About Us

Welcome to Clonlara

Our mission is to provide programs and services that recognize and support a learner’s curiosity, strengths, interests and talents as the foundation of his or her educational experience.


The Clonlara School philosophy is that a school must empower learners to participate purposefully and eagerly in their own education.  We believe that learning begins with curiosity.   Our experience in providing an open environment that fosters creativity has confirmed our belief that children learn best when their interests guide their activities.  Clonlara School believes that parents have the right and ability to educate their own children.  Clonlara School views the world as the classroom and considers the learning environment integral to the learning process.  We believe that a school should allow its students to participate in the design and application of the curriculum.  We believe that academic learning and the mastery of skills are not limited by the location in which they are sought, either in a school or at home.  Our approach to education leads to a lifelong love of learning.

We believe students should be able to participate in the design of their own educations. When their interests guide their activities, it leads to greater excitement, stronger motivation, and deeper educational experiences. Every aspect of their growth physical, spiritual, mental and psychological deserves attention.


Pat Montgomery, PhD, and her husband, Jim, founded Clonlara School in 1967. Their vision was to create a school where children of all creeds, races and ages would learn and grow in an unhurried, relaxed atmosphere; where enrollment would be a limited number of students so that the children, staff and parents would all get to know one another; and where parents would share intimately in the life of the school and in the education of the children.

The democratic principles on which our country was built would become a reality in the everyday lives of the teachers and students.  Students would not be coerced into learning what a board of education or what textbook publishers thought they ought to learn at any given time.  They would be respected as thinking, feeling human beings and be treated humanely.  The issues affecting their lives daily the environment, war and peace, world issues would be part of the curriculum.  Travel would also be an integral part of their learning and  growing.

The Off-Campus Program began in 1979, a year after a family asked Pat to help them teach their nine-year-old at home using the same approach she designed for the students of the campus school.  She agreed to help the family, seeing the wisdom in sharing the 12 years of knowledge and experience she had gained by developing and nurturing the campus school’s programs.

Pat’s vision for the Off-Campus Program was to foster students’ independence and self-confidence by encouraging them to embrace the responsibility for their own education. She believed students are capable of identifying their goals and passions, choosing their own educational resources and establishing their own schedules.

Another central premise of the Off-Campus Program was to give students a lot of choice: choice of curriculum, resources, method and timing.  Pat wanted to give students the freedom of flexibility, with the assistance of experienced Advisors, to self-design their education.

Campus College & University Acceptance

Our Recent 2009-2016 Graduates Have Been Accepted at:

Alpena Community College

College for Creative Studies (Animation and Game Design)

DePaul University

Eastern Michigan University

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

Harrington College of Design

Jackson Community College

Kalamazoo College

Lakeland Community College

Loyola University

Northern Michigan University (Economics)

Occidental College (Psychology and Theatre)

Ohio University (Business/Sports Administration)

Washtenaw Community College

Wayne State Univeristy (7 year PhD Chemistry Program)

University of Denver

University of Japan (Computers)

University of Michigan

Washington and Jefferson College

Off-Campus and Online College & University Acceptance

In the past three years, our graduates have been accepted to:

AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts
Bard College
Belhaven University
Berklee College of Music
Boston College
Boston University
Brigham Young University
Bucknell University
Butler University
Calvin College (Honors College)
Central Michigan University
Colby College
College of the Holy Cross
Cornell University
Davidson College
Escuela de Teotro de Zaragoza
FernUniversität Hagen
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Friends University
Gallaudet University
George Mason University
Georgetown University
Georgian College
Grand Valley State University
Hope College
Islamic University of Madinah
Kalamazoo College
Lewis and Clark College
Marymount Manhattan University
Mercyhurst College
Merrimack College
Michigan Technological University
Mount Holyoke College
New York University
Oakland Community College
Oakland University
Oberlin College
Pace University
Palamanui Community College
Palomer Community College
Penn State University
PIMA Medical Institute
Point Park University
Purdue University
Santa Monica College
Sarah Lawrence College
School of Visual Arts
Sinclair Community College
Smith College
Swarthmore College
University of Arizona
University of California
University of Cincinnati
University of Connecticut
University of Dallas
University of Louisville
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Nebraska
University of North Georgia
University of Notre Dame
University of Oklahoma
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Tubingen
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Washington State University
Wellesley College
Whitman College

Complete Listing of Where Graduates Have Been Accepted:

Santa Monica CollegeSanta MonicaCA

College City State
Academy of Art College San Francisco CA
Adrian College Adrian MI
Agnes Scott College Decatur GA
Akron University Akron OH
Albion College Albion MI
Alma College Alma MI
AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts New York NY
American River College Sacramento CA
American University Washington DC
Anderson University Anderson IN
Antioch College Yellow Springs OH
Aquinas College Grand Rapids MI
Arizona State University Tempe AZ
Art Institute of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PA
Augustana College Rock Island IL
Ave Maria College Ave Maria FL
Baldwin Wallace College Berea OH
Ball State University Muncie IN
Barat College Lake Forest IL
Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson NY
Baylor University Waco TX
Belhaven University Jackson MS
Beloit College Beloit WI
Bennington College Bennington VT
Berea College Berea KY
Berklee College of Music Boston MA
Bethel College St Paul MN
Bluefield State College Lewisburg WV
Bob Jones University Greenville SC
Boston College Chestnut Hill MA
Boston University Boston MA
Bowdoin College Brunswick ME
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green OH
Brandeis University Waltham MA
Brevard College Brevard NC
Brigham Young University Provo UT
Brock University St. Catherines Ontario
Brooklyn College Brooklyn NY
Brown University Providence RI
Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr PA
Bucknell University Lewisburg PA
Buffalo State College Buffalo NY
Butler University Indianapolis IN
Caldwell College Caldwell NJ
California Institute of the Arts Valencia CA
California State University Chico Chico CA
Calumet College of St. Joseph Whiting IN
Calvin College Grand Rapids MI
Capital University Columbus OH
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh PA
Carroll College Helena MT
Case Western Reserve Cleveland OH
Catholic University of America Washington DC
Cazenovia College Cazenovia NY
Cedarville College Cedarville OH
Central Christian College of Kansas Mc Pherson KS
Central Michigan University Mt. Pleasant MI
Central Missouri State University Warrensburg MO
Centre College Danville KY
Centro de formación profesional Salduie Spain
Charleston Southern University Charleston SC
Chatham College Pittsburgh PA
Christendom College Front Royal VA
Cincinnati Col – Con of Music Cincinnati OH
City College of San Diego San Diego CA
City Univ of NY: NY Tech Col New York NY
City Univ of NY: Brooklyn Col Brooklyn NY
Clark University Worcester MA
Cleveland State University Cleveland OH
Colby College Waterville ME
College Misericordia Dallas PA
College of Charleston Charleston SC
College of Sante Fe Sante Fe NM
College of the Holy Cross Worcester MA
College of William and Mary Williamsburg VA
College of Wooster Wooster OH
Colorado Christian University Lakewood CO
Colorado State University Fort Collins CO
Columbia Bible College Abbotsford British Columbia
Columbus College of Art Columbus OH
Concord College Athens WV
Concorde Career Institue Tampa FL
Concordia College Ann Arbor MI
Connecticut College New London CT
Conservatory at Amsterdam Amsterdam Netherlands
Cornell University Ithaca NY
Cornerstone University Grand Rapids MI
Cottey College Nevada MO
Dana College Blair NE
Darmouth College Hanover NH
Davidson College Davidson NC
De Paul University Chicago IL
Delaware Valley College Doylestown PA
Denison University Granville OH
DeSales University Center Valley PA
DeVry Institute of Tech. – Colu. Columbus OH
Drake University Des Moines IA
Drexel University Philadelphia PA
Duke University Durham NC
Earlham College Richmond IN
East Carolina University Greenville NC
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti MI
Eastman School of Music Rochester NY
Eckerd College St. Petersburg FL
Edinboro Univ. of PA Edinboro PA
Elmira College Elmira NY
Embry Riddle Aeronautical Univ. Daytona Beach FL
Emory University Atlanta GA
Escola llotja Barcelona Spain
Escuela de Teatro Zaragoza Spain
Eugene Lang College of the New School New York NY
Everett Community College Everett WA
Fairmont State College Fairmont WV
Fanshawe College London Ontario
Fairleigh Dickinson University Teaneck NJ
FernUniversität Hagen Hagen Germany
Ferris State University Big Rapids MI
Findlay University University OH
Fitchburg State College Fitchburg MA
Flagler College St. Augustine FL
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton FL
Florida College Temple Terrace FL
Florida State University Tallahassee FL
Fordham University Bronx NY
Fort Lewis College Durango CO
Fox Valley Tech. College Appleton WI
Franciscan University Steubenville OH
Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster PA
Friends University Wichita KS
Furman University Greenville SC
Gallaudet University Washington DC DC
George Fox University Newberg OR
George Mason Univ. Fairfax VA
George Washington Univ. Washington DC
George Wythe College Cedar City UT
Georgetown University Washington DC
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta GA
Georgia State University Atlanta GA
Georgian College Barrie Ontario
Goddard College Plainfield VT
Gonzaga University Spokane WA
Goucher College Baltimore MD
Grand Valley State University Allendale MI
Great Lakes Christian College Lansing MI
Greenfield Community College Greenfield MA
Greensboro College Greensboro NC
Grinnell College Grinnell IA
Hampshire College Amherst MA
Henry Ford Community College Dearborn MI
Hillsdale College Hillsdale MI
Hiram College Hiram OH
Hofstra University Hempstead NY
Holy Cross College Notre Dame IN
Hope College Holland MI
Howard University Washington DC
IED escola superior de disseny Barcelona Spain
Illinois Wesleyan University Bloomington IL
Indiana University Bloomington IN
Indiana Univ of PA Indiana PA
Institut del teatre Barcelona Spain
Iowa State University Ames IA
Islamic University of Madinah Medina Saudi Arabia
Ithaca College Ithaca NY
James Madison University Harrisonburg VA
John Abbot College St. Anne de Bellevue Quebec
John Hopkins University Baltimore MD
John Hopkins U – Peabody Conservatory of Music Baltimore MD
Johnson & Wales University Providence RI
Julliard School New York NY
Kalamazoo College Kalamazoo MI
Kalamazoo Valley Comm.College Kalamazoo MI
Kansas City Kansas Com. Col. Kansas City KS
Keene State College Keene NH
Kentucky Wesleyan College Owensboro KY
Kenyon College Gambier OH
Kettering University Flint MI
Knox College Galesburg IL
Lafayette College Easton PA
Lawrence Technological Univ. Southfield MI
Lawrence University Appleton WI
LeHigh University Bethlehem PA
Leiden University Leiden Netherlands
Lewis & Clark College Portland OR
Linfield College McMinnville OR
Longwood College Farmville VA
Lorain County Comm. Col. Elyria OH
Loras College Dubuque IA
Loyola University Chicago IL
Macalester College St. Paul MN
Macomb Comm. College Rochester Hills MI
Madonna University Livonia MI
Magdalen College Warner NH
Manchester College North Manchester IN
Marion Military Institute Marion AL
Marlboro College Marlboro VT
Marquette University Milwaukee WI
Mary Baldwin College Staunton VA
Mary Washington College Fredericksburg VA
Marygrove College Detroit MI
Marymount Manhattan University New York NY
Massachusetts Col. of Art Boston MA
Massachusetts Institute Tech Cambridge MA
Massana Barcelona Spain
Medaille College Buffalo NY
Mercyhurst College Erie PA
Merrimack College North Andover MA
Mesabi Range Community & Tech Col. Virginia MN
Messiah College Grantham PA
Miami University Oxford OH
Michigan State University East Lansing MI
Michigan Technological University Houghton MI
Monroe Community College Rochester NY
Montana State Univ. – Bozeman Bozeman MT
Montclair University Montclair NJ
Moody Bible Institute Chicago IL
Mount Holyoke College South Hadley MA
Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon OH
Nancy tuñón formació de l’actor Barcelona Spain
New College of U of S. Fl Sarasota FL
New England College Henniker NH
New England Conservatory Boston MA
New England Conservatory of Music Boston MA
New York University New York NY
North Central University Minneapolis MN
Northeastern University Boston MA
Northwestern University Evanston IL
Northwood University West Palm Beach FL
NYC Technical College New York NY
Northern Illinois University Dekalb IL
Northern Michigan University Marquette MI
Northland College Ashland WI
Northwest Nazarene Univ. Nampa ID
Northwestern University Evanston IL
Northwood Univ Midland MI
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills MI
Oakland Univ Rochester MI
Oberlin College Oberlin OH
Oglethorpe University Atlanta GA
Ohio Northern University Ada OH
Ohio State University Columbus OH
Otterbein College Westerville OH
Pace University New York NY
Parsons School of Design – NY New York NY
Parsons School of Design – Paris Paris France
Peace College Raleigh NC
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport PA
Penn State University University Park PA
Penascola Christian College Pennsacola FL
PIMA Medical Institute Albuquerque NM
Pine Manor College Chestnut Hill MA
Point Park University Pittsburgh PA
Portland Community College Portland OR
Princeton University Princeton NJ
Principia College Elsah IL
Purdue University West Layfette IN
Purdue University: Calumet Hammond IN
Queens College Kingston Ontario
Ravencrest Chalet Estes Park CO
Reed College Portland OR
Regis College Weston MA
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy NY
Rhode Island School of Design Providence RI
Ricks College Rexburg ID
Ridgewater College Willman MN
ROC Mondriaan – International Hotel & Management School The Hague Netherlands
Rochester Institute of Tech Rochester NY
Rocky Mountain College Calgary Alberta
Roger Williams University Bristol RI
Roosevelt University Chicago IL
Rose-Hulman Institute of Tech Terre Haute IN
Rowen University Glassboro NJ
Rutgers New Brunswick NJ
Saint Louis University St. Louis MO
Saint Xavier University Chicago IL
Salem College Winston-Salem NC
Sarah Lawrence College Bronxville NY
Savannah Coll. of Art and Desgin Savannah GA
School of Visual Arts New York NY
Scripps College Claremont CA
Seattle Pacific University Seattle WA
Shimer College Waukegan IL
Sinclair Community Col. Dayton OH
Smith College Northampton MA
South Georgia College Douglas GA
Southern Adventist Univ. Collegedale TN
St. Anselm College Manchester NH
St. Bonaventure Univ. St. Bonaventure NY
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Philadelphia PA
St. Edward’s University Austin TX
St. John’s College Santa Fe NM
St. Joseph College West Hartford CT
St. Mary College Leavenworth KS
St. Marys College Orchard Lake MI
St. Olaf College Northfield MN
State University of NY Cobleskill NY
State University of NY Fredonia NY
State University of NY New Paltz NY
Sterling College Craftsbury Common VT
Swarthmore College Swarthmore PA
Syracuse University Syracuse NY
Taylor Univ. Upland IN
Texas Christian Univ. Forth Worth TX
The Citadel Charleston SC
The Hague University The Hague Netherlands
Thomas Moore College Merrimack NH
Thompson Rivers University Kamloops British Columbia
Trinity International University Deerfield IL
Trinity University San Antonio TX
Tulane University New Orleans LA
Union College Schenectady NY
US Coast Guard Academy New London CT
US Naval Academy Annapolis MD
Univ. of Akron Akron OH
University of Arizona Tuscon AZ
University of California Berkley Berkley CA
University of Central Florida Orlando FL
University of Chicago Chicago IL
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati OH
University of Cincinnati Col. – Conser. of Music Cincinnati OH
University of Colorado Boulder CO
University of Connecticut Storrs CT
University of Dallas Irving TX
University of Delaware Newark DE
University of Detroit Mercy Detroit MI
University of Evansville Evansville IN
University of Georgia Athens GA
University of Hartford West Hartford CT
University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu HI
University of IL at Urbana – Champaign Urbana IL
University of Iowa Iowa City IA
University of Kansas Lawrence KS
University of Louisville Louisville KY
University of Maine Orono ME
University of Maine at Machias Machias ME
University of Manitoba Winnipeg Manitoba
University of Maryland Col. Park College Park MD
University of Miami Miami FL
University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI
University of Michigan – Flint Flint MI
University of Michigan – Dearborn Dearborn MI
University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN
University of Nebraska Lincoln NE
University of Nebraska – Omaha Omaha NE
University of New Haven West Haven CT
University of New Mexico Albuquerque NM
University of North Carolina A&T Greensboro NC
University of North Carolina – Asheville Asheville NC
University of North Georgia Gainesville GA
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame IN
University of Oklahoma Norman OK
University of Oregon Eugene OR
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA
University of Pennsylvania – Wheaton Col. Philadelphia PA
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PA
University of Rhode Island Kingston RI
University of Rochester Rochester NY
University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls SD
University of South Alabama Mobile AL
University of Tampa Tampa FL
University of Tennessee Knoxville TN
University of Texas at Arlington Arlington TX
University of Texas at Austin Austin TX
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson TX
University of the Arts Philadelphia PA
University of the Philippines Manila Philippines
University of the South Sewanee TN
University of Tübingen
Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg
University of Vermont Burlington VT
Univ of Washington Bothell WA
University of Waterloo Waterloo Ontario
University of West Florida Pensacola FL
University of Western Ontario London Ontario
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Eau Claire WI
University of Wisconsin – Madison Madison WI
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Milwaukee WI
University of Wisconsin -River Falls River Falls WI
Ursinus College Collegeville PA
Valparaiso University Valparaiso IN
Vanderbilt University Nashville TN
Vassar College Poughkeepsie NY
Vermont College Montpelier VT
Vincennes College Vincennes IN
Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Richmond VA
Virginia Military Institute Lexington VA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State Univ. Blacksburg VA
Wabash College Crawfordsville IN
Warren Wilson College Asheville NC
Washington College Chestertown MD
Washington State Univ. WA
Wayne State Univ. Detroit MI
Wellesley College Wellesley MA
Wells College Aurora NY
Westchester Community College Valhalla NY
West Virgina University Morgantown WV
Western Carolina University Cullowhee NC
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo MI
Westmont College Santa Barbara CA
Wheaton College Norton MA
Wheaton College (IL) Wheaton IL
Whitman College Walla Walla WA
Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo Ontario
William Patterson University Wayne NJ
Wingate University Wingate NC
Wright State University Dayton OH
Yale University New Haven CT

Legal Advocacy

Clonlara has been a leading advocate for alternative education and home schooling since day one.  In fact, Pat Montgomery was invaluable in making homeschooling a legal, acceptable option. In the 1980s, she filed a lawsuit on behalf of Clonlara School and home educating families against the Michigan State Board of Education.

Clonlara’s lawsuit contended that Michigan school officials were enforcing public school policies against parents educating their children at home as if those policies were law.  After winning the courts on the first level, the State appealed and then Clonlara again won the Appeal.

In 1993, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Clonlara’s claim was correct: the State Board of Education was attempting to enforce a law that did not exist.  This victory was a coup for homeschooling families across the country. The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision in Clonlara’s favor has been used as precedent in many other cases.

Our Accreditation

Accreditation International
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
National Council for Private School Accreditation