The principal at this school is not the same one that was there in 2014, when the other parent mentioned how fantastic she was. That one really was fantastic. This one, while she tries, is somewhat scattered, disorganized and not a very good communicator. The premise of this school is a good one, but they did not accommodate to each student's needs as they claimed that they would. Some of the teachers were great, and others were really not great. My child started several years ahead of their chronological age, and ended up loosing a lot of ground. The "project based learning" idea is a great one, but some of the projects are just plain odd, and you are stuck with it, whatever it is, for many weeks at a time. Also, it is a very cliquish school, both for the children and also for the parents. We found it very difficult to make friends. It seemed that there was an unusually large amount of fund raising going on there. Like, ALL THE TIME. That got old fast. That said, the good thing about this school is that it is relatively small, they do have a lot of fun activities, and they do not give much homework.
My daughter is in the Kndergarten 5 program at NTLA. From the moment we toured this school last year, we knew our daughter would thrive! NTLA offers a project-based curriculum, low class sizes (max 12 students per class), and a team of highly educated professionals, many with graduate degrees in their field of study. Each student is given individualized attention and teachers are able to tailor and differentiate curriculum to fit the needs of each student. NTLA is a modest yet growing school. My spouse and I have seen remarkable growth in our daughter's academic and leadership ability. We are truly impressed and plan to stay at NTLA for the long haul.
I LOVE that thy don't assign homework for busywork. If there's homework, and that's not often, it's because they are focusing on a topic that needs some refining and reinforcement from parents. I love that my time at home with my son is family time and not BUSYWORK time.
Our sons loves going to school each day. He is challenged and pushed and doesn't necessarily fall into a grade level. He's allowed to individually progress at his own speed, and the teachers are meticulously involved to know what each student needs, as the classes are small and will stay that way. They have the opportunity to be involved in clubs and service opportunities, which is important to me for character development. All grade levels interact with each other, which provides the older kids an opportunity to mentor and the younger kids the ability to learn from their true peers. They participate in projects so they have a well-rounded aspect of their subjects- they all intermingle- and then present what they have learned every 6-8 weeks. I love that I can go in and KNOW what he is learning. There is a sense of community, where the parents are deeply involved. I am able to have personal contact with anyone at the school at any time. After contemplating whether we should continue in our homeschool or pursue an outside school, we were not comfortable with public school and how it would likely fall short of meeting our son's academic needs. When I toured NTLA, I immediately knew it was home for us, and we haven't looked back.
The curriculum is rich with balancing hands on learning and "book studying" which helps prepare them for upper class curriculum but also to make sure they learn by hands on experience which keeps them more engaged.
I'm thankful this school is available for my son. The school incorporates Project Based Learning across the curriculum so all learning is relevant and applied. I like this model because my son is collaborating and learning to think critically vs. just memorizing facts for a test. The students showcase their work in some way at the end of each unit and parents are always invited. Parent involvement is encouraged and high. I also like the focus on leadership and service. Class sizes are small, 12 max/teacher, and individualized lessons are created to challenge my son where he's at each day. That's a major selling point for me. And he loves going to school.
We love this school. It is project based learning. Our so n enjoys the creative ways he can go beyond the classroom to discover the answers. This school has really helped him as he needs that stimulation. Manners have greatly improved. I just feel like this school is helping to raise our kids with respect you just don't see in most kids. No complaints. I like the atmosphere and I love the community of this place. I am really impressed by the work I see in the older kids to know my son can get this education.
When you start reviewing this school, you have to begin with the Principal. You will not find a Principal more entrenched, involved, engaged, determined, and dedicated to the complete growth and well-being of the school, staff, students, and parents. After two public schools, and two private Catholic schools, our child is finally being challenged. Your child benefits from a personal curriculum with each teacher, mixed in with project based learning. The entire student body of 30-40 kids interact and work together on a daily basis. Each staff member has a full understanding of each student, all staff is approachable and puts forth the effort to make this school special. I guarantee I could contact all staff today, and get a response before the day is over. Parental involvement and support is strong in volunteering time, attendance in school functions on and off campus, and running after school activities. There is a sense of community that envelops the school, a powerful urge behind all to empower and mold your child into a leader now and for the rest of their lives.