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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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