Connecticut Experiential Learning Center (CELC) Middle School

  • CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) A Middle School that Makes a Difference Designed to empower youth, CELC`s curriculum offers innovative opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
  • Presenting young people with the chance to interact through genuine experience prompts thoughtfulness and common sense.
  • There is room for discussion, logic, imagination, and experimentation uncertainty and shyness move towards confidence and accomplishment.
  • Authentic new learning is supported each day, serving as a bridge to give the academic and developmental needs a place to emerge, grow, and flourish.
  • Students come from a variety of towns throughout Connecticut, from families looking for a program that engages and deepens learning, where their children thrive during these important and pivotal 5th-8th grade years.

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
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students25 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 22%
Students by Grade Connecticut Experiential Learning Center (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

  • CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) MIddle School provides an energizing, personalized, and significant middle school experience for each student. Small in size, lasting in impact, CELC prides itself on teaching the value of being productive members of the local community and constructive citizens of the world.
  • In keeping with the best practices for adolescent learners, considerable attention is given to connecting individual curricular areas to overarching themes. Students explore essential questions that unite broad areas of knowledge, relate historical concepts and trends to current events and their own experiences, refine their research and writing skills and have opportunities to work both independently 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 Leadership Training, Peace Studies, Music, Art, Drama, Cooking and Service Learning.
  • Through the outdoor education program, students are encouraged to extend beyond their personal comfort levels in a demanding yet supportive environment. Hiking, backpacking, skiing, kayaking, and outdoor survival training provide opportunities to utilize newfound skills 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 nurture their highest potential. By providing a community based in the guiding principles of integrity and individual learning, the innate desires of all children to learn, grow, communicate and create are honored.
  • CELC also offers a variety of workshops and special events throughout the year for students and parents.
  • To schedule a visit or for more information, email Visit us online to subscribe to our mailing list. 
Show me:
Show me:
  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Branford
    St Mary School
    (Roman Catholic)
    Grades: PK-8 | 141 students
    3.4 miles
    62 Cedar St
    Branford, CT 06405
    3.4 PK-8
  • Orange
    Grades: PK-8 | 183 students
    13.5 miles
    261 Derby Ave
    Orange, CT 06477
    13.5 PK-8
  • Allen Park
    Grades: NS-3 | 142 students
    542.8 miles
    4141 Laurence Ave
    Allen Park, MI 48101
    542.8 NS-3
  • Ann Arbor
    Go Like The Wind Montessori School
    Go Like The Wind Montessori School Photo
    Montessori School (Christian)
    Grades: PK-8 | 160 students
    566.1 miles
    3540 Dixboro Lane
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105
    566.1 PK-8
  • Ann Arbor
    Grades: 6-12 | 525 students
    567.1 miles
    850 Greenhills Drive
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105
    567.1 6-12

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (4 reviews)
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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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Connecticut is $15,942 for elementary schools and $33,178 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Connecticut is 70% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).