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The Girl Next Door

Suri Cruise Starts Classes at School With Scientology Ties

Us Weekly
By Justin Ravitz

First day of school for Suri Cruise!

Earlier this week, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' five-year-old daughter was photographed leaving the New Leadership Academy in Calabasas, Calif.

The private elementary school was founded in 2008 by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, close pals to Suri's famous parents.

Photos at the Daily Mail show Suri, clad in a navy blue dress, silver ballet slippers and a pink hairband, leaving the school with mom Holmes, 32.

Although tuition for the school is around $12,000 annually, many students receive financial assistance. The school has many ties to Scientology -- with numerous scientologists on its staff and among its teachers, and with the controversial religion's terminology peppering the website. For example, one of its methodologies is "Study Technology," which was developed by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

But Pinkett-Smith told ABC News it wasn't quite that simple: "Study Technology is a secular methodology intended to help students better understand what is being studied and apply it to real life. NVLA integrates this methodology as a tool in instructional design by providing teachers the framework to design lessons and curriculum.