CELC Middle School

CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) A Middle Schoolthat Makes a Difference Designed to empower youth, CELC`scurriculum offers innovative opportunities both in and out of theclassroom.
Presenting young people with the chance to interact throughgenuine experience prompts thoughtfulness and common sense.
There is room for discussion, logic, imagination, andexperimentation uncertainty and shyness move towards confidence andaccomplishment.
Authentic new learning is supported each day, serving as abridge to give the academic and developmental needs a place toemerge, grow, and flourish.
Students come from a variety of towns throughout Connecticut,from families looking for a program that engages and deepenslearning, where their children thrive during these important andpivotal 5th-8th grade years.

Upcoming Events and News

  • Restore Learning From a Lost Academic Year at CELC Middle School - 03/03/2021 - With a 6:1 student:teacher ratio, CELC provides personalized instruction in a complete range of subject areas, both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. The methodology of employing this ...moretype of instruction in a multidisciplinary, hands-on program engages and motivates our students to achieve results that are transformational to each student`s life.

    CELC Middle School is a school catering only to middle school-aged students, using highly qualified middle school teachers who discover and nurture the gifts of each student.Our students` parents tell us that:CELC focuses only on the middle years, with specialist teachers who understand how to motivate and engage students, transforming their lives.CELC teaches students how to learn in the way that they learn best. The students find their pathways to learning at CELC.

    Differentiated instruction that is highly personalized and focuses on the academic and social emotional elements of education creates children with a high sense of self-esteem.The focus on out-of-classroom activities including daily physical education builds character within each student.The strength of the academic program is equal to the extraordinary quality of the experiential program.

    With many parents who feel their children may have "lost" another part of a school year by being remote or hybrid, CELC has much to offer - a place where students receive personalized attention to rebuild engagement and have solid and joyful middle school experiences that offer growth of the person, academically/socially/emotionally, towards preparedness for success in high school and beyond, all for which CELC is known.

    Limited Openings are available now for 2021-22.
    Contact mandm@CTExperiential.org or call 203.433.4658.

    Visit CTExperiential.org

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.Other special emphasis association(s)
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Association for Experiential Education (AEE)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades 5-8
ADD/ADHD SupportYes
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs SupportedMild Learning Differences, Gifted, Twice Exceptional (2e), Dyslexia, Processing Issues
Year Founded2009
Summer School OfferedYes

Student Body

Total Students25 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
Students by Grade CELC Middle School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers10 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio3:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size8 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$20,950
Tuition Noteslimited financial aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorMelinda Alcosser

School Notes

With a 6:1 student:teacher ratio, CELC provides personalizedinstruction both in the classroom and outside of the classroom in acomplete range of subject areas. Our methodology of employing inand out of classroom instruction in a multidisciplinary, hands-onprogram engages and motivates our students to achieve results thataretransformational to each student`s life.For 2020/2021 wedeveloped three options from which to choosefor families tohave their children safely educated.

5 Days Per Week Onsite Program Regular CELC Hours
Classroom configuration to ensure healthy spacingLimited spacesavailable for the on-site program first come, first served forthese spaces

On-Site Program and RemoteLearning Combination
Select specific day(s) and times when your child is on-site incombination with remote learningFor those days when your child isnot on-site, active participation in CELC`s learning community viaour remote learning module

Remote Learning
Your child is an active participant in CELC`s learning environment,receiving a robust academic and social/emotional educationalexperience via our innovative remote learning module.
  • CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) MIddle School providesan energizing, personalized, and significant middle schoolexperience for each student. Small in size, lasting in impact, CELCprides itself on teaching the value of being productive members ofthe local community and constructive citizens of the world.
  • In keeping with the best practices for adolescent learners,considerable attention is given to connecting individual curricularareas to overarching themes. Students explore essential questionsthat unite broad areas of knowledge, relate historical concepts andtrends to current events and their own experiences, refine theirresearch and writing skills and have opportunities to work bothindependently and cooperatively. Math, Science, Language Arts, U.S.History and Current Events are integrated with, and enriched by,the curriculum in the areas of Environmental Studies and LeadershipTraining, Peace Studies, Music, Art, Drama, Cooking and ServiceLearning.
  • Through the outdoor education program, students are encouragedto extend beyond their personal comfort levels in a demanding yetsupportive environment. Hiking, backpacking, skiing, kayaking, andoutdoor survival training provide opportunities to utilize newfoundskills and levels of assuredness.
  • Faculty and guests artists bring expertise in diverse areas,designed to broaden a student`s perspective and understanding.
  • The intention of CELC is to challenge students and nurturetheir highest potential. By providing a community based in theguiding principles of integrity and individual learning, the innatedesires of all children to learn, grow, communicate and create arehonored.
  • CELC also offers a variety of workshops and special eventsthroughout the year for students and parents.
  • To schedule a visit or for more information, emailmandm@CTExperiential.org Visit us online www.CTExperiential.org tosubscribe to our mailing list.

Profile last updated:

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  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Branford
    St. Mary School
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  • Allen Park
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    Go Like The Wind Montessori School Photo
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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (11 reviews)
We are so grateful for the wonderful experiences and excellent education our son has received at CELC middle school. The amazing, dedicated teachers have created a nurturing environment, where the students really get to know each other. As a result, they have created a unique space where kids feel comfortable to learn, grow, and to be curious. Students are advanced and challenged according to their abilities and interests in a small class environment where they stay engaged and connected. The school provides a wonderful breadth of activities beyond the core academics, including twice a week field trips, a Kingian nonviolence class, music, theater, cooking, community service, student run workshops, and other enriching experiences. Our son loves going to CELC, and CELC has inspired him to learn and to be his best self there.
- Posted by
My child loved middle school and looked forward to going every day! CELC is a truly unique middle school experience, that other programs would benefit from modeling themselves after. Their community building approach facilitates social and emotional learning as well as character development. Their teachers have an amazing talent for knowing how much support a child needs in order to succeed in making the next step toward independence. The learning-by- doing approach is engaging and makes real world sense. Academics are rigorous, differentiated and focus on teaching students how to manage their work. CELC did a fantastic job preparing my son for high school. I highly recommend CELC.
- Posted by
As a student, CELC has helped me grow and develop in countless ways, socially, academically, and personally. CELC has not only provided me with the skills needed to transition to high school, but has also been an integral aspect in my development as a person, teaching important lessons that apply to all of life. The impact it has had is tremendous - I came into CELC at 7th grade barely able to write a paragraph or start a conversation. Over the course of the experience with CELC, I was constantly pushed outside my comfort zone and encouraged to grow, which ultimately lead to the spectacular outcome of my enormous development in these and many other aspects. I would absolutely not be the same person I am today without having been part of the CELC program and learning community. I am very appreciative of the opportunities offered over the course of my experience, and I would absolutely recommend the program to anyone.- Ethan Reynolds, CELC Alum 2020.
- Posted by
CELC = Phenomenal. Writing a review to encapsulate the essence of an experience to someone unfamiliar is daunting. Students spend so much time in school that it is second only to home and family in its impact on their development. CELC is the first time our student has been seen completely and as an individual. Melinda and Maria have the unique gift to see where students are and to meet them there. They can challenge and support each learner. We have been impressed by their ability to individualize while maintaining a cohesive whole. Watching our student's mind be stretched is exactly what we hoped for during these middle years. Teaching critical thinking and how to learn while covering the core fundamentals. The students have been equally impressive in their inclusivity and support for one another during a year like no other. Just like the experiential nature of the school, nothing replaces a visit to experience CELC for yourself. We feel extremely fortunate to have found this excellent niche of a learning community.
- Posted by
My son had a wonderful growth in all aspects at CELC. The teachers supported both his academic and mental development, which helped him to shape his personality at the right age. There was a lot of exposure to too many extra-curricular activities which enriched his learning experience. They involve in community service, drama, hiking, cooking music, theater apart from all the curricular subjects. The teachers at CELC make sure every child is comfortable and inclusive, which builds confidence to young learners. My overall experience with CELC has been remarkable, teachers are dedicated, a great environment for learning, and my son had an enriching experience.
- Posted by
We enrolled our daughter in CELC MIDDLE SCHOOL starting September 2020. We were attracted by their plan to school "in person", 5 days a week if possible. With a well-reasoned plan and strict approach, they have been able to do that and much more. The mix of activities has our Daughter fully engaged. She is also showing a sense of obligation to do her part and meets CELC's expectations of Her.....in a most positive way.
- Posted by
I am greatly appreciative to you two because you prepared me for high school. Through my two years in the highly personalized teaching, that was matched to my skills and abilities, I would not be where I am today. In my first semester of my freshman year of high school, I managed to get all A's! I greatly appreciate you guys!
- Posted by
A very interesting choice for middle school: CELC provides a far greater range of growth experiences than possible for a traditional school. Academics are differentiated and based on readiness and ability rather than grade/age. The small size made me nervous at first, but it offered many advantages, like being able to get out of the classroom (this year's class went on day and overnight trips to New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and all over Connecticut), true differentiation, and also community-building (the students are more like a family than a typical student body). Students have opportunities to learn from true experts - theater at Long Wharf, Spanish from a teacher in Guatemala (via Skype), and woodworking, music, yoga and mindfulness from professionals. They regularly worked at an organic farm, served meals at the Community Dining Room and had outdoor education at Bushy Hill and Common Ground. My child ended his year with many new experiences under his belt and a surprising amount of knowledge about the modern world.
- Posted by
This school offers each child individual attention. The ability of the students to have regular "hands on" instruction, is key to learning, and keeps kids engaged. I can not say enough about this school, its teachers, and the links it has to community involvement. Children who attend, are provided with amazing, real life opportunities for learning.
- Posted by
CELC offers differentiation to help each individual child grow and each his or her potential. They have a creative curriculum that links classroom learning with real world experience. The teachers are amazing at helping students become more independent and accountable, while providing a safe environment. I highly recommend CELC.
- Posted by
I am a retired elementary school teacher of twenty three years. I have worked with CELC since their beginnings at our small, organic farm on environmental and agricultural education with a focus on sustainable living. I have also taught language arts in the their classroom. From day one, I have been impressed with the teachers'' presentation, expectations, and accountability of both academic and experiential programs. Maria and Melinda have a well thought out and planned curriculum, intentionally designed to address academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of each child. And each child has very different needs in each of these four realms. This type of education is almost non-existent in our society but oh so necessary. It addresses the whole child and all of his or her needs. I have been impressed with the maturity, focus, and productivity of these young people when they come to our farm. They come to learn but they also come to work. And they do work as they learn. They share camaraderie, laughs, and knowledge amongst themselves in a respectful manner. On occasion, when disrespect is observed by the teachers it is addressed immediately in the context of the experience. It is not tabled or ignored and replaced by a future, theoretical, group discussion. Though that may happen additionally. CELC kids learned how to speak with confidence during conversations with peers and adults, when asking a question or when doing a major academic presentation. They also learn to listen patiently and intently so they can respond in a thoughtful way. In my opinion and from my experience this is the way education should be. The CELC kids will, no doubt, look back on their experience with Maria and Melinda and see how important it was to their future growth, maturity, and success in our world community. Rob Cole-Whiffen
- Posted by

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The average private school tuition in Connecticut is $17,599 for elementary schools and $35,282 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Connecticut is 68% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).