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CELC Middle School will transform your child’s educational life!  


Schedule a private tour:  

To schedule a visit or for more information, click here

or contact:

Melinda Alcosser or Maria Mortali
(203) 433-4658
[email protected]



Thoughts About CELC, from a parent perspective:

What drew us to CELC?  What keeps us there?

The structured format elegantly allows for student creativity, experiences, and meaningful relationships within the school and the community, local and at large.  The ability really to learn about oneself while learning about others.  CELC’s approach in a word is holistic. Much like our experience in homeschooling— a lifestyle.  CELC Middle School offers a lifestyle not just for the student, but for the family. 

As our daughter started to approach the middle school years, we began to feel our family system changing.  We quickly came to realize the needs of a middle schooler are much different than the elementary schooler. Her need for an identity outside of our family became much stronger and with good reason.  She is moving towards independence and self reliance. 

Of course, in theory this is what I have always wanted for her: to know who she is and how she wants to be in the world and to be independent.


from a parent’s standpoint (gulp!)

I want to protect her from harm and pain and what is bad in the world! Yikes! This is where is gets dicey. 

Thank goodness for CELC.  A beacon, a lighthouse, a compass, a balm, a way to navigate the exciting, sometimes rough waters of middle school.

Yes. To all of these.

We’ve all heard the overused saying “it takes a village”.

Well, CELC is that village. 

And our family is more than lucky to have for our daughter one of the twelve spots available.

12 spots. 

It’s really quite exceptional when I think about how many kids there are in Branford alone and she’s got a spot to grow, thrive, learn and be her best self.  She’s receiving an education, a life’s experience no one can take away from her and from which she can continue to build for the rest of her life. 


The more I learn about the development stages in the middle school years the more and more gratitude and respect I feel for CELC.  The expertise and dedication of Melinda and Maria towards this very specific and pivotal time in a young person’s life is not to be overlooked. 

In fact, I celebrate it regularly. 

Every day when our daughter without fail gets up and out the door to be on time for her school and schoolmates, because she can’t wait to see what the day has in store for her.  (Mind you, this is an 8am start time and we travel 30 minutes to get there!)

Every time I pick her up from school and I get to learn about all the happenings of her day on our 30-minute commute home. 

The almost daily dedication to homework because she wants to add to the culture of CELC when she returns the next day.

The chance to formally share my own talents and expertise with the CELC community.

These are some of the things I have received after I offered up my white knuckled grip on the parenting steering wheel. 

I believe middle school is a time for children to become independent and learn to advocate for themselves.  I also believe this is not something a parent can micromanage.  CELC provides a safe environment from a parent’s perspective to traverse these uncharted waters, while from a child’s perspective the environment feels boundless. 

It’s really quite clever, if you ask me. 

But certainly more than clever, a total and complete comfort.

The ability to talk at great length via phone, email, or in person about the challenges and strengths of my daughter alone is worth the tuition.

Melinda and Maria make themselves available.

They offer care and support, but then there’s the action they take: strategies!

They are able to implement these strategies at CELC because they created it – a delicate ecosystem, the CELC world. Their years of experience, intuition, and belief in what they do comes through in absolutely every action they take. 

Not only do I feel relief of no longer needing to white knuckle the parenting steering wheel, I feel relaxed. My shoulders are down. I guess that’s what they call trust


“Life at CELC is unlike any other school. There is a place for any personality or learner. Through our everyday experiences we build relationships, and we become like a family. We go out into the world together. We work together and grow together. It is the best feeling to feel like you always have a place. You can just be you and find your place at CELC. It doesn’t matter what we are doing — hard and dedicated math, out in the woods, or walking the streets in Washington, D.C. – we always have a place to learn and have fun.”

Hannah, 8th-grade student at CELC

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