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