment for its students in their educational and personal growth.

- submitted by a community member
August 31, 2011
The school was great when we 1st started there 4 years ago. But then my son fell further and further behind and wasn't getting any help. I had alot of meetings with the teachers and dean but nothing was done. I made the choice that my kids would not be returning and the school found out about it they were all ready to help. I am happy my kids will not be there this year. My son went 3 years with a boy who used to cry and scream at the top of his lungs and no one could learn. The teacher told kids to ignore him but how can you, Bad School with a couple good teachers.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2011
My child has excelled at AALC. From very low math scores to now testing proficient, from refusing to write to now enjoying writing again. The low stress, reduced pressure, small classes have been a blessing. This school nurtures the child socially, emotionally and academically. Although there are some problems within the school that are being addressed it is a caring, inclusive environment for children to grow in. Both parents and teachers are engaged in all aspects of the school and are encouraged to work together. Because the school is small most of the children know eachother. Older children are involved in mentoring younger children and there are very few problems with bullying. If you are looking for a school that offers the best academics in a traditional setting this is not it, but if you seek a school that nurtures the entire child while offering above average educational achievement AALC is a fine choice. The test scores show AALC offers enough for our children to grow in many ways in a warm caring environment that models mutual respect between all age groups. Remember, no school is perfect but this one is truly wonderful and working to improve it's weaknesses.

- submitted by a parent
July 01, 2011
My family has had both good and bad experiences with this school. Unfortunately, the school is really just not academically strong. The good: great music program, caring teachers, smart dean, fun PTSO activities, ability to have a close relationship and good communication with the teachers. The bad: everything academic, the math program is abysmal, the large percentage of disruptive children with behavioral difficulties. If a child is stuggling socially or developmentally, this might be a great place for them. The school fails smart children.

- submitted by a parent
July 01, 2011
My kids both had great experiences in the kindergarten and first grade, but recently the school laid off an excellent and experienced teacher and then hired a brand new one. The culture of the school is becoming punitive with kids getting sent to the "blue chairs" every time the teacher can't or doesn't want to handle anything. For lunch they have to sit for 30 minutes and are sent to the bench if they talk too much. There is very little about this school that is progressive anymore

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2011
This school lacks academic and behavioral accountability to the children and the parents. Many children cycle through the school, and given that's it's in Ann Arbor, a university town, it artificially inflates their scores. The turnover rate is impressive. My child attended and needed significant academic remediation for the year he learned very little. It's true, one of the four guiding principles at the school is the right to pass, even on academic subjects.

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2011
WE really love this school and appreciate that as a parent we can be as involved as we want. We have had both children that have been through the earily primary (K/1st) and one that has been through primary (2nd/3rd) and now in intermediate (4th/5th). we love the fact that the intermediate students are encourage to submit a project for the National History Day Competition. The early primary teachers are wonderful and have really started out children out on a great path. The additional IOWA tests really help determine how our kids are doing nationwide (instead of the MEAPS that only look at MI). Overall I would recommend this school!

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2011
Im actually a student in aalc, i have been here for eight years as has my best friend. we both think that the school could have more potential if they hired more competent educationally inclined staff. maybe someone thats not still in college getting their first masters. both me and my friend where viciously humilated and neglected in second grade by staff and student alike. these same humiliation tactics were practiced in every grade accept third and sixth. my second grade educator spread ruors to all parents and teachers that i was a so called "Juvinile Delinquent" when i understood most of the concept better than the teachers themselves. over all in eight years if i could rate this school a zero i would.

- submitted by a community member
April 25, 2011
AALC has been a very nurturing environment for my son who has special needs. The whole staff has been supportive and communicative. His teacher continues to go above and beyond to help him learn. I think she does an excellent job at the multi-age planning. He loves this school and you sure can't beat the class size. Check it out, but you better hurry. They already have a wait list for some grades.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2011
This school is a well kept secret! Our family has been at the school for the past three years and are very happy with everything there. Check it out for yourself!

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2011
Ann Arbor Learning Community is a gem of a school that still sparkles despite its leadership. We've been members of AALC for the last 5 years. During that time, we've fallen in love with the community of parents, children and teachers. Unfortunately, their current administrator is very flawed (as of 2010-2011 school year). Pros: Teaching philosophy that is a great blend of child-led learning and traditional, actively involved community, elective fun 'courses' each Friday, organic gardens for each classroom & whole school, multi-age setting, fun all school events, in my experience very pro-active whenever a problem arrises! Cons: Incompetent communication from school administrator, unskillful leadership (as of 2010-2011 school year), while kids have BIG FUN on the playground there are some missed opportunities for play options, sometimes too understated with school tours (they don't 'sell' as seamlessly as other schools).

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2011
For all the hype about community and respect, you would expect more accountability from the teachers. They seem more concerned with their time off (one day off per month for professional development which translates to no school that day) than actual academic results. The feedback and report cards are vague at best. This is not a school to send a child with any special academic needs. They can barely keep an average child on track compared to what is learned at the public schools. We have two children there and feel both are failing for lack of good teaching. We will not be returning after this year.

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2010
I had a family member who had an extremely bad experience. Right down to a teacher who treated the students in a very poor manner. Her goal seemed to be to break the spirit of her students. Unfortunately, when my sister and her husband voiced their concerns, it simply fell of deaf ears.

- submitted by a community member
July 11, 2010
This school puts on a great front. There is no accountability from staff or students. The community agreements have no meaning in the end. My child did not learn any sight words and had to repeat kindergarten. Although every report card came home with great accompishments. When I requested that my child be moved away from a disruptive student. I was told that no student could be singled out in anyway. And the result was my child sat next to this student all year and was tormented by him. Students are in hall unattended all through the day. They have the right to pass on anything even everyday work. My child left AALC with a lower level of confidence and it took a year to build that back up.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 15, 2010
It is a wonderful community, that cares about each child, all families, their staff, the community, the environment and more.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2010
Our family loves this school! It has been a great environment for our kids to learn. I am most impressed with the true community feel that AALC has to offer. I appreciate the small classroom sizes and the ability of the teachers to really know each child in their classroom. Our family's values of compassion, nonjudgment, and helping others are modeled at AALC. They definitely have a school full of awesome kids and teachers!

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 25, 2010
Although the school staff is kind, careing, attentive, sweet, helpful and go out their way to help those in need. The accademics are not the best. My child left a school where they learned 1.5 grades ahead and excelled greatly. Now my child is behind and crys when pushe too hard. My child is becoming behind and undertaught!!!!

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2010
Our experience with this school was entirely unsatisfactory. On no level did they perform as we were lead to believe they would. There is no accountability at all. We expressed our concerns to the teacher, the dean, to the school board and even went as far as writing to the university that charters this school. Our concerns were either ignored or met with contempt. This was not a comfortable or friendly environment for our child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
This school has the most amazing collection of committed families! I am lucky to be a part of this accepting and loving community!

- submitted by a teacher
no rating October 04, 2009
Ann Arbor Learning Community has been a truly wonderful community for my children and our whole family. My kids get the benefits of small class sizes with truly gifted teachers who are committed to helping all kids learn and grow. The teachers and administration also help the kids create a environment where everyone is respected and valued. Our family has had the pleasure of experiencing a great community while my kids are getting a great education!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
AALC tunes in to every child, honoring each one and helping children learn to honor each other

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
Small class sizes, caring and gifted teachers and staff, parent support, building community

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
I love Ann Arbor Learning Community! The school has a strong charter that focuses on community, individuality, and the environment. We offer small class sizes and work hard to ensure each child's success! We go above and beyond to ensure each child's needs are met and that we are a happy and healthy community. Our school holds community meetings, and offers reading buddies, enrichments and squads. All of these programs, enable students from all grade levels, K-8 to work together to team build and inspire one another. We also focus on service learning, in order to showcase and demonstrate how one can help the community on various levels. It is so important to give back! The school also cares about the environment and our future by focusing on sustainability and how we impact our world. Go AALC!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2009
The amazing flexibility of staff and scheduling!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
Our school has four agreements (Mutual Respect, Attentive Listening, Right to Participate/Right to Pass, Appreciations/No Putdowns) that have given such a positive, affirming atmosphere in which our children can learn about their subject material and about relationships with peers, adults, and their environment. The children learn about being 'green' through recycling at school and have a garden space by each classroom as well as out in the play area.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2009
AALC is a great school because it has small class sizes, and my son LOVES it. AALC has a wide range of teaching styles and the teachers are great with the kids. They encourage the kids to keep trying at things they find difficult and help them find a way to make it easier. The teachers and staff really love all the students and want them to succeed.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 15, 2009
It truly is a community school. The test scores aren't the highest, but I think my child gets a quality education that will prepare him for more than just being able to test well. I believe in this school so much that I drive from Detroit to Ann Arbor just to keep him there after we moved.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2009
My son loves this school very much, though he is new student this year. My child is very lucky as he has an excellent teacher, Mrs. Kreiner. She is enthusiastic, clever, resourceful, diligent....you name it. Just she is cut for teaching. My son really loves this school and I also find the curriculum very interesting. Once, you step into the classroom, you can feel the energy. She even brings students to compete State Tournament.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 08, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating September 22, 2008
This school is overrated at 7. There are major accountability issues with the school staff and the School Board. Board membership consists largely of parents from the school as does the PTO. One parent I spoke with described the staff, board and PTO relationship as 'incestous' and with that you can imagine how little growth happens. They are not open to change unless you count that they are on their 3rd Dean in less than a year's time. The interim dean was a self decsribed 'lame duck.' Mathematics is a very weak area in all grade levels. In middle school 07-08 homework was rarely graded or returned home...students would laugh about how the math teacher's homework basket grew through the year. Amazing how this could be allowed to happen. Many parents met with the MS tstaff and the Dean to no avail. AALC fails miserable to prepare students for High School.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2008
After 5th grade, this school is probably the worst school to go to in the entire ann arbor area. The middle school teaching staff is incompetent and the school is doing everything but preparing these students for high school.

- submitted by a student
June 20, 2008
We have 3 children with different needs and were excited about the school's advertisement of individualized learning plans for each child. This promise never came to fruition, making it like other schools--geared towards those who are average. In addition, the school lacks leadership, cohesiveness and accountability. One of our children's teachers did not even check his homework, leading us to believe the grading (the school says it doesn't give out grades and it doesn't in the traditional sense; however, your child is given a report card that indicates whether they fell below grade level, met grade level or exceeded it.) is purely arbitrary. In addition, our children's standardized test scores in math took a huge plunge this year, indicating a weak math curriculum. On the plus side, the art and music programs are fantastic and there are a few dedicated, wonderful teachers there.

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2007
We are new to the (AALC) school this year. We come from the Ann Arbor Public School System in which we were not so happy with and which is touted to be one of the 'Best' districts . 3 months into AALC and we love it as a family. Our 2 children 3rd and K both love it there and I find the teacher quality to be wonderful. I'll add on more info. as the year progresses.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2007
Our child attended this school for part of the 2006/07 school year. We were so disappointed, we removed her. Although the school advertizes mixed grade classes with individual learning levels, all of the children in our child's class were given exactly the same work to do. We were concerned about the lack of individual support and the interactions between the teacher and children. Our participation in the class was very actively discouraged, even though we were told it was something the school encouraged. Our concerns went unaddressed by the Dean (Principal) and a letter to the school board was entirely ignored. The resources and academic program this school advertized themselves as having was not in evidence while we were there. We were horribly disappointed.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2006
My child has completed his first year of Kindergarten and has had a wonderful experience. AALC truly fosters the meaning of community. The teachers are amazing, and truly work with the children to help them reach their potential. I would highly recommend this school to families who value qualities like safety, respect, and community. The multi-level classrooms enable children of different levels to work together. The art and music programs are phenominal! My kindergartener came home within the first few weeks of school talking about Van Gogh and Henri Rousseau! The sports programs needs work, but there are plenty of opportunities through the Friday afternoon enrichment programs. There is a heavy parental involvment, and parents are always in the classrooms. I would highly recommend this school, we have seen our child blossom since starting at AALC.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2005
My child visited this school after attending another school for the first 3 months of 1st grade. We were visiting other schools looking for options because he HATED school and was bored. The day we visited aalc, he refused to leave. He stayed the entire day and begged to come back. He's 6th grade now and still enjoys school. There is no playground or gym yet, but the kids go to the park frequently and go swimming, ice skating, camping, biking... The curriculum is what you make of it. We enjoy supplimenting if he gets interested in a subject, and we expect to monitor his work and help him learn to learn. The atmosphere at aalc is safe in every way-very little of the 'normal' bullying. Kids learn to accept each others' differences. The teachers are excellant-bright, committed, caring, creative. They enjoy kids and learning. I wish they had high school.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2005
My child has attended AALC since Kindergarten. She is now in 2nd grade. She has had a great experience. Her teachers have her working at a level appropriate for her, challenging her to work up to her potential. I get feedback whenever it's needed. She loves her music and art classes, and the music programs and art shows are excellent. The children go to the park every day, providing good exercise and a play area to make up for the lack of a playground at the current school. I'm excited about the new building, which will have all the things we don't have now.

- submitted by a parent
December 08, 2004
My child went to the middle school for two years. When asked how I liked the school, I often responded 'ask me when my child gets in high school' Well, the answer now is not good. My childs math preparation for high school was completely inadequate. I am also suspicious of the standardized test that the school uses. It's a proprietary test from McGraw-Hill called Terra Nova. They never took a MEAP. Obviously for good reason.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2004
This school screams great! Great teachers and teacher/student ratio. They don't allow more than 17 students per classroom. Teachers are excellent. Also, parent involvement is a must -- at the very least you have to take/pick up your child from school. They have a great safety system set in place. They do tons of educational field trips, good music program. Only draw back of the entire school, is they don't have a good playground...which, honestly, isn't that big a deal. I think this school is great for my child.

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
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Ann Arbor Learning Community
3980 Research Park Drive, Ann Arbor, MI  48108
(734) 477-0340
Last modified Ann Arbor Learning Community is a Charter school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Ann Arbor Learning Community Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 51 reviews. Top