Truckee’s Custom Learning Academy announces spring open house

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – Custom Learning Academy (CLA) announces 2013-2014 enrollment opportunities for all interested kindergarten through 12th-grade students. Brainchild of longtime educator Lisa Crosby, CLA is Truckee’s only WASC-accredited nonprofit, independent school for K-12 students.

“We offer families an unparalleled, highly personal approach to education. Our kindergarten through 12th-grade curriculum is based on national standards and year after year, our students perform above grade level while developing extraordinary friendships,” said Crosby, M.Ed. the school’s director. “Our mission is to achieve academic success for each student. Our unique model, 10-to-one student to teacher ratio and exceptional teachers make this possible.”

Before admission, students are screened for their ability to adhere to a strict behavior contract. One of the many characteristics that attract families to CLA is the enforced no-bullying policy that governs all classes and school activities. CLA accepts students of all academic levels.

Student success is based on academic performance and emotional intelligence as well as scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, a standardized test used by independent schools nationwide to measure achievement. During the last five years, all CLA students have scored at or above grade level. Crosby attributes students high-standardized test scores and overall academic success to CLA’s emphasis on mastery, low student to teacher ratio, outstanding educators and school leadership. In addition to full time enrollment, children and teens throughout Tahoe Truckee take advantage of Custom Learning Academy’s affordable afterschool homework club, private tutoring and weekly themed summer camps.

Dawn Neuftel, a mother of two CLA students, said: “I love CLA’s flexibility. My sons are challenged. I love the Friday performance each week, and the variations in electives keeps my sons loving school. My kindergartener is being challenged appropriately without experiencing frustration. My 10th-grader gets the support when he needs it and the one-to-one opportunities for learning in two subjects, which is wonderful! CLA is why we moved to Truckee from the Florida Keys.”

Open House for the whole family

Parents and children are invited to discover the reality of customized teaching and learning during the 2013 CLA open house Wednesday, March 13, 6-7:30 p.m. at 12710 Northwoods Boulevard in Tahoe Donner.

The open house includes age-appropriate sessions with interactive activities for children and information for parents. Soon-to-be kindergarten and first-grade students will use water colors to paint a still life in celebration of springtime, second and third graders will have the opportunity to explore adjectives through a creative art project with clay, and fourth and fifth-grade students will be enthralled with a science experiment involving small motors. Older children will also be engaged. Middle school students will have an iPad art project and high school students will explore European history through an engaging display created by current CLA students (all children should be accompanied by an adult). Following the breakout sessions everyone is invited to enjoy complimentary refreshments.

Spring enrollment for parents only

Parents and guardians have the opportunity to secure a 2013-2014 place at CLA during the spring enrollment event on Wednesday evening, March 20. The enrollment social features refreshments as well as extraordinary artwork by current students and photos from this academic year. In addition, CLA will offer a tuition savings option for interested families that pay next yea’s tuition in full. For details call Custom Learning Academy or visit To RSVP for the enrollment event, e-mail your name, phone number and child’s 2013-2014 grade level to or call 530-587-5470. When you RSVP, you will receive event details including time and location.

Annual tuition, including all books, basic school supplies and four core academics plus a foreign language, art, music, choir, drama (for EQ skills) and daily physical education, is $11,000 for elementary students. Secondary student tuition is $14,500 (sixth-12th) and includes four core subjects, a foreign language, an elective and choice from 15 AP courses. Families are encouraged to explore CLA this winter and begin the application process for 2013-2014 by meeting with Crosby.

“Learning is what happens at CLA. We grow academic self-esteem. We create a foundation that fuels future success in college placement and beyond,” said Crosby. “We understand many families value education but may be struggling financially right now, so we made the decision to not raise full-time tuition for the coming academic year.”

Crosby has lived in Truckee with her husband since 1993. After more than a decade teaching math in public high schools and getting her Master’s degree, she started CLA in 2005. With an unusual set of credentials including Literacy Specialist, K-8 Multiple subject, Math (with Calculus), Physics and Chemistry, she possesses the knowledge to address student’s academic needs. Her studies have included topics in neuroscience as it applies to learning, math anxiety and test anxiety – which are key to planning for children’s educational needs. She is passionate about including parents in their student’s academic placement.

“Who knows your student better than you do? It is what I wanted as a parent,” she explains. Like many students at CLA, her high school sons have excelled, above grade level, in math and English, study foreign languages and are preparing for college. When she is not at CLA, Crosby enjoys skiing, hiking, boating, beading jewelry, cooking, backpacking and camping with her family.

For more information visit or call 530-587-5470. CLA is located at 12710 Northwoods Blvd. in Tahoe Donner.

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