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6. Are you a charter school?

No, we are a fully independent non-profit private school.  Charter schools are part of the public school system, under separate state funding, and they must follow all the restrictive regulations.  Our teachers have complete academic freedom, not bound by state mandates on what’s taught, when, and how.  We do not do PARCC testing.  We do not teach to the test in any subject, though world-leading Singapore math has very good unit tests on skills and concepts .  While this leaves us without state and federal funding, our freedom is worth it for your child and for our teachers.

5. Do you have age cutoffs in classes? How are students grouped by age?

First, we have no birthday cutoffs.  We accept students in early kindergarten at age 4, which they need not have reached by the first day of school.  We make judgments on an individual basis.  Second, students progress from their levels of ability, not their age; rather than a lockstep education, we help each student thrive in each subject at his or her pace.  Each student has a grade level, such as 4th grade, which is usually based on age, but it is only nominal.   We have students in grades above their nominal age, but we believe that students grow best socially and emotionally when with others fairly close in age.

4. What academic levels do you offer?

We offer early kindergarten through 8th grade currently.  Early kindergarten is a half-day (with a full-day option), a truly academic program, not day care.  Students are grouped by ability, not age.  While most students have an age group, such as grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5, and middle school in the 2016-2017 academic  year, students regularly go to advanced groups in various subjects.  A first-grader who’s had Chinese in kindergarten may go to intermediate Chinese, while an older student who’s never had Chinese goes to beginning Chinese.  A number of students are advanced in math, while in all math classes students work at their individual level with the help of our teacher.  Our scheduling to accommodate the diversity of students’ levels in all subjects is extremely complex, but we do it because it’s worth it for our students;  we use advanced math, simulated annealing, to do this!

3. What if my child has been in public school and is behind in one or more subjects?

This is quite common, and is often one of the reasons that parents wish to enroll their child in the LCA.  Still, the child and the parents may worry that the child will fall behind in our strong academic program.  We assure you that a child with basic talent, undeveloped though it may be, can progress well in our environment.  Our students are placed individually at appropriate levels in each subject.  As an example of progress, a student came into 4th grade reading at 3rd-grade level; with a program of reading interesting books, he advanced to 5th-grade level within a semester.

2. Does my child need to be tested?

No, we do not require testing.  However, if your child has been tested, has an IEP (Individual Education Plan), or both,  we do ask for those records.  This can help us plan how our teachers can best help your child.  We do require transcripts if your child has been in school before coming to the LCA.

1. Does my child need to be gifted to enroll?

We have students who are advanced and motivated.  Few have been formally assessed as gifted.  We ask families as a whole to support students who are willing to apply themselves to a strongly academic program.  We know that students are very rarely gifted or even advanced in most subjects.  Our mission is to help your child develop to his or her capabilities in each subject, from any base at which he or she enters.