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Q & A
WHAT IS THE MLA DAILY SCHEDULE?
Full-time students Grades K-8 -- Monday through Friday 8:00 am -- 3:00 pm.
7:30 am Early Drop-off
8:00 am Classes Begin
11:00 am Lunch
11:30 am Recess
12:00 pm Classes Resume
3:00 pm Dismissal
3:15 pm After-school Begins
6:00 pm After-school Ends
PreK Morning Session -- Monday through Friday 8:00 am - 11:00 am
PreK Afternoon Session -- Monday through Friday 12:15 pm - 3:15 pm
***There are no afternoon PreK sessions on early dismissal days.***
WHAT DOES ALL THIS BUSINESS ABOUT STANDARDIZED TESTING MEAN FOR MY CHILD?
Mandatory standardized testing is being increasingly required by states across our country as a means of determining the quality of educational service provided by schools to their students. In theory, this concept makes a lot of sense but the validity of the process is highly dependent on appropriate interpretation of test results. In fact, many individuals have inappropriately attacked the value of standardized testing, when they were actually only dissatisfied with the manner in which test data were used.
The State of West Virginia requires the administration of the Terra Nova, a nationally utilized, norm-referenced test, to its pupils. Terra Nova results order a student's test performance among the student's same aged peers who also took the test (about 2 million students for each age each year). This placement has been of traditional interest to parents, but does not really provide much information about educational quality. Brighter students score higher regardless of the quality of educational service received. Schools typically report their all tests average for all students in that school. Theoretically, this average should be around 50, assuming the school has a normal proportion of bright, average and less bright students. Unfortunately, this average is basically uninterpretable when the population of students at a school taking the test is not normally distributed relevant to intellectual ability. If a private school has a selection policy geared toward admitting brighter students, the school's test average provides information only about the brightness of the school's students and not about the educational quality of that school. Additionally, a school's test average can also be inflated and thus, made uninterpretable, by systematically eliminating less bright students at the school from the testing pool. The only Terra Nova data, which are truly indicatives of the quality of educational service students received at a given school, is the all tests/all students average annual change calculation. Here all students' changes on all tests taken from one year to the next are utilized. This result indicates whether the average student at that school moved ahead of their same aged peers during that year due to the quality educational service received. Annual test gains indicate educational service superior to that of those students passed in the norm-referenced placements. Annual test losses indicate exactly the opposite.
Locally, only Morgantown Learning Academy elects to provide parents with this type of annual test change data. If you desire to determine the quality of educational service that your child is receiving, begin by comparing schools' all tests/all students' average annual change average. As always, the choice is yours.
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR EXPANDING MIDDLE?
At Morgantown Learning Academy we are not concerned at all. In fact, we are thrilled by MLA's expansion of educational service into the middle school (grades 6-8). The expansion provides MLA, the area's only not-for-profit, non-denominational, private school, the opportunity to once again demonstrate that its student-centered, truly individualized educational approach can positively impact the total development of middle school aged children. MLA's educational staff believes that many educational professionals know how to successfully educate middle school students. But in contrast with the typical mode of educational operation, MLA's teachers strive to apply this knowledge, undeterred by economic efficiencies, staff and union agendas, etc. The resultant educational program emphasizes:
High, individualized academic expectations resisting the "dumbing down" effect
A secure learning environment free of the physical and psychological trauma associated with "bullying" behavior
A high reliance on student/teacher accountability within a purposefully small educational environment (as opposed to "overcrowded") to foster learning and a "love of learning"
Doesn't your child deserve this type of idealistic educational service? As always, the choice is yours.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR CHILD'S PRESENT EDUCATIONAL SITUATION?
If your response to this question is "OK" or worse, you are among the majority of local parents with school-aged children. Unfortunately, "OK" is not really satisfactory for something as important as your child's education. Today's schooling drives your child's future. For all too long, parents have been bombarded by ineffective educational practice and consequently have come to believe that typical educational practice is as good as it gets. This is simply not the case. Your child can receive a high quality education in the Morgantown area. It is your choice. Your child deserves it. Morgantown Learning Academy can deliver it.
DO LOCAL PRIVATE SCHOOLS PROVIDE AN IMPORTANT COMMUNITY SERVICE?
Without a doubt! Private schools provide parents a choice for their children's education. Choice creates competition and competition fosters an increased effectiveness, which positively impacts the education of all students at all schools. Lack of choice is a characteristic of a monopoly. Monopolies, in any area, inherently suppress competition and naturally bred ineffectiveness. Does anyone believe that we, as Americans, would possess better cars if the government took over the entire automobile industry, supported it solely via tax dollars and gave us all a car annually. Of course not, we would very quickly be dissatisfied with the cars produced by such a competition-free system. Our educational industry is no different. Area private schools like Morgantown Learning Academy (MLA) provide service to the entire community by increasing the educational choices available to area families. Educational competition is healthy for everyone.
IS YOUR CHILD "STUCK IN THE MIDDLE"?
Market research indicates local parents are most dissatisfied with the middle school portion of the area's education system. Parental middle school concerns about low academic achievement expectations, physical/psychological injury resulting from "bullying" and the loss of individual student accountability in large, overcrowded schools are not being adequately addressed.
Morgantown Learning Academy understands that to remain viable as North Central WV's only not-for-profit, non-denominational, K-8 private school, its middle school must not only be different, but it must also be better. Generally, educational professionals know how to educate middle school students. In contrast with the typical mode of operation of most schools, MLA's teachers apply this knowledge, undeterred by economic efficiencies, teacher unions, staff agendas, etc. Doesn't your child deserve this type of idealistic educational service? As always, the choice is yours.
WHY DOES YOUR CHILD ATTEND SCHOOL?
The answer is obvious isn't it - to learn the skills and concepts necessary to lead a productive/successful/happy life. Consequently, schools are about learning, nothing more, nothing less. At Morgantown Learning Academy, the area's only not-for-profit, non-denominational, P-8 private school, all academic and administrative decision making is based solely on what is best to enhance individual student learning. Each student is annually expected to learn more than their equally talented peers studying at other American schools. MLA teachers are held accountable for developing and implementing individualized instructional strategies for each of their students so as to maximize individual learner potential. Philosophically, MLA students do not fail. When individual student goals are not achieved, MLA recognizes this to be an instructional problem, not a student one. By accepting the responsibility for teaching all its students, MLA positions itself to truly be a one-of a-kind learning center. And most importantly, test data indicate that MLA students do regularly exceed their equally talented peers in regard to the achievement of academic excellence.
If you believe that schools should exist primarily to enhance individual academic achievement, perhaps you should consider MLA for your child's education. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results of placing your child in an educational culture where individual student academic achievement is the norm, not the exception. After all, at MLA, "learning" is our middle name.
DO CLASS AND SCHOOL SIZE REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Of course they do - it's only logical. Children learn in individual ways - all differently. The smaller the class, the more easily a teacher can accommodate individual learner needs. If you had a choice for your child's class size would you want your child's class to have 12 students or 28. This choice is, as they say, a "no brainer". The smaller a child's school the more general supervision the child is likely to receive. At smaller schools, it is less likely that students will be "lost in the crowd". Consequently, students at small schools are considerably more accountable for their academic/social/moral behavior. Accountability leads to increased expectations, which leads to enhanced performance.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?
It's time to consider exercising your right of educational choice for your child. A variety of educational choices exist in the Morgantown area for your consideration. There is no doubt that some of these choices are better suited to meet your child's individual educational needs than are others.
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