Tree academy reviews

Tree academy reviews DEFAULT


TREE is a new, innovative non-profit school with a customized educational approach. We provide both small classes combined with individual college-preparatory instruction – for every student, every class, every week -- which means five tutorial blocks per week to our 6th through 12th grade students. TREE is designed for high achievers and students feeling disillusioned, for those with burning passions as well as for those with alternative learning modes — all looking for a student-centered,  interdisciplinary approach to the Creative Arts and New Technologies at a unique, diverse Campus and Community Center, dedicated to Social and Environmental Justice.

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With an average 10 students per class, we also provide each student with five, two-on-one weekly classes in the five "solids", ensuring that each of our 6th through 12th grade students are able to participate, contribute and discover their passions.


TREE offers a wide array of topical Elective classes, providing students with a rich selection of opportunities to explore their interests and passions, as well as to discover new ones. Each student selects their own  yearly Passion Project. 



We are accredited (WASC and CAIS), our classes are all UC Approved; we meet all UC A-G requirements and are NCAA approved. We also prepare students for life with ongoing Life Skills classes for their social/emotional learning, and offer courses in Meditation.

  • Five 2-on-1 tutorial classes for every student, every week in all core subjects

  • Fully staffed Human Development Team

  • Full-time Campus Counselor

  • Art

  • Yoga

  • Meditation

  • Life Skills 

  • Sustainable World Studies

  • Culinary Science with a Master Chef

  • The Coltrane Music Recording Studio

  • Organic Gardening

  • Creative Writing

  • Maker's Lab 

  • Robotics

  • Learning Lab

  • Spartan Training

  • Contemporary Voice

  • Volleyball Team

  • Basketball, J.V. and Varsity Teams

  • Social Conscience Community Service

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With a shared vision for creating a school that focused on individual students rather than an "average" student -- which in truth doesn't exist -- it is our intent to provide a new approach that celebrates self-discovery, diversity, creativity, intellectual inquiry and academic achievement.

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"My older son went to TREE last year and, quite simply, loved it. It was an amazing experience for him and inspired us to send his younger brother. After the first week this year, the older one, completely unprompted, said, 'I really like school this year. I think it’s gonna be great.’ We’ve had nothing but positive experiences and have seen real transformations in our kids and the children of our other TREE friends."


Erick Brownstein

  • Grades: Prekindergarten-8
  • Students: 43 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

School Overview

Student Body

Academics and Faculty

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

School Reviews

Endorse Palm Tree Academy. Endorsements should be a few sentences in length. Please include any comments on:

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2021-05-182021-06-283A:52-5.3(o)(1)Physical plant requirements for all centers First aid requirements are as follows: at least two staff members who have current certified basic knowledge of first aid principles and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as defined by a recognized health organization (such as the American Red Cross), shall be in the center at all times when enrolled children are present.

Violation Observed: Ensure that the staff have current First Aid and CPR and upload on NJCCIS. 2021-05-182021-06-283A:52-5.2(a)(8)State, county and municipal government physical facility requirements The center shall obtain a Life Hazard Use Registration certificate applicable to the center’s licensed capacity and ages served pursuant to the Uniform Fire Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-192 et seq. The center shall post this document in a prominent location within the center.

Violation Observed: Obtain a current Life Hazard Use Certificate and upload on NJCCIS. 2021-05-182021-06-283A:52-5.2(a)(5)State, county and municipal government physical facility requirements The center shall be permitted to obtain a valid fire safety inspection certificate issued by the municipality in which it is located, based on a fire inspection conducted within the preceding 12 months, and submit a copy of the certificate to the Office of Licensing in lieu of a CO or CCO, if the center serves only children 2 ½ years of age or older and is located in a public school building that is used as a public school.

Violation Observed: Repair the emergency light in the hallway by Room 3. 2021-05-182021-06-283A:52-7.6(a)(2)Injury to a child while in the center's care The center shall take immediate necessary action to protect the child from further harm and shall immediately notify the child's parent(s) when a child sustains a head or facial injury, including when a child bumps his or her head.

Violation Observed: The center shall immediately notify the parents when a child sustains a head injury including when a child bumps his or her head. 2021-05-182021-06-283A:52-7.6(b)(1)Injury to a child while in the center's care The center shall maintain on file a written record of each incident resulting in an injury as specified in N.J.A.C. 3A:52-7.6(a). These records shall include the following: the name of the injured child.

Violation Observed: The center shall maintain on file a written record of each accident report. 2019-10-172019-12-123A:52-7.7(e)(1)(iv)Environmental sanitation requirements For early childhood programs, the following shall apply: in addition to the items specified in N.J.A.C. 3A:52-7.7(a)3, the following equipment items or surfaces shall be washed and disinfected after each use, toys mouthed by infants and toddlers before being given to another child.

Violation Observed: Wash and disinfect the toys mouthed by toddlers in Room 2. 2019-10-172019-12-123A:52-7.7(e)(1)(iii)Environmental sanitation requirements For early childhood programs, the following shall apply: in addition to the items specified in N.J.A.C. 3A:52-7.7(a)3, the following equipment items or surfaces shall be washed and disinfected after each use, diapering surfaces.

Violation Observed: Wash and disinfect the changing surface after a diaper change in Room 1 wherein a named staff member was using a wash cloth multiple times to wipe the diaper surface. 2019-10-172019-12-123A:52-6.1(b)(2)Activities The staff member(s) specified in N.J.A.C. 3A:52-4.5 who are responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of the center's daily activities shall ensure that children have opportunities to choose materials freely and materials are accessible at all times except during lunch and nap time.

Violation Observed: Ensure that the materials are accessible to children at all times in Room 2. 2019-10-172019-12-123A:52-5.3(a)(15)Physical plant requirements for all centers Indoor maintenance and sanitation requirements are as follows: ventilation outlets shall be clean and free from obstructions, and filters shall be replaced when saturated.

Violation Observed: Clean the bathroom vents in Rooms 3 & 5. 2019-10-172019-10-173A:52-4.8(a)(7)Orientation training Topics of orientation training shall include implementing the center's statement of policy on the disciplining of children, as specified in N.J.A.C. 3A:52-6.6.

Violation Observed: Based on information, retrain all staff on the center's discipline policy. 2019-10-172019-10-173A:52-6.6(a)(1)Discipline The methods of guidance and discipline used shall: be positive.

Violation Observed: Based on information, ensure that staff utilize positive methods of guidance and discipline at all times throughout the center. A named staff bridged her legs over a named child's legs one time during naptime.
About Craft Tree Academy

Welcome to Birch Tree Academy

A STEM Based Bilingual Preschool with Heart

Why Birch Tree Academy?

Being a parent is challenging. We’re here to help by providing an amazing experience for your family. And 93% of our families re-enroll every year. Why? Because we offer:

  • Fresh made healthy meals and snacks all day

  • Year round care from 7:30am to 6:00pm

  • Family owned and operated

  • STEM based and Bilingual education

  • The best teachers and staff

  • Beautiful, modern facilities

  • Extracurricular activities like music and gymnastics included

  • Live streaming classroom cameras

  • Daily class updates and pictures from your teachers

“The school offers the best bilingual education and enrichment program in the Seattle area. In the first six months of attending, my daughter started recognizing almost all letters (in English and in Russian), has greatly improved social skills, and has developed some amazing knowledge as well as friendships.”

— Lana


Bilingual Education

Bilingual education is important for children's cultural relevance and as well as cognitive development. We offer two programs for families to choose from: Russian Immersion and English with a Spanish component. Both of these allow our students to benefit from an amazing STEM-based curriculum while being exposed to a second language.


STEM Based

We use a theme-based curriculum to encourage literacy and math problem-solving skills, as well as interest in the natural and cultural world. Children get daily exposure to Science, Math, Engineering and aspects of modern Technology that are relevant in their every day lives. Above all, we want to keep children interested, engaged and asking questions that will allow them to continue to grow and explore!



We believe it takes a village to raise a child, and that having a community is extremely important to children and families. We want Birch Tree to help connect people and create friendship. We started Birch Tree Community to bring families together at fun events that makes it easy to get to know your teachers, your children's friends and their families.

“My son has been at Birch Tree for 2 years now. I couldn't be happier with the academy.”

— Elina


Academy reviews tree

LOS ANGELES—When it comes to education there are a variety of schools available to parents for their kids, but not all schools accommodate the needs of every individual student. TREE Academy for the Creative Arts, New Technology and Social Justice in Los Angeles provides a learning experience so unique, so innovative that it can change lives. Tree Academy specializes in a paradigm transforming approach that is designed for high achievers, as well as students who have lost interest in school with the same old educational models from the past.

The school makes it a focus to highlight the passions and talents of its students that allow them to reach their fullest potential through self-discovery, academic achievement and emphatic service. Canyon News had the pleasure of speaking with Darryl Sollerh, co-founder of TREE Academy with Paul Cummins. Cummins co-founded Crossroads School in 1971 and has transformed it into one of the most successful educational systems in Los Angeles. He also co-founded New Roads School, a national model for innovative, independent schools. Cummins has pioneered a number of groundbreaking programs in Los Angeles in support of children at risk in the education arena.

Sollerh shared with Canyon News that his love of teaching is a result of him wanting to share his experiences and inspire the love of something to others. He indicated that after college, Paul recruited him after he received an award. The birth of TREE was the opportunity for both men to develop a school from the bottom up, with no rules in play. The school is preparing students for the future and connecting people to society. The campus has a specialized tutorial program for kids who are struggling.

“I’ve experienced lots of things in the classroom during my career,” Sollerh said. Small class size and [a] focus on the individual are important elements to enhancing the traditional model of education that no longer works. TREE teaches its students in two-group settings per week and then there is individual instruction with a teacher, where the student receives one-on-one support, where they receive an additional 5-6 hours per week based on the student’s needs. Sollerh indicated to Canyon News it’s important to understand how people learn; rather it’s visual, verbal, written or hands-on, everyone learns differently so utilizing one model doesn’t work.

When Canyon News asked about the notion of homework, Sollerh explained that at the campus the structure of the day includes a “learning lab” where students have 4 to 6 hours to do homework. Homework is also tailored to the individual student, allowing teachers to customize assignments that most effectively advance each student’s progress, rather than the “one size fits all” approach of traditional schools.

“It takes an adult to point out to the student/child that they’re good at something,” Sollerh said. He added, “Some students don’t understand a particular skill they have until it is highlighted to them.” When discussing the current state of education in California, Sollerh indicated the importance of investing in education and focusing on small schools and not focusing on the demand of running a bureaucracy because more than 300 students is too much. He added that there has to be a shift in consciousness to change the current model of education. “There is a fear of stepping out of the norm,” said Sollerh.

“We meet all of the requirements expected of us,” said Sollerh. “Our kids are happy and want to come to school. Parents write emails about kids not wanting to be late to school, there is excitement,” he added. When asked about the issue of technology by Canyon News Sollerh indicated that if used well it can be an “incredible resource.” He noted that at TREE none of the teachers are facilitators of software. Their focus is “humanizing and the socializing of the teacher with the student” which is a key relationship. Technology is a tool and a resource. Sollerh said that “computers are isolating and alienating.”

When it comes to electives, TREE offers a variety of electives to students including architecture, coding, community service, creative writing, culinary science, graphic design, journalism, robotics and team sports to name a few. When asked by Canyon News which elective is most popular with students Sollerh responded they all are. He noted all the electives resonate with the students and that there is equal distribution across the board.

At TREE, the school strives to “un-silo” subjects, emphasizing the connections between them. In their Sustainable World Studies course, modern agriculture is linked to global climate change, as well as to nutrition and Culinary Science – all so that students can make wiser, more informed choices, not only for the planet, but for their own bodies as well. Community service is an important facet at TREE, where students are required to complete community service as part of the school’s curriculum, with a large number of students surpassing the requirements expected.


When asked about the future of TREE Academy in 10 years, Sollerh noted the goal was to create as many TREES first in Los Angeles and spread their innovative message when it comes to education. Cummins has published four books on education, including, “Proceed With Passion: Engaging Students in Meaningful Education” (2004), and “Confessions of a Headmaster” (2015). Sollerh has over 25 years of experience working with students and families from diverse backgrounds in Los Angeles. He is also a multi-award winning fiction writer, and co- author of two parenting guides, “Stop Yelling, Start Listening – Understanding Your Middle School Child” (2016), and “How To Be The Loving, Wise Parent You Want To Be… Even With Your Teenager!” (2016).

TREE Academy is located at 5555 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036. The school will host its open house event on Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m. where openings are still available for students in 6th thru 11th grade. For additional details regarding registration visit their website at or call (424) 204-5165.

Life Drawing Academy Review

Students at this school are making average academic progress given where they were last year, compared to similar students in the state.

Test scores at this school are about the same as the state average, though still below the top-performing schools in the state. Because test scores in some states are so low, many students at this school may not be performing at grade level.
Ask the school what it’s doing to help students who are behind. Understand what on-track learning looks like, and ask the school what it’s doing to accelerate progress for students.

In this section, we publish a rating that reflects how well this school is serving disadvantaged students, compared to other schools in the state, based on college readiness, learning progress, and test score data provided from the state’s Department of Education.

The state does not provide enough information for us to calculate an Equity Rating for this school.

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