This small private school is the least beneficial educational option in Morgantown, for third to eighth grade (probably ok for lower grades). They have no structured curriculum in most elementary school subjects. Accordingly, students aren't given textbooks, homework or tests, with few exceptions (e.g., a math textbook). A fourth grader is typically unable to find countries on a map, tell you how the U.S. government works, or even define basic everyday concepts like speed. They combine grade levels together into one classroom because they can't enroll enough kids to support one teacher per grade, and then provide the ad hoc rationalization that this somehow produces a more individualized education, which, obviously, doesn't make sense. It is very hard to argue that they provide the 5 hours of instruction per day required by the state to maintain their business license. They pretend on their website to have programs that do not actually exist. I feel sorry for MLA kids, especially upper elementary and middle school; the latter, by the way, consists of the eleven or so kids for all three grades, aggregated together in one classroom under one teacher. They're missing out on the much better opportunities available in public schools, like a well-rounded and organized curriculum, band/orchestra/chorus, foreign languages, enriched programs for talented/gifted kids, a school library, a diverse student body and the kind of rich, challenging educational program that prepares them well for working and thinking independently in later life. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you get a better education for your child by paying for it. Don’t assume that “small class sizes” are always better. Sometimes, they’re not.
(I am a parent and a teacher at MLA) Five years ago, I was a nervous mother bringing my son for his first day of Kindergarten. Now, both of my children attend school here. It is a blessing to hear my older son tell me that he can hardly wait to go to school, or to hear my younger son tell me all of things he did with his "friend" that day (who is his teacher!) MLA is my second home and the job that I wake up every morning excited to go to. From the open hearts and hugs of my students, to the steadfast support of my coworkers (friends!) through the ups and downs of life, I can't say enough good things about this little school.
Small classes provide the opportunity for more personal and individualized attention. MLA is a unique place that embraces the chance to help your child grow at their own pace. When they are ready to progress to the next math or reading level, that's where they go! No waiting for the whole class to be ready. They love to be outdoors, which is something that helps children be more productive in the classroom. PE everyday and outdoor education weaved into the cirriculum. Kids are loved and nurtured to be the best they can be. My children have blossomed and LOVE school. I'm always reassured of the choice I made to send them to MLA when I hear other parents with kids at other schools say their kids dislike school. Mine usually don't want to leave at the end of the day. I also appreciate the open communication between the teachers and myself. They work there because they believe in the purpose of MLA and are hard working and dedicated.
Our son has attended MLA for the past 4 years. We love so many things about the school that it is hard to list. The school has a deep sense of community, within, in Morgantown, and has programs that foster this belief on a worldwide scale. My son has a penpal in Nepal and participates in a music program that reaches out across the globe as well. Kids love school, the other students, and teachers. Classes become family and I have never experienced such support in another educational setting. Field Trips are often and informative. We love the outdoor programs and the phys ed is truly exceptional! Kids are tested (Terranova) once yearly. My son has tested above grade level every year, with little homework and a very active classroom. I would suggest MLA to any family looking for a school that teaches human value, the importance of education, and a love for the outdoors. It is a non-pretentious private school for people who value the individual.
Finding the best school for our children was a big concern when we moved to Morgantown. We gave the over-crowded public school a shot and the Catholic school. Our children didn't flourish until we found MLA. Now they are excellent students working above grade level. MLA has a 'real' individual learning plan where kids work in groups on their level no matter the age/grade, instills a love of learning---particularly reading with their unique book buddies program and since it's a small school with small class size, the teachers and staff know how each child learns best and they are very in touch with the social/emotional side of the kids. The school fosters a deep sense of community and acceptance. I can't imagine bullying or cliques there, but if it comes up, I know the staff would immediately deal with it and everyone would learn from it. We particularly love the physical education program at the school. Not only do the kids have gym everyday, but it's not just playing dodgeball, the program is centered on lifelong fitness, health and nutrition. The addition of the outdoor leadership program into the curriculum is icing on the cake. We highly recommend MLA.
I am so impressed with the expanded learning opportunities at MLA. The addition of Mountain Sol and the rocketry club are great adjuncts to the science curriculum. Partnering with schools across the globe greatly expands the student's world view.
My child has attended MLA for 6 years and I have loved seeing her grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially. I love the small group settings that emphasize the love of learning, intellectual curiosity and producing life long learners. MLA has a unique reading and math programs that allowed my child to advance at her own pace and challenged her to explore the curriculum from multiple perspectives. The teachers and staff know all the students and their families and work hard to provide a safe and nurturing community. I have been more than happy with this school and highly recommend you considering it for your child.
More than half of the preschool children are reading. 100% of the kindergarten class is reading, and most of them are well into the 1st and 2nd grade curriculum. Personalized attention, parental involvement, this is a model for all schools. 100% of graduates are going to college.
If you want small classes, personalized attention for your child, and a curriculum that exceeds state standards, this is the best private K-8 school in the greater Morgantown area. Tuition is less than extra real estate tax you would pay across the state line in Pennsylvania.
My daughter just started at MLA and she could not be happier. The work is challenging. The classes are small. The teachers are very caring. My daughter is 8 years old but is very advanced in math and reading. Rather than skipping her, they simply have allowed her to take math and reading with the 6th graders. She is flourishing in part because she can socialize with the 4th graders while getting the intellectual rigor that she needs. She comes home looking forward to school the next day.