Clonlara School Home Based Education Program

1289 Jewett Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-0804
Tel: (734)769-4511
Grades: K-12 | 690 students
The heart of our philosophy in the Clonlara School Home Based Education Program is that learning happens in a variety of ways and that many activities and life experiences can be considered as integral to a student’s education.
Clonlara Campus School was founded in 1967 by Pat Montgomery, PhD, with the goal of empowering students to participate in the design and application of their own educations.
The Home Based Education Program has been in existence since 1979.
Our mission is to provide programs and services that that recognize and support a learner's curiosity, strengths, and interests as the foundation of his or her educational experience. We serve students in K-12 from the U.S. and 33 other countries (as of 2013-14 school year). Clonlara School’s Home Based Education Program is fully accredited by Accreditation International (Ai), Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA-CESS), and the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA).

School Overview

School Type Alternative School
School Membership(s)School Assoc. State or regional independent school association
National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools
Religious Affiliation Non-sectarian
Grades Offered Grades Kindergarten-12
Learning Difference Programs Yes
Learning Programs Supported Yes!
Year Founded 1979

Student Body

Total Students 690 students
Student Body Type Co-ed
Students by Grade Clonlara School Home Based Education Program Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

% Faculty w/Advanced Degree

Finances and Admission

Admission Deadline None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost $825
Tuition Notes K-8 tuition $825 per year Grades 9-12 $1200 per year New enrollment of a graduating senior $2000 One-time registration fee $200
Admissions Director Martha Rhodes
Admissions Associate Will Hettling

School Notes

Many kinds of students benefit from our home-based program, including ones who are:

  •  motivated to design their own educational path
  • realizing that the traditional school system is not right for them, for a variety of reasons
  • advanced in one or more subject areas
  • non-traditional learners
  • struggling due to special needs such as dyslexia, autism, ADHD
  • seriously pursuing interests in performing arts, music, or sports
  • traveling extensively and in need of a “portable” education
  • college bound and non-college bound
  • needing credit recovery due to illness, learning disabilities, or other reasons
  • high achievers who have a special interest they want to study in depth
  • experiencing health issues that prevent them from attending school

We do not have a prescribed curriculum, although advisors provide resource recommendations.
This enables each student and family to develop an individualized plan. Our advisors help students
and their families design a curriculum that is customized to meet their goals, while allowing them
the flexibility and time to pursue their passions.

We believe that creating a curriculum should be a good fit with the student’s learning style,
interests, and goals. Students may want to move quickly through a subject area, or work in great
depth in the subject; with Clonlara, they can make as much progress as they are able to, without
being tied to a grade-level syllabus. Students may need to take their time in a subject area and move
at a slower pace, or go off on tangents; there is no barrier to doing this, either. Students can travel,
immerse themselves in a subject they care about, or devote themselves seriously to performing
arts, athletics and entrepreneurship, among other pursuits, while still moving forward on their
educational path. High school students can earn credit toward their diploma for doing what they
love to do.

We believe learning happens in many different ways. Our students learn through performances,
visiting museums, or interviewing community members. They can study as apprentices, take an
online course, use books, websites, lectures, audio and video materials, and design or write their
own creations.

Once enrolled, a family is assigned to an advisor. Students and parents work closely with their
Clonlara advisor to map out an educational plan that fits their student’s interests, needs, and
aspirations. Topics for discussion may be choice of subjects to be learned, how to approach
learning, materials and resources to be used, and ways to ensure learning is achieved and

Clonlara students learn to make and carry out an educational plan independently, with guidance
from their families and their advisor. They benefit from the varied experiences and active learning
situations they are able to have as Clonlara students. Our graduates have been accepted to
many prestigious colleges and universities, technical and vocational programs, and a wide variety of employers.

Profile last updated: 07/17/2015

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School Reviews

Clonlara School fosters an environment that is free. When I initally enrolled my three children, I was scared that the lack of structured learning that I was used to, having gone to university and then grad school and then a lifelong of CE that I had made a mistake. Six months in and my children were flourishing. They were happy and excited that I could plan a curriculum around their interests and little did they know but they were learning! We are now almost two years in and my children are bright, independent and outgoing. They have a great understanding and appreciation of their world around them. I also want to add that Ms. Bev Munday who is not only my academic advisor but Dean of Home based Education is one of the kindest, and nicest people, always willing to work with you to help your children get to where they need to go!
- Posted by Parent, 02/24/16
This is our second year with Clonlara and we are very happy with them. We use their consulting and documentation services. We were homeschooling fine on our own but I had a child approaching high school and I wanted to know what Clonlara could provide us in terms of transcripts. Yes I probably could create high school transcripts on my own but I had enough DIY projects on my plate homeschooling two kids and living overseas. What I discovered was they have outstanding advisors. They are intelligent, caring and experienced. They have served as a great sounding board as I debate which curricula to use each school year and even provide great tips on managing my students. I also was pleased with how our documentation of their school years is now leaps and bounds ahead of what I was doing on my own. Not in quantity, but quality. From their help in assessing and improving progress beyond quizzes and test scores to more thoughtful high school planning (I'm a researcher...I had studied up on this already...their services just took me that much further). It is true that Clonlara requires work from me. There is paperwork for me to fill out and it is time consuming -- but they have been worth my time. And Clonlara provides good guidance on producing the paperwork so I'm never at a loss. All in all, I think they are a good value and I would recommend them to other homeschoolers.
- Posted by Parent, 10/08/15

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Did You Know?
The average acceptance rate in Ann Arbor, MI is 80% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).