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School History

Creative Learning Academy was established in 1972 as the Montessori Learning Academy at Temple Beth El. In 1975, the school’s name was changed to Creative Learning Center, and in 1978 CLC moved to the facility on Hyde Park Road. By 1980 the school included grades Preprimary through eighth grades, and by 1983 the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Florida Kindergarten Council granted accreditation to CLC. In 2003, the Creative Learning Center became Creative Learning Academy.

A Reflection By Marilyn Pearson
Former CLA Teacher and Past Trustee

On Hyde Park Road, just off Scenic Highway, you’ll find a small independent school that offers students an excellent education. Even though CLA has been in operation for forty years, it is considered Pensacola’s best kept secret by the parents, teachers, and students affiliated with the school. Founded as the Montessori Learning Center in 1972 offering only preprimary and kindergarten classes, the school added grades each year and graduated its first eighth grade class in 1982. Graduates of CLA have done especially well in the IB program and Advanced Placement classes in high school. CLA graduates are successful politicians, doctors, attorneys, Broadway stars, opera singers, teachers, and TV sportscasters.

Over the years there have been changes made to CLA, but the one constant has been the quality education offered to the students. The addition of a computer lab, a science lab, a gym, new class buildings, more enrichments classes, and classroom equipment has ensured that each student is able to achieve his/her best. Qualified, experienced teachers, small classes, and dedicated staff are there to make learning a great experience for both students and parents. The small classes enable teachers to work with students one-on-one, in small groups, or with peer teaching to ensure that each student understands the concepts being taught.

CLA teachers have a history of being caring, loving individuals who are willing to go more than the extra mile to help their students. There are lots of smiles, hugs, and words of encouragement in each and every classroom. Each child is special and is remembered long after graduation. CLA teachers make learning challenging, but fun. It is their wish that graduates remember their years at CLA with a smile on their faces.