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With a 6:1 student:teacher ratio, we provide personalized instruction both in the classroom and outside of the classroom in a complete range of subject areas. Our methodology of employing in and out of classroom instruction in a multidisciplinary, hands-on program engages and motivates our students to achieve results that are transformational to each student’s life.

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. 

The following is our program’s curricular infrastructure. Please click on each topic area for more information.

1. Middle School Academic Program
2. Out-of-Classroom Multidisciplinary Program
3. Mindfulness Curriculum
4. Specialty Curriculum
5. Annual Major Research Project
6. Competitions

Middle School Academic Program
CELC has a robust in-classroom academic program that results in our graduates going on to their choice of high schools and ultimately their choice of post-secondary colleges and universities. Subject areas include:

      • Hands-on Science
      • Writing
      • Grammar
      • History
      • Literature
      • Math
      • Spanish
      • Culinary Arts
      • Outdoor Education

    • Music
  • Field Studies 

Out-of-Classroom Multidisciplinary Program

CELC Middle School’s robust academic in-class program is augmented by an equally aggressive out-of-classroom program of learning.

This is a list of real-world field experiences that every student at CELC Middle School participates in and the areas of academic study that is related to each.

Yale Canine Cognition Center: Science, Social Studies
The Cushing Center at Yale Medical Library: Science, Visual Arts, History
Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven: Performing Arts
Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium at Yale: Astronomy, Physics
Regional Water Authority Whitney Water Center: Environmental Science
Everyone Outside!: field studies with PhD-level instructor in Geology, Botany

Mindfulness Curriculum
In addition to in-class academic instruction and out-of-classroom experiences, CELC Middle School has a Mindfulness curriculum comprised of the following:

    • Monthly yoga instruction

  • .b (= “Stop, Breathe, and Be” curriculum for adolescents – Mindfulness in
    Schools Program )

    • Monthly mindfulness instruction using

Other Specialty Curriculum
CELC Middle School students benefit from a broad range of specialty curricular activities including:

National Geographic Geography Bee

  • CELC hosts local Bee

Ecology, Natural History, and Outdoor Education with a variety of partnering organizations, including:

    • Trap Rock Ridge Farm
    • Bushy Hill Nature Center
    • Meigs Point Nature Center
    • New Haven Parks and Recreation

CT Center for Nonviolence

  • Nonviolence Leadership training

Annual Major Research Project
Extended field experiences incorporate a variety of subject areas, some of which specifically relate to one of our annual themes.
Each theme is integrated into subject areas, in addition becomes the focus of each student’s major research report and interactive “living history” museum exhibition that is showcased for the public at the end of each year. There are four themes that rotate over the four years of our middle school program:

  • Ancient to Modern Civilizations
  • Ecology and Sustainability
  • Heritage, Ethnicity, and Quest for Freedom
  • Exploration and Discovery

“Ancient to Modern”

  • Visit to Washington, D.C. to a variety of Smithsonian Museums, National Mall, Newseum, etc. 
    • Subject areas involved
      • History, Civics and Government, Science, Social Studies

“Ecology and Sustainability”

  • Students spend a full week at KROKA Expeditions in New Hampshire to live sustainably and in low impact within their community whose focus is “Where Consciousness Meets Wilderness”.
    • Subject areas involved
      • Science, History, Math, Culinary Arts (outdoor cooking), Social Studies

“Heritage, Ethnicity, and Quest for Freedom”

  • Travel to New York City’s Lower East Side for “Nosh Tour” with Big Onion Tours + Tenement Museum for interactive workshop + visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
    • Subject areas involved
      • History, Geography, Ethics, Writing, Social Sciences, Culinary Arts


  • CELC participates in Connecticut State Science and Engineering Fair
  • CELC students participate in local MATHCOUNTS math competition
  • CELC students participate in local National Geography Bee



“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