What's the Difference?
A Close-up Look at the Best Private & Charter Schools
April, 2013 - Issue #102
Santa Clarita has some of the best public schools around, but that hasn't stopped an increasing number of parents from deciding to send their children to a private or charter school. A study controlled for socio-economic status clarified the academic argument for alternatives to public education, showing that private schools do more to develop students' critical thinking abilities. Smaller class sizes; more specialized instruction; safer campuses; moral guidance; and higher SAT scores are some of the many reasons SCV moms and dads choose private and charter programs. News stories about drastic reductions to public-school budgets put even more parents on the fence. The question is no longer, "Public or private?" for many; it's now, "Which private or charter school to choose?" Here's a snapshot of some of the best to help you on your journey.

Legacy Christian Academy
Offering Grades K through Eighth

The Mission | Legacy Christian Academy is committed to providing a comprehensive, rigorous and well-rounded college-preparatory education within a Christian, family-oriented, safe learning environment.

The Academics | Top-of-the-line technology is made available to every student beginning in kindergarten, with grades K and up entrusted with netbooks to allow for full engagement with academic material. Legacy students benefit from a 1:13 student-teacher ratio and are provided with a challenging, engaging college-preparatory education that prepares them for success in AP, Honors classes and university lecture halls. Enrichment courses in chess, architecture, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, photography, culinary skills, public speaking and many more provide students with an opportunity to build essential skills, confidence and critical-thinking abilities. Legacy has earned the distinction of being a NASA Exploratory School, allowing Legacy students to engage in NASA challenge projects and to participate in NASA video conferencing with NASA scientists and specialists.

The Facilities | Legacy Christian Academy boasts a beautiful 32,000-square-foot facility situated on 2.8 acres in Valencia. The school is neighbored by a tennis and aquatics center that is utilized for physical education courses. Artificial turf was installed in 2011 and is home to the school's many title-winning league teams. The campus houses a dedicated computer lab, well-appointed music room, fully-stocked art room, state-of-the-art science lab, multi-purpose room with a drama stage, extensive library and more.

Learn More | Personalized tours are available year-round and include a walk-through of the facility, office visit with an administrator and drop-in visitations of classrooms in session. 257-7377

Monticello Prep School
Offering Grades K through Eighth

The Mission | Monticello's mission is to provide an exemplary, well-rounded Christian education that is founded upon historically-proven educational traditions, along with innovative, creative processes that address the educational requirements of an increasingly-complex world.

The Academics | By providing a full school day from 8:30am to 5:30 pm, including tutoring, study hall and plenty of time for art, sports and field trips (Two monthly, on average!), Monticello is able to ensure more quality family time after school - there's no homework to contend with. The school's "flexible grouping" system allows for students who achieve the mastery level of understanding in any particular subject to advance to the next level of instruction, even if this occurs during the school calendar year. The dedicated, exceptionally-skilled faculty works with children on a 1:10 teacher-student ratio, making it possible for Monticello School to offer the renowned Core Knowledge Sequence™ Curriculum. This rigorous curriculum provides age-appropriate study of Western civilization and its arts and sciences and has been proven to dramatically accelerate both student achievement and enjoyment of learning. Monticello honors talent and ability across all disciplines and believes such talents must be encouraged and developed. For that reason, art, music, theatre arts and film classes are included as part of the curriculum.

The Facilities | Monticello's beautifully-appointed Newhall-based school expands beyond the grounds. Horseback riding, golf, tennis, soccer, ice skating, basketball and softball keep students fit and fulfilled.

Learn More | Enrollment is now open; school tours are available year round. 993-0296

courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
Chaminade College Preparatory

Offering Grades Sixth through 12th

The Mission | Chaminade College Preparatory is a coeducational Catholic school in the Marianist tradition with a mission to form morally-aware, academically-capable people to be outstanding contributors to the future.

The Academics | Founded in 1952, Chaminade prepares students for success in college and beyond. Their students are surrounded by technology that profoundly influences the ways that they discover, apply and process information. Chaminade offers a cutting-edge education with a One-to-One Tablet PC Program. Tablet PCs are issued to students in all grade levels and deliver course content in a more relevant and interactive manner, engaging students with the curriculum so pupils take an active role in their learning.

The Facilities | Chaminade serves more than 2,000 students and operates a middle school campus in Chatsworth and a high school campus in West Hills. In February of 2012 Chaminade opened the Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts which features a 365-seat theater, permanent stage, 46 lines for backdrops, curtains, lights and more, plus an integrated lighting and sound system. Drama, dance, band and choral each have their own classrooms. The drama classroom doubles as a black box theater and the dance room features a sprung, slip-resistant floor. Both the band and choral rooms have acoustic treatments. With its new, permanent home for the performing arts on campus, Chaminade firmly demonstrates the high priority it places on creativity and the indispensable value it brings to students as they move into a world that changes not by the day, but by the moment.

Learn More | Campus tours are available. Call to make an appointment.
Chatsworth Campus (grades sixth through eighth): 818-363-8127
West Hills Campus (grades ninth through 12th): 818-347-8300

"SMALLER class sizes; more specialized instruction; safer campuses; moral guidance; and higher SAT scores are some of the many reasons SCV moms and dads choose private and charter programs."
Santa Clarita Valley International (SCVi)
Offering Grades K through 12th

The Mission | SCVi's mission is to inspire lifelong learners and leaders with the skills to lead in the 21st century.

The Academics | SCVi's distinguished International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, unique to Santa Clarita, is all the more impressive when you consider that the organization is a tuition-free public charter school without district boundaries. Starting in kindergarten, students benefit from an engaging education environment that allows them the guidance and resources to deeply explore and apply concepts. IB provides children with the preparation to become active, thoughtful, knowledgeable global citizens. Hands-on critical-thinking and collaboration also begin early through project-based learning, multi-age classrooms and small classroom sizes. After-school programs, like LEGO Robotics, extend these learning experiences in fun and creative ways. IB courses (cumulating in a possible IB diploma) are available at SCVi's high school, while enrichment courses and clubs like Live Action and Special Effects Film-making, Toastmasters, Shakespeare, Theatre, Improv, Band, Choir, Glee Club, Hip Hop and more give kids a chance to explore their interests and develop real-world skills. Because of the small class sizes in all grades, teachers truly get to know each student to address their unique needs and ensure they thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

The Facility | The innovative facility, located in Castaic, is home to a healthy and environmentally-friendly Cafe, which also serves as a social gathering spot for students and other community members with events like Friday Night Live (Think: parties, karaoke, spoken-word poetry nights, high school movie socials and more.). A brand-new, adjacent high-school campus is a technologically-advanced mecca for learning.

Learn More | If you are interested in having your child attend SCVi, you can complete the online Intent to Enroll Form or call to book a tour.

Free Special Report for
College-bound Families Available Now

Families of all income levels are benefiting from a new, special report that includes a valuable checklist of "what you should be doing right now" if you're the parent of a college-bound student. Also available: a free MP3 lesson on how to avoid the 10 biggest mistakes parents make in the college-planning process and a video that clearly explains insider secrets on financial aid. Learn how colleges and universities grant money to all-income-level families - and how to make the process work for your family. These learning opportunities can save you thousands of dollars and are available on the College Planning Experts website. 295-9946
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