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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.