My family has been a part of CLA for over 3 years. While I have not been a parent of a public school student, I have worked in public schools. I would prefer to keep my children at CLA for several reasons. One big one is the positive, uplifting environment. Another is due to it being a Christian school- I love that my children can talk about God without fear of being in trouble. The class size is at least half of what you'd have at a public school. There is no bullying or being overlooked. It truly feels like a big family there. Sure, it has it's "cons", but doesn't everything? The staff/teachers are very loving and wiling to work with you. They have tuition aid and the fundraisers aren't that bad in the grand scheme of things. The school has improved in different ways since this site posted it's stats. For one they are adding on a high school wing, offering more electives, and they have a wonderful robotics program that has done remarkably well. There is also great community support. One more thing, when my child performed- as a 6 year old- in a school wide speech meet I was so amazed and proud of ALL of the students. It was incredible to see students of all ages speaking in front of a large group with poise. You don't find that at a public school! Try them out, you may be pleasantly surprised!
First year at CLA. I have to say, every school has it's cons, but the Christian environment more than make up for that! (Especially in light of Common Core and other issues with public school) It's like a big family, has small class sizes, teachers who truly care and do an awesome job, and a staff that is always striving to improve the school. They are growing- I hope you will give them a call! Also, the fundraisers are fun and not that bad!
Fund raisers are poorly set up. Parents are expected to go around to family, friends, and the community and just ask people to give money to the school (which is pretty awkward). If you do not raise the amount of money they require, you have to pay it out of pocket. The teachers are wonderful, though, and the class sizes are small. For the amount of money that is spent in tuition, it was not worth it for us compared to a public school.
CLA has an excellent elementary program. High school is a different setup with more of a college schedule (attending classes some days and doing assignments at home other days). I currently (2011-2012) have three children attending and all of them are learning the basics plus Christian values. My children are ahead of their peers in reading and phonics (especially since a lot of schools don't teach true phonics anymore). If you want your kids to have smaller classes and committed teachers this is the school for you.
If you are looking for a school that will provide your child with the academic foundation to succeed this school should be placed on the very bottom of your list. I attended this school and still find myself, years later, struggling to catch up to my peers. This school has a myriad of problems. This school cannot offer AP courses of any kind. Their math track lags far behind the average, maxing out at Pre-calc. This level of math is not high enough for a child to compete against students their own age especially in the more challenging fields of study, such as math, engineering, economics, science, and medicine. If the goal of paying for an education is to give your child an advantage in life your money would be better spent elsewhere.