I attended this school from 1st through 4th grade and still reflect positively on my experience. My family relocated and I ended up graduating from Aloha High School and then went on to UCLA for college. Now married with children in Dallas, TX. I've searched for a child led program like MLC. We are at Parish Episcopal and it's wonderful.
So yes maybe people have had good experiences at the school but I took my son out of Chatman which was amazing!!!! I thought MLC would be more of a fit for my son due to all of their hands on learning and field trips!!! I'm sorry but these hands on learning and field trips do not compensate for the lack of administration and follow through. My son is been physically assaulted so many times at the school three of his jackets have been stolen from his locker and the administration acts as if they have better things to do than address my concerns as a parent... there's no communication there's no follow-through do not send your kid here!
With the caveat that my daughter is in kindergarten and I am unaware of what the current principal is doing that is different from past leadership, my daughter's experience here has been great. Some days I really feel like she won the lottery (unfortunately she had to) because of how wonderful the school community is. She is appreciating learning through MLC's experiential learning model. Similar to her Montessori pre-school, MLC also continues multi-age education by having older "reading buddies" come into her class to read to the younger kids. This give my daughter connection to the larger school, and also will give her the opportunity to be of service to the littler school community members later. As to results, she's in kindergarten and she reads age appropriate books to me in the car and she can do basic math operations. Finally, my child would be a terrible sit-in-a-desk-and-look-at-the-teacher-talk kind of learner. She definitely needs a hands on learning experience (I think most kids do) and she definitely appreciates what she gets from the program. The principal has lost the trust of the parents, so will revise if this if warranted
I'm sad to say that the wonderful MLC that everyone has heard about for 30 years is being dismantled by the current principal and is being streamlined to be like every other school. She does not understand or value the amazing program that she was entrusted with and the damage is heartbreaking. After 11 years with 3 kids, we are looking elsewhere.
The school is wonderful and was even more amazing before the current principal, Macarre Traynham, took over. Her poor leadership, disregard for teacher and parent perspectives and top-down, authoritarian style is the antithesis of the collaborative, inclusive community that MLC strives to be. I think she is there to "make her mark" before moving on to "higher" places, but I hope there is enough of MLC left to put back together after she leaves.
We came to MLC from Joyful Noise East (best daycare ever!) and didn't look back at all. The parent and volunteer community is beyond fabulous. Vegans hang out happily with meat eaters, and everybody is determined not only to make it work but to enjoy the heck out of it. There's a determined attempt by the staff to teach acceptance and it seems to work - older kids help younger kids and the hallway feels some days like a big party. The only downside is the limited size of the student body - the building is big but K-12 is a lot to fit in, and that means at the upper levels there is less opportunity for large organized endeavors (sports, etc.)
My kids had a great experience here. Innovative, caring teachers, addressing different learning styles, and good values: no discrimination, service to others, awareness of the environment, respect for differences.