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Ann Arbor, MI
Students enrolled: 40
Before care: No
After care: No

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1289 Jewett St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

School website
(734) 769-4511
(734) 769-9629
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Map of Clonlara School address.
Grateful to: Teacher
November 08, 2015
Sarah, our son's teacher, is wise and makes careful choices and decisions. She is compassionate, and the children love her. Sarah is highly professional, and cares about the character of the children in her care. She provides a safe, peaceful, and harmonious learning environment. Sarah is flexible and delightful to work with.

- submitted by a parent

November 08, 2015
As a family that transitioned from Clonlara's homeschool program to its campus-based day school, we could not be more pleased with our experience. Unlike some other recent reviews, our engagement with the administration and teaching staff has been open and cooperative. While our son does have a learning disability, he is gifted in several areas, and both the administration and teachers could not have worked harder to address his academic strengths and weaknesses. That said, the prior criticisms that this is a "special needs school" are unfair and unfounded, as the school does not purport to provide special services: it does not advertise itself as having a child pyschologist or speech pathologist on staff, but it does provide the flexibility for outside professionals to visit the school and work with individual students. Instead, it emphasizes unique and customized programs, which are not necessarily remedial, but often complements the gifted children's interests and talents. When we went on a recent field trip, we were delighted by how courteous and well-behaved the Clonlara students were to those inside and outside the school community. We were able to see this in comparison to other school groups at the same site, where mutual respect and care clearly were not valued as they are by the Clonlara community. On several occasions, we have seen other families welcomed and warmly received, with parents and grandparents coming to participate and celebrate children's achievements and special events. This is indicative of the transparency that we have experienced from our first meeting with the head of school when we were considering our options for where our son would attend after several years of homeschooling. There has been an honest and ongoing conversation. Potential disciplinary scenarios were discussed with the teacher ahead of time, which allowed us as the parents to have a say in what would constitute a just and appropriate response if our son were to misbehave. There is an active and intentional mentoring program at the school, in which the older students take on and nurture the younger students. This already has been very beneficial to our son. For us, Clonlara has been all we could have asked for in a warm, caring and academically engaging context. In many ways, Clonlara has exceeded our expectations.

- submitted by a parent

September 14, 2015
You may be thinking about attending this school because you feel like you have nowhere else to send your child. Please be warned that we found the administration and staff of Clonlara to be totally unequipped to deliver on their mission and philosophy. The student population of this school is made up of young people, who may have emotional, academic, and behavioral disabilities. Clonlara does not have the appropriate professional staff to help the environment be one that nurtures the growth of the students; for example there is no child psychologist on staff and the turnover in teachers has resulted in a very inexperienced staff. The discipline employed is odd and strife with unbelievable inconsistencies. Our experience was one where extreme amounts of time were spent on discipline issues of the students with ineffective and inconsistent approaches leaving near zero time spent on academics. If you speak out about any school related situation expect to be scorned and punished by an administration that does not like to be questioned. If the mandatory parent meetings offered any value at all Clonlara would not need to fine parents for not attending. At one recent meeting Clonlara asked the parents in attendance to leave positive reviews on the Internet to counter the negative ratings that they receive. Wow, if the school did not have problems they would not have to ask for positive reviews.

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Strongly disagree
September 13, 2015
Some of the teachers there are very kind with good hearts and this is not directed towards all of them. However, the actions of a few, along with that of some in the administration shows otherwise. When my son attended, the rules did not apply equally to all children. It lead to confusion for younger children who saw conflicting consequences for the same behavior from different children. This was just one example of many.

- submitted by a parent

September 13, 2015
This school touts itself as creating "custom programs" for each child. My son did have special needs but no custom program was created for him. No special steps were taken to work with us as parents and; communication with the teachers had to go through the administration who clearly managed the conversations. There were also no counselors, psychologists, therapists or other certified professionals on staff to assist these special needs children. Lastly, for the last 9 months he was there, my son was severely bullied physically and/or mentally on a daily basis there by a boy 4.5 years his elder and the school did nothing to stop it. They told me they had a plan to keep the two children apart but when I saw my son's behavior turn very angry, aggressive, physical with severe bed-wetting, I started to do surprise visits and found otherwise. Nothing had changed, the boys were together frequently. When we questioned the school, they became affronted and their behavior towards us and our son became confrontational to say the least. My son attended this school for 1.5 years. During that time he actually learned LESS then he went in knowing. It was like a romper-room.

- submitted by a parent

August 09, 2015
there was so much wrong with it it hard to even start most people leave for a public school any way and unless this is the only choice you have i still say don't i could go on for days about poor staff terrible ran campus home program is ok.

- submitted by a student

February 04, 2015
Clonlara is the home we wanted for our daughter. I am sad that we are paying tuition but it is worth it to have your child thrive in a supportive environment. The public schools could no longer provide what she needed. Some of the earlier reviews talk about lack of accountability and poor leadership. The may have been true in the past. The teachers that my daughter has now (and I will say teacher turn over is a problem) are committed and well trained. Students are all accounted for and there is no "sneaking off". My daughter is a high achiever that has hit some bumps in the road. Clonlara is letting her get back on track. Clonlara is a chance to let your child blossom, not just get by. The low student/teacher ratio is great!

- submitted by a parent

October 29, 2014
My daughter graduated from the campus program in 2014. She attended Clonlara for approximately 2.5 years after having to leave public school due to medical reasons and extensive absences. The staff was supportive and nurturing and helped her to catch up on her credits and graduate on time. Each student had a lot of input to their coursework within the general curriculum guidelines, which was beneficial since students were at varying levels. Some were working ahead for their grade level and others such as my daughter were "catching up". She enjoyed being in an 'all ages" school and spending time not only with her peers but with the "youngers" and "middles" as well. She was given an opportunity to mentor and tutor some of the younger children. We also appreciated the emphasis on community service and the time the students spent volunteering at various organizations.

- submitted by a parent

September 16, 2014
My son transitioned from homeschooling to Clonlara at 14, where he continued to blossom at his own rate. His very creative, outgoing personality was nurtured there. The staff there is great. They help students explore their passions, as well as learn the core subjects, in creative ways. It is a safe place to be yourself.

- submitted by a parent

July 11, 2014
My son attended and graduated from the campus program. My biggest wish is that we had found Clonlara sooner. The way their program worked with my son, allowing for his learning style and creativity set him up for high school success. The small, personalize environment where relationships and understanding were key for my son's education. He not only graduated but he left Clonlara knowing how to take action and get projects done, how to communicate and interact with peers/adults, and with a sense that he 'could do' things differently. We will be forever grateful!

- submitted by a parent

February 01, 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

December 09, 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

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

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!

- submitted by a community member

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.

- submitted by a community member

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.

- submitted by a community member
no rating
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

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
no rating
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

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 student
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About 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.

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Last modified: November 8, 2015

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Clonlara School
1289 Jewett St, Ann Arbor, MI  48104
(734) 769-4511
Last modified Clonlara School is a Private school that serves grades K-12
Clonlara School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 33 reviews. Top