“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” -- Edward Everett Hale
January 4, 2018
Dear Families and Friends,
On behalf of my colleagues, it has been great to start 2019 welcoming back students as we commit to working with them to bring their best to their scholastic pursuits in these closing weeks of our first semester. As we enter a new calendar year, as as well soon approach the halfway point of our school year, I would like to invite all members of our school community to come together for a Community Conversation reflecting on this small and unique school of ours. The event is scheduled for Monday, January 14th at 6:30PM in the school’s cafe. Light refreshments will be served, as well as plenty of food for thought.
Leading up to this Community Conversation, I wanted to reference a brief online survey sent out to
this past summer to garner feedback from the school’s stakeholders about sources of pride and also
areas of concern or hope for CLA moving forward. 50 responses were received (37 parent-caregivers, 7
students, and 9 staff members). Here is a summary of the survey that has been and will continue helping
drive some of the work we are doing to forge a stronger school as we move forward growing and
evolving towards meeting our mission and honoring our beliefs and values:
(1) On a scale of 0-10, do you feel that CLA meets the academic/scholastic needs of its students?
Aggregate Average = 7.8
(2) On a scale of 0-10, do you think that CLA offers a culture and climate where in your role (student,
parent-caregiver, staff member) you feel valued and respected, as well as have a voice and sense of
ownership and belonging in the school community?
Aggregate Average = 7.7
(3) On a scale of 0-10, how satisfied have you been with your overall experience with CLA?
Aggregate Average = 7.7
When asked for anecdotal responses to supporting survey questions about CLA’s strengths and what
has worked well at the school, as well as aspects that have been falling short of expectations here is a
composite of what was shared:
●The school provides an environment that is emotionally safe for students to be
themselves, where they can grow strong and independent.
●Impressed with the sense of community the school environment has and dedication the
staff has to implement a multitude of programs for the students.
●An excellent job empowering and giving students a voice.
●Proud of all of the community service that is encouraged at CLA as these opportunities
allow for students themselves to become active members of our community.
●The school offers many different clubs/activities that students can participate in
●Availability of the teachers time for parents and students to individually communicate.
●We need to improve on having higher academic standards and deepen the depth of
learning within the various disciplines. Concern that not enough attention will be given to
research and writing skills.
●Challenging the students to do more of their own thinking through projects.
●Lack of respect and discipline amongst students; more strict deadlines for assignments
and more detailed explanations of rules to follow.
●Disappointed in the faculty & staff turnover throughout the early years of the school.
Consistency and stability is needed.
●Lack of standards with attendance and lateness control and consequences.
● Wishing the school had more extra-curricular activities like music, drama, arts.
● A school cafeteria and food service program.
● A “school zone” outside the school to aid in arrivals and departures. I’m concerned about
the safety of the students.
● Hope that the school can grow and incorporate more technology-oriented educational
● We should expand more into the other areas of the building so we can grow offer more.
● More opportunities for the school to interact with local businesses, charities, support
Please also know that our school’s Board of Directors meets monthly at the school and are open
public meetings, so please feel welcome to attend (next meeting, Tuesday, January 22nd at
6:00PM). Again, I encourage everyone to plan to attend and contribute to our Community
Conversation forum on Monday, January 14th @ 6:30PM. In the meantime, if you would like some
more information or insight, or to offer additional feedback please know that I am personally invested in
hearing from all of the school’s stakeholders--parent-caregivers, staff and, of course, our students.