The story of Will and Jada’s school, the New Village Leadership Academy, a small, private elementary school in Calabasas, Calif., is a strange one. It opened in 2009 and shut down in 2013 after some controversy stemming from Scientology-inspired reading materials, as well as rumors that Will and Jada were scientologists.
The trouble started after the Smiths' 2008 tax returns revealed that they gave a combined $122,500 donation to the Church of Scientology. To be fair, that was just a portion of the $1.3 million donations given to a bunch of different church and charity groups, but it was enough to gain the attention of the press. And it was then uncovered that the school used something called Study Technology, a teaching method employed by the Church of Scientology, which was created by Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
Will and Jada both denied being members of scientology and that the school was any kind of recruitment establishment for the religion. Regardless, the damage was done. In 2013, the school quietly closed, allegedly because parents wouldn’t associate with the school due to bad press and, according to Showbiz 411, Will and Jada were spending $2 million a year of their own money to keep the school afloat.
Jaden and Willow reportedly attended the school.