Truckee’s Custom Learning Academy earns accreditation |

Truckee’s Custom Learning Academy earns accreditation

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The private Custom Learning Academy in Tahoe Donner will enter its fifth year of instruction this fall as a fully accredited K-12 institution.

CLA Executive Director Lisa Crosby made the announcement before a group of about 15 parents and educators Monday at the Cedar House Sport Hotel.

and#8220;We’ve had the intention of being a community resource since we opened in 2005,and#8221; said Crosby during a presentation Monday and#8220;So I’m pleased to announce our recent whole school accreditation.and#8221;

The four year-old nonprofit private school recently received its full accreditation from the state of California.

Accreditation means the school earns recognition and acceptance from state and national bodies as a credible place of education. It also means the school qualifies for acceptance of credits from University of California schools and gives it the ability to issue Advanced Placement tests for high school students.

The school costs $8,645 a year for students K-8, and $11,875 annually for high school.

Crosby, a public school veteran from the Washoe County schools and a Truckee resident, said she created CLA to fill a need in the Truckee community for students not adequately served by the public school system.

and#8220;I started originally teaching math for credit courses, then expanded into any of the areas I’m accredited in (math, literacy, physical science and K-8 elementary instruction),and#8221; Crosby said.

From there, the school grew through word-of-mouth, and as more students came, Crosby increased her staff.

The school now employs about 20 staff members, good enough for a 10-1 student-to-teacher classroom ratio.

and#8220;I really felt like community need propelled our growth,and#8221; Crosby said.

The growth model for the school is to continue to expand this year. In 2008-2009, about 18 students attended CLA as their full-time school, Crosby said. When school begins this fall, about 30 students will call CLA their only school, and Crosby said she hopes to increase that number by another 20 students. In all, about 134 students use the school for full time, part time or single-course classes.

The school teaches to national standards and employs bits and pieces of different curriculums.

Crosby said the attraction for parents are the small class sizes and the CLA’s unique and#8220;mastery education,and#8221; guidelines. Many CLA parents at Wednesday’s announcement praised the system, which requires students master a concept prior to moving on.

Students are scheduled for a June dismissal date, Crosby said, but if they do not master goals laid out by the curriculum, parents, themselves and teachers, they remain at the school into the summer to finish their studies.

Another personalized facet of the school’s operations comes from Crosby, who in addition to running the school as an administrator checks in on each student’s progress and tailors an individualized curriculum.

The school will retain it’s courses-for-credit program, which allows students to complete credits in an after-school setting they might struggle with or are unable to take at their regular school, and also its tutoring program.

Crosby said the school is also attractive to alpine athletes, who sometimes miss school for week-long or more stretches at a time during the winter to compete across the West. With an individualized curriculum, Crosby said, students can miss time and still finish their studies without penalty.

and#8220;With the athletes we can schedule it so they gain instruction time in the fall and then spring when the season is over, and school’s not out until you finish your requirements,and#8221; Crosby said.

For information on the school you can visit online or call (530) 587-5470.

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