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“With just one student and teacher in a class, the student gets 100 percent of the teacher’s focus,” says Halstrom’s Erin Grant. “Teachers are able to tailor their teaching to each student’s learning style and interests. Students who don’t thrive in a traditional school setting find a focused, nurturing learning environment at Halstrom, where they can succeed in school at their natural pace.”
Halstrom has six campuses around L.A. and offers classes for middle- and high-school students. If you think a one-on-one environment sounds isolating, think again because Halstrom is focused on creating a connected community. Beyond class, students have ample time to work and socialize together.
Every campus has a “HangOut,” where kids socialize, play music or just watch TV together. “The Study” provides an ideal place to work, with workstations and a computer lab. Campus activities – including clubs, regional field trips with students from other Halstrom campuses and even a prom – are similar to those at traditional schools.
After extensive research and stints in public and private schools, homeschool and tutoring, Westlake Village parent Lisa Bucaro enrolled her 13-year-old son in Halstrom. Now 17, Bucaro’s athlete son will be graduating early, thanks to year-round classes that go through the summer.
“At Halstrom, my son can concentrate on the sport he excels at and the direction he is going,” says Bucaro. “He learns better because of the one-to-one teaching. This type of teaching keeps him interested and gives him the opportunity to ask questions so he can really understand the material.”
This approach also takes some pressure off Bucaro. “I can be a supportive mom and enjoy doing the ‘fun stuff’ with my kids instead of acting like a drill sergeant,” she says. “Halstrom is great about helping your child understand the material. If the child doesn’t understand a concept one way, they come up with another way of teaching.”
And that, really, is the point. When schools adapt to students’ needs – whether those are scheduling issues, learning differences or special interests – parents are free to be parents and kids are free to learn.