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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 23 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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116 reviews of this school


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Posted today

Avalon is an amazing school, and we are so lucky to have found it. My son is mildly autistic, and while he never really hated school, he found it very stressful and tiring before we found Avalon. He loves everything about Avalon, and that has made it easier for him to really grow there. He is more responsible now, and the independent projects are definitely starting to get him to understand the real joy in learning things for their own sake. It is an amazing community, and just the best learning environment for kids that I have ever seen in action.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted yesterday

Avalon is an outstanding school!!! I have never met such committed, creative, enthusiastic, unique, knowledgeable, respectful and truly student-oriented teachers/staff than the teachers/staff at Avalon. They demonstrate and role model extremely high quality, organized leadership which in turn creates a safe, enriched, growth-promoting learning and social environment for the diverse population of Avalon students. Parent involvement is warmly welcomed, highly encouraged and is paramount to the success of the students and to the overall awesomeness of the Avalon community. Avalon School is amazing!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, July 28, 2014

Avalon School has been the choice for four of my five children. Avalon is a true community of learning. It is a school that appreciates free thinkers, challenges one to become something more than they imagined and a place of peace and love. The environment helps to create well rounded citizens. Avalon is home.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, July 28, 2014

My son began attending Avalon last year as a member of the first 6th grade class at the school. He had a great experience and looked forward to school everyday, and is looking forward to heading back for 7th grade this fall. Avalon is a place where he feels accepted and can comfortably be himself, and where he can pursue his interests via his project work. As a parent, I really appreciate the school's community approach and the responsive communication between parent, child, and staff. I also appreciate how Avalon promotes a culture of both personal responsibility and collaboration. Most of all though, I am so happy to see my son in a school where he feels welcome and excited to learn.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, July 28, 2014

Our self-declared "school hater" switched from a large public HS to Avalon last fall. He still struggles with motivation and deadlines but for the first time in a long while he feels "okay" with going to school and likes his school environment. He has a couple of years left to go and we hope that Avalon can help him grow to embrace the power of learning and knowledge once more before he heads off to college. The teachers/advisors do a great job holding students to their self-determined goals and running the school cooperatively. They accept students' quirks, even when those make it ever so much more difficult to help the students succeed. We feel lucky to have been offered a spot when things were looking drab, and we are excited to look forward with Avalon by our student's side. Avalon supports struggling & frustrated learners like ours as well as highly prepared learners who want more freedom to explore and grow beyond what the public schools can facilitate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, July 28, 2014

My kids started 7th grade at Avalon. If you went to a regular junior high school you know how brutal and spirit crushing kids can be at that age. I have always told my kids that who they are is good and you hope the world treats them as kindly. Avalon does. You can tell when you walk in and you see kids dressing and acting exactly like who they are, not like every one else.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, July 28, 2014

Avalon is a wonderful opportunity for youth to feel accepted and become part of a caring community. My student has learned a great deal in her areas of interest, made huge personal strides and has become an excellent student. All thanks to Avalon. Devoted and knowledgeable staff are part of the magic. Add commitment to each student's unique gifts and a model that allows students to create a meaningful learning plan that is going to work for them and you've got Avalon.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, July 28, 2014

From our first tour we felt welcome and could sense the staff and students were happy to be at Avalon. The culture at Avalon is very inclusive. Everyone is welcomed with open arms. Students are encouraged to be themselves and be their best. The teachers at Avalon meet the students where they are, but keep the bar high. It is a school that is focused on learning and achieving. Project-based learning meant our son could challenge himself, not just check the standards box. The teachers at Avalon provide guidance and help the students find the resources they need to do challenging projects. There is an amazing chemistry at Avalon that fosters curiosity, learning and support. The school is teacher-run, so the question of principal leadership is not relevant. If more kids had the environment and culture at Avalon, more kids would succeed to become learners and achievers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, July 28, 2014

When people had us describe Avalon they would often say, You must have to be a special kind of kid to succeed at Avalon. I usually nodded my head in agreement, but then I attended his graduation ceremony this past June. I now speak up and say, Every child can succeed at Avalon because Avalon is all about the child. Both my wife and I have worked in a variety of educational environments. Today s educational climate spends it resources and energies on teaching children to be good at school not good at life. Avalon builds upon a child s passions and efficiencies guiding them through a personalize learning experiences that strengthens their inefficiencies while developing the untestable life-long skills such as perseverance, critical thinking, planning, cooperation, initiative, research, and a life-long love of learning. My son is headed off to college better prepared than having excelled at AP or IB courses. A college professor friend has said, in all sincerity, that our son is ready for Grad School. It all boils down to the image of the child and Avalon holds the image that all children are competent, curious, and possessing the potential to succeed. What more could you ask for?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, July 28, 2014

My son started at Avalon in seventh grade. He actually thanked me for finding the school. School is a big stressor in my son's life, but he actually wants to go to Avalon. I find that the teachers at Avalon are really dedicated to helping all kinds of students succeed. They work hard to establish positive relationships with the kids. I also like that the high school students are role models for the middle school kids, and that my son won't have to transition to a new school for high school, since transitions are really hard for him. The fact that there is no principal and that the leadership comes from all the teachers is amazing, because the school really works.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Sunday, July 27, 2014

Avalon is great for kids that need to find a place that is very accepting. There is zero tolerance for teasing, and all are welcome. Most of the teachers were very caring, though it seemed hit or miss on the actual level of instruction. Some of the seminars they taught were really interesting/creative. That said, the expectations are really low for students. We had to leave after a number of years because our student was simply not being challenged. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves, but we found that the teachers were so into self-directed learning that they didn't challenge the students who were not particularly self-motivated, and didn't even seem to know what students were doing during the day. While they have interesting seminars, they don't have any advanced classes at all, and the math instruction in particular was very poor. Avalon is perfect for the highly self-motivated kid who doesn't fit into traditional junior highs or high schools, or kids who have been traumatized by traditional schools and need a safe space, but simply horrible for kids who lean toward the slacker side of the spectrum, and especially horrible for the bright but unmotivated student.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Sunday, July 27, 2014

I love Avalon as a community but I am worried that the teachers don't really work with me on learning how to write a good essay or how to give an effective presentation. They are really nice and the school is open and relaxed (some people use that as an excuse to sleep or look up cars, magic cards, and other things but many people do cool projects, too). When I do work, it's always considered good work even when I know I could have improved it more. I don't always get things done on time and I don't know how to do a better job with that. I get off topic and nobody really cares that much. I think the teachers need to set stronger examples for how great projects could look and teach us better how to do the work we'll be doing in college. They let us think for ourselves and plan stuff out, which is great, but I think they should give us guidance on what is a good project and help us figure out the best way to get ready for college and life. Project based work is really helpful and cool but there should be a little better partnership with the teachers so we can do really good work. Seminars should focus more on different topics; it's pretty art and creative writing heavy.


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.


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.

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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