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GreatSchools Rating

Avalon School

Charter | PK, 12 | 37 students

We are known for being named Avalon.

 

Living in St. Paul

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $167,700. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $920.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 11 ratings
2013:
Based on 16 ratings
2012:
Based on 9 ratings
2011:
Based on 16 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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104 reviews of this school


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Posted May 19, 2014

Avalon is a place for socially inept individuals to refuse to embrace the inevitable and instead allows them continue to live out futile and petulant fantasies. This extreme level of narcissism and self-obession is toxic to productive education. I have walked out of Avalon woefully under prepared for adult interaction. If I learned anything at Avalon it was to send my children to public school.


Posted May 16, 2014

Five years ago, it was fantastic. Two years ago, it was good. Now, it's a disaster. If you have a student who needs to get away from a bad situation at their regular school, this might be ok, but other than that, look somewhere else. The staff is overwhelmed with too many individual student interactions (because of the nature of the school) plus the increased student count. The students don't get the support they need, and have to be extremely organized and diligent in order to succeed. The support and check-in procedures to make sure the students are on track don't happen. They need to quit trying to expand into lower grades, and just focus on the high school. When that's all they were, they were great and we recommended them to everyone. Now I wouldn't recommend them to anyone but the desperate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 27, 2014

This school is filled with one-on-one support provided by caring staff. There is always someone to listen and a great variety of students. Students are given the option to work at their own pace, whatever that might be, and are still able to graduate on time. Never is bullying an issue at Avalon, because of the tight social community that encompasses the entire campus. -Parent
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 26, 2014

This school has not prepared me for college at all. I'm definetly very behind in all my academics especially math and science.


Posted March 17, 2014

This school does not focus on education. I consider this a last resort school for children who are not able to be successful in other schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 16, 2014

Avalon is school that accepts a variety of learning styles and is full of diversity. Its project based learning curriculum fosters independence and creative thinking in students. The staff are excellent and it shows that they want each student to succeed in their own unique way. Avalon helps each student grow as a person while helping teach them how to become contributing members of a community. I am an Avalon graduate and have gone on to earn my bachelors degree and masters degree. I attribute my success in college to the skills I learned and the support I had while attending Avalon. I would highly recommend Avalon to any 7th-12 grade student who is looking to grow as a person, not only a learner.


Posted February 21, 2014

My kids were homeschooled through middle school and attended and graduated from Avalon after that. Avalon was an incredibly nurturing, welcoming place that made the transition from homeschool to "regular" school as smooth as it could be. Avalon's culture of inclusion and respect allowed my kids to thrive. They each found ways to dig into what interested them, and found excellent allies and supporters in the teachers and staff. My kids enjoyed the culture of Avalon and the freedom it allowed them. We all appreciated the way the staff and teachers got to know not only the kids, but our whole family - and their willingness to meet the kids where they were, but also to challenge them. Well, I appreciated that. The kids weren't always excited to be challenged. :)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 17, 2014

I am an alumni of Avalon School. I transferred to Avalon after my junior year of High school. Although I only spent my senior year at Avalon, I believe that it prepared me for life after high school more than any other school could. It is a project based school that allows students to take charge of their own education, and it also helps them to take their interests and explore them at an advanced level. The advisers are extremely passionate about helping their students explore, learn, and grow. The students are on a first name basis with their advisers which helps create a more comfortable environment for the students. Although I think Avalon is a great school, I do think that prospective students should be extremely aware that they must be independent and ready to take charge of their own education. since the school is project based the students are in charge of creating their own projects/classes and timelines of getting things done on time. And at my time at Avalon their was very little bullying. the advisers work hard to make Avalon a community where students can feel free to be themselves and learn in a comfortable enviorment.


Posted February 14, 2014

Avalon school is a great place for my daughter where she can explore her interests in a nurturing academic environment. The advisors are awesome and genuinely care about their students and their school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 14, 2014

I enrolled at Avalon as a transfer student midway through my freshman year of high school, and graduated in 2008. To this day, I still believe that transferring to Avalon was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. At Avalon, I was able to pursue my passions and make new discoveries. The small class sizes meant that my teachers knew me and understood my unique learning needs and talents - they knew how to capture my attention and get me to live up to my full potential. Most importantly, Avalon teaches students lessons that go well beyond books and equations. The skills I learned at Avalon put me in excellent standing in college, where I excelled due to my aptitude for time management and independent study. Avalon's focus on networking and interview skills has served me well throughout my professional career, as it taught me the value of relationships and impressions. My experience at Avalon was nothing but positive, and I firmly believe that I owe my current success to the education I received there. Avalon is nurturing, inspiring, and unique, and I am proud to be an Avalon alum.


Posted February 3, 2014

My child attends this school is being bullied on a regular basis. The staff obviously know but claim they cannot do anything. Yet in the meantime they have all these plays about how people shouldnt be bullied. Also they have terrible textbooks for math and science
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 26, 2014

My oldest son had an IEP for ADHD. Until he enrolled at Avalon, his school experiences were overwhelmingly negative. Teachers who didn't understand his ADHD would berate him for being energetic, impulsive, and for his short attention span. Before joining Avalon, he had limited academic success and had developed a negative self image. My husband and I were desperate to find a good situation for him. The Avalon community accepted my son. The staff and students helped him to feel good about himself, taught him how to be a member of a community, and helped equip him with solid academic skills. They never sent him a negative message about who he is or pressure him to be different. Instead, they welcomed him, gently guided his development, celebrated his successes, and held my son to high academic standards, while providing the structures and routines and guidance to facilitate his engagement in learning. Avalon Charter School in St. Paul Minnesota is a model of excellence in its service to all students, even those with special needs. Our family is indebted to the entire Avalon community, especially his teachers and special education case manager.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 19, 2013

Avalon es un colegio fenomenal, la mayoria de los estudiantes se seinten muy a gusto de ir al colegio todos los dias. El personal docente que trabajan con los estudiantes estan capacitado para guiar a los estudiante en sus proyectos independientes de una manera respetuosa y cordial. Los maestros siempre estan listos para escucharlos y brindar ayuda a los que necesitan. Mi hija y mi familia nos sentimos muy felices y orgullosa de se parte de Avalon.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 23, 2013

Avalon School is exceptional because it continues to grow and sustain its essential values to live daily as a celebrative place, a caring place, a creative place, a communicative place, a place of high standards and expectations, a place where student and teachers and parents are in charge. It is a place where most are excited to go in the morning and reluctant to leave at night.


Posted August 9, 2013

Avalon is a school that is seriously student-centered and project-based. As a parent, you have to sometimes hold on and believe that what your child is doing at school is enough - because it is, even if it doesn't look like the traditional experience. We chose Avalon because our son was the kind of kid who had to be nagged every night about traditional, read the chapter and answer the questions homework; but, when given an open-ended assignment he would become completely absorbed in it. Avalon has been a great balance for him between seminar style classes and self-initiated projects. DO choose Avalon if you are interested in your child becoming an independent learner. DON"T choose Avalon if you need your child's education to look like your neighbor's child's education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 7, 2013

My school is unique. I have given up trying to describe it to people who attended a traditional high-school. Avalon's independent project-based learning style allowed me to discover topics about which I am passionate. The time management and independence that was fostered at Avalon allowed me to greatly succeed in college. I graduated this past May from Goucher College in Maryland with multiple academic honors. I recently began working as an employee of the Baltimore City government, working with the city's historic properties. I am confident that the independence and passion for learning that Avalon instilled in me has been instrumental to the success and general happiness I have found post-high school.


Posted August 6, 2013

Amazing school, my children attended middle school here and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. They are so excited to begin high school at Avalon, they are counting down the days until school starts again.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 5, 2013

My son attended Avalon High School in Saint Paul for 2 1/2 years, graduating this past spring. It was the perfect fit for him because it allowed him to take ownership of his education. Through the project based educational system he discovered a passion for plants and will be attending a liberal arts college in the fall to study biology and botany. When he started at Avalon at the end of his sophomore year he was headed to dropping out of school or taking an extra year to finish. The beauty of the system is that the fantastic teachers are willing to let the kids fail! When my son realized this, he woke up and took his education seriously. The teachers were there 100% to nurture, guide and encourage him, but they weren't going to pass him along just so he could graduate. It's tough love, but it was what my son needed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 5, 2013

Avalon is a unique school with unique teachers & unique students. Avalon is a teacher cooperative - no principal or superintendent. Instead there is a board with a healthy mix of teachers & parents. The middle school has classes & introduces students to project work. In 9th- 12th students complete graduation requirments through project based learning & seminars. Because of its unique structure Avalon attracts teachers willing to earn a bit less and driven to develop their own curriculum - with the students. There is no boxed curriculum or cookie cutter teaching here. Service week is a great experience . Learning takes place via classroom activities and assignments before and after service week, as well as the service activities themselves. Many of Avalon's students have not fit in at large, traditional schools & are past victims of bullying. Avalon has a higher than average # of Aspie, ADHD, gay, lesbian, bi & transgendered students. Kids bullied out of other schools often find a home at Avalon. Our Aspie 8th grader struggles some, but grew & learned so must last year! We're confident our daughter will graduate & move on to higher education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 5, 2013

Avalon is an authentically student-centered institution. The primary focus is on student learning and not simply on executing a curriculum. The staff at Avalon meet students where they are help them go as far as students are willing. The staff know my children and lead them in developing skills to explore their interests and share their understandings. I've been repeatedly surprised and thrilled to hear sound and personalized advice to my sons from their advisors regarding their personal responsibilities and educational goals. THEY KNOW MY CHILDREN AND MY CHILDREN KNOW AND HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO THEMSELVES AND THE AVALON COMMUNITY. Avalon is a model of excellence in education.
—Submitted by a parent


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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Science

The state average for Science was 54% in 2011.

29 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
48%

2010

 
 
40%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Minnesota used the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II (MCA-II) to test students in math in grade 11. The MCA-II is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Minnesota. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Minnesota Department of Education

Science

All Students48%
Female53%
Male43%
Blackn/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
White68%
Economically disadvantaged42%
Economically non-disadvantaged53%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities46%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English52%
Non-migrant48%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Minnesota used the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II (MCA-II) to test students in math in grade 11. The MCA-II is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Minnesota. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Minnesota Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, data is not reported for that group.

Source: Minnesota Department of Education

Science

The state average for Science was 53% in 2013.

19 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
58%

2012

 
 
55%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Minnesota used the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-III (MCA-III) to test in math in grades 3 through 8 in reading in grades 3 through 8 and 10 and in science for grades 5 and 8, and once in high school. The MCA-III is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Minnesota. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Minnesota Department of Education

Science

All Students58%
Female50%
Malen/a
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Native Americann/a
White85%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Economically non-disadvantaged90%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities67%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English58%
Non-migrant58%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Minnesota used the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-III (MCA-III) to test in math in grades 3 through 8 in reading in grades 3 through 8 and 10 and in science for grades 5 and 8, and once in high school. The MCA-III is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Minnesota. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Minnesota Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, data is not reported for that group.

Source: Minnesota Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 71% 73%
Black 14% 9%
Hispanic 6% 7%
Two or more races 4% 2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 33%N/A37%
Female 42%N/A49%
Male 58%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Colleges most students attend after graduation Hamburger University
The School of Hard Knocks
Academy University
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Dance teacher(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Hebrew
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Bronze Award through US News and World Report
  • Academic Decathlon Small School 1st place 2006, 2nd place 2007, 2008
  • The Being a School Participatory Award
Community service awards received in the past 3 years
  • Character Education Partnership Promising Practices Award (2012)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab
Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Rock band
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Dance club: Twerk
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Pig Latin
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Hebrew

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Yoga club

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Honors track
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • Lowering Expectations
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 2:00 am
School end time
  • 3:40 am
School Leader's name
  • Carrie Bakken
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Pigeon
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • Infant
Gender
  • All boys
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (651) 298-8888

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Honors track
  • Independent Study
  • Montessori
  • Outdoor / Farm-based
  • Project-based
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Foreign languages taught
  • Pig Latin
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • Security personnel
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Hebrew
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • Lowering Expectations
Transportation options
  • Carrier Giraffes
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Playground
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Equestrian
  • Lava Polo
Girls sports
  • Equestrian

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Rock band
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Dance club: Twerk
  • Gardening
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Lesbian, gay, transgender club
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga club
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school does not have a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
More from this school
  • Avalon School does not have a Principal. We are run by a teacher cooperative, so all staff members are involved in all major decisions about the school. The staff strongly believes in this democratic process, and we consistently model it for the students as well. We also utilize an advisory system where all students are assigned to an advisory of about 20 students. Student have the same advisor for all of their middle school career and then another one for their entire high school career.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


10 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
5
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
5

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Hamburger University
The School of Hard Knocks
Academy University
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

700 Glendale Street
St. Paul, MN 55114
Website: Click here
Phone: (651) 298-8888

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