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Clonlara School

Private | 4, 6-12

We empower students to participate in the design of their own education.


Living in Ann Arbor

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $205,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,080.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
Based on 1 rating
Based on 3 ratings
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10 reviews of this school

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Posted February 1, 2014

Poorly administrated and lacking in understanding of student's needs. No counselor, social worker or psychologist on staff in a school geared towards students with emotional and/or academic disabilities. Rigid inflexible discipline approaches that are not effective. High teacher turn over rates. Low academic learning. Mandatory parent meetings that are not valuable and a fee is assessed if more than one is missed. Poor communication with parents. Not all teachers available at conferences. Seem to feel that parents should just blindly trust them.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 9, 2013

Very kind and professional staff that cares and remembers small details about each student. Flexible program that allows students in late-age states to get a head start with education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 10, 2013

Clonlara's home-based program provides flexibility and accountability in education. Like all educational programs, "you get out of it what you put into it". The program offers students and parents the opportunity to design a curriculum that is interesting / challenging for the student. The Clonlara staff provides honest evaluation and guidance on coursework, and it is up to the student and family to strive for excellence. Our son was falling through the cracks of a large suburban high school. He was doing nothing and learning even less. When we could not solve the problems within the framework of the public school, we enrolled at Clonlara. The burden is now on us as parents, but we are designing classes to better meet his interests, and we are enforcing performance. We are meeting our state's merit curriculum requirements while helping our son develop his interests and skills. Those who complain and/or "brag" about doing nothing at Clonlara should realize that they missed their own opportunity and cheated their own future. A school can only offer an education. It is up to the student to accept the challenge and earn an education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 27, 2013

One of the finest schools you can attend to become a total flake. Many of the students I know who went here have ending up excelling at minimum wage employment. Enjoy!

Posted December 22, 2012

Speaking from experience as an alumni I would just like parents to know that this school is not what it seems. I have to say I love their quote, "We empower students to participate in the design of their own education." The type of education I designed consisted of smoking in the woods, leaving midday to go home and nap, chatting and gossiping with my friends in big comfy couches. Sometimes we would just take naps. Nothing was ever enforced, and we took that inch and made it a mile. I can honestly say I did nothing while I was there for 10, 11 and 12th grade and I ended up graduating. In all honesty the only reason I graduated was because the principal felt bad for me, and we literally added classes into my schedule and gave them grades so that I could graduate. With all that said, I did end up graduating from college and found a great job. I feel like I am really lucky. But I must say I would never in a million years send my children there.

Posted January 14, 2011

The learning program itself is not to bad, But when 6 year after graduation and you call and request a copy of your diploma and they tell you that you didn't graduate. Even tho you walked and completed the requirements, received a first diploma, they accuse you of not finishing.. I have to say it dropped the school rating to the negatives. All the money paid and time spent for a proud day of graduating, all to lead to absolutely nothing! I don't recommend this school to anyone who wants their hard work and money to matter.

Posted March 15, 2010

I wish all schools were like Clonlara. The environment is extraordinary - the children learn in everything they do. There is tremendous structure and coherence to the day, yet the children learn without monotony or stress so common in most schools. The teachers are gifted. This is the place to send your child if you want him or her to have the opportunity to learn, to engage in the world, to become a full human being in a world that requires practical knowledge and creative thinking.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 17, 2009

My son has been attending Clonlara since 2005 as I was looking for a better experience than what I could provide after his first three years (k-2) homeschooling. Clonlara is a three-room schoolhouse.The youngers (age 5-10), middles (ages 11-13) and high school (14-18) groups interact, so it provides a more natural, heterogenous setting vs the same-age homogenous experience in public schools. The older students recognize that they are modeling behavior for the youngers and middles and it has an extended family type of experience, which has been great for my only child. Clonlara provides an environment of learning that enables students to understand that they are responsible for their own learning. New students who arrive after years struggling in other schools quickly adapt as they don't need to act out because they are treated as individuals, as people, not problems. We love it. Expect to be very welcomed here.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 27, 2009

Wonderful staff, supportive to many learning styles and venues. Child centered and engaging student curiosity in many settings has been key to developing my children's love of learning. They are self-directed learners and I know this will motivate them for the rest of their lives.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 21, 2007

I only wish I would have found out about this school sooner. I used Clonlara for my senior year in high school and was very impressed. I was a student in the home-based education program, so I can't say anything about their campus school. My contact teacher was fabulous. This is the school to teach children how to learn and to love learning instead of what to learn. I plan to enroll my sons in the home-based program here as well.
—Submitted by a former student

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.


Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

Unfortunately, this school doesn't have sufficient data to generate an academic rating.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 89% 71%
African-American 4% 20%
Asian 4% N/A
Multiracial 4% N/A
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Hispanic 0% 5%
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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Special education / special needs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Special education
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

School facilities
  • Art room

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Rosetta Stone

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 9:00 am
School end time
  • 5:00 pm
School Leader's name
  • Ms. Chandra Nicol
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
  • Nonsectarian
Fax number
  • (734) 769-9629


Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Independent Study
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Project-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Special education
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Rosetta Stone


Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Differentiated learning programs
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Computer lab
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
More from this school
  • Clonlara School’s two educational programs provide services that recognize each learner’s curiosity, strengths, interests and talents as the foundation of his or her educational experience. We have both a Home Based Education Program and a Campus Program located in Ann Arbor, MI. Both programs serve K-12 students.
School leaders can update this information here.



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1289 Jewett St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Website: Click here
Phone: (734) 769-4511


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