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K-8
Public charter
Aliso Viejo, CA

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27102 Foxborough
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

School website
(949) 448-7232
(949) 448-7256
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Journey School address.

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October 14, 2014
We love Journey School and are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of its community. Journey isn't perfect, but I see the administration and teachers working so hard every day to meet the needs of all of the children--although that's never easy at a public school.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2014
If you are looking for a school where the teachers and staff really get to know your child and help them blossom into upright people who not only know how to think critically, but who also know how to care for themselves, others, and the environment, then Journey School is a good choice. We are so grateful to be a part of this wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2014
My child entered Journey Fall 2013 as a junior kindy. We have nothing but good things to say. His teacher, Mrs. B is the best teacher I've ever met. Her love & compassion for the children is commendable & truly genuine. One of the things I love the most about charter schools is the level of parent involvement. Journey is a community of parents, teachers & staff who work hard at molding the best, most creative children.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2014
The Journey school provides the most wonderful learning experience for a child! The concept is progressive and yet the most basic tenets of life are at the core, creating a unique learning environment. The beautiful synergy in this school will bring forth excellent young people into our world, More children should have the Journey School experience! Expanding to make that possible is the goal.

- submitted by a community member
April 07, 2014
My 2 boys have been at Journey School for 4 years. I love how creativity is included in almost all the educational experiences they are having. My 8th grader is fully prepared to transition into 9th grade. He is taking Algebra 1 this year and will be going into Geometry in high school. He writes great papers and is enjoying working on his 8th grade project, in which he was able to pick a topic he is passionate about. He is writing papers, doing a power point and will be presenting his project to members of the school community. He has loved his time there. His homework has bumped up from the level it was in 7th grade and he has about 1-1.5 hours a night. I feel this is preparing him for the load of high school as well. My 2nd grader loves learning and I love that his homework is to read 30 minutes every night and do a chore. Totally age appropriate. He loves reading and loves math. He will occasionally ask me for a math worksheet, which I have some on hand and pull out. But it isn't stressful, just fun. Such a change from when my oldest was in 2nd grade at our local public school, homework felt like a big chore then.

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2014
My student attended Journey for many years, loves it to this day, and is now near the top of the class in high school!

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2014
I love Journey because - small class sizes - Loving teachers who are focused on what is best for the students - tight knit community - Waldorf curruculum which focuses on whole child development not just academics - Fosters joy that I can see in my children and a love of learning - administration actually values parent involvement and takes feedback very seriously

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2014
Journey is a gem in the morass of OC public schools. Everyone (admin, teachers, parents and students) is committed to setting the standard for public Waldorf education. It's that rare place where the community continually strives to practice what it preaches. It's not perfect. It never will be, but the dedication of everyone involved is evident every day. There's a feeling of hope at this school that it's possible to make serious strides in changing public education. There's a greater school mission that everybody knows and wants to be a part of. Does it need the money? Absolutely! But money can't buy what is inherently happening at this school -- and that's to move the needle when it comes to public education in this country. Parking lot snafus, no hot lunch program and other logistical issues the school faces because of lack of funding are NOTHING compared to the other option available and that's having to to deal with regular public school admin who view your child as a cog in a wheel. We're new this year and didn't know what to expect. But what my family has experienced has inspired us. I will take Journey - warts and all - over a regular public school any day of the week.

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2014
We spent two years on the waiting list and finally made it in. Worth the wait. Because of moves, our daughter has been to private, public and now a charter school. This beats everything else--loving, whole child centered, academic excellence and just pure kindness fill the air and the school day. It's an honor to be a part of something so special.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2014
My school is unique and nurtures creativity, stimulating the mind with all 5 senses of the body. My child is excited to go to school everyday and as a parent I am excited to participate in co-creating his learning environment. we also have a wonderful and gifted teacher.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2014
Fantastic K - 8 Waldorf-inspired school in a beautiful setting. Our kids love coming to school here and as parents, we love seeing them learn and retain information in new ways. The community here is so supportive, it's just a special place. We feel our children are getting a well-rounded education in math, science, history and english and appreciate the extras like foreign language, music, physical activity, gardening, cooking, sustainability, nature and more. We also feel lucky that it's a public charter so all have the chance to attend. Thanks, Journey School!

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2014
I am a teacher at Journey so this may sound biased...I work at the best school that I have ever been to or taught at! After our gallery walk last week I could hardly be prouder than our little school that could! Every class that I walked into shined with amazing and artfully rendered student work, excellent board drawings and a warm and inviting atmosphere. I have spent more memorable moments here along side my dearest colleagues, my students parents and of course the loves of my universe...the children! How lucky we are to all be a part of this awe inspiring school?! I am looking forward to many more years here as a teacher, friend, colleague and lifelong learner in the ways of living the good life, its here!

- submitted by a teacher
April 02, 2014
This is more than a school - it's like a giant family where everyone has the same morals and integrity. It is a place where my child can thrive and learn to be a great human being. It is a magical world where

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2014
Journey represents true community. Our Waldorf inspired Chatter School is ever growning, well loved , and cutting edge. The community values inspired and balanced learning; based on the whole of the learning child. Our school thrives on parent particiption- time, spirit, and donations. One look at the photos on the website will leave you feeling enchanted. Dare to read the website details describing Journey, and you may just contemplate a move....

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2014
A school that values childhood, families and providing the highest level of educational experience for our children. This school is a true treasure. The program at this school is dynamic and contemporary and allows a child to develop confidence in their abilities and become critical thinkers. It is impossible not to see a bright future as I watch children at this school evolve. This is an amazing and compassionate place where education really can be magical.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2014
We are in our second year here at Journey and the more I learn about the school, the more I love it. Why? 1) Waldorf approach is aligned with the latest research on brain development, and the optimal way that children learn in an age appropriate manner. For example, just last week, the teachers gave a talk with parents "What research says about success in life and how schools and parents can help". Much of the talk was based on a NYTimes best selling book called How Children Succeed - and much of the school's approach is in line with the latest recommendations! 2) The school helps to foster the 'light' and 'love of learning'. I think much of the rest of public school education with its focus on memorization and performance on test scores etc, rather than learning itself, just saps the life out of the student. 3) Sense of like-minded community - there is the saying 'it takes a village', that is really true here at Journey. It seems to me that the parents, teachers and administration really are committed to one thing in common - the well-being of the students. When I speak, the teachers and administration listen. I encourage you to learn more about the Waldorf! It has changed me.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2013
Our son had a beautiful kindergarten year at this Waldorf inspired charter school. Now in 1st grade we continue to be satisfied with the small class size. (23 students) and additional teachers aide. We believe that the education of our child is not solely the responsibility of any school system so we constantly monitor our child's learning and provide support when needed. As for teacher quality, the majority of the teachers here are Waldorf certified and hold a master's degree. Most Common Core standards are embedded in the curriculum here. Students evidence their learning by the textbooks they create. Ingenuity and creativity are encouraged which is a rarity in today's data/ test driven school culture.

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2013
I think it's unfortunate for all those who have left Journey on such bad terms, as for me and my family we have overall been happy with Journey as a whole. (With the exception of the parking and no good hot lunch program) We have seen improvements with rules and conduct and have worked side by side with teachers and administrators to solve problems and feel like we received personable attention and the problems were solved respectably. My kids are treated fairly and they love school. No fights in the morning to go and they come home happy. I have volunteered at the school for the last 4 years and have seen the kids in their classroom at recess and lunch, etc. These Journey kids are happy! As for academics, once in the mid to upper grades these kids are being challenged in ways kids in traditional schools are not. It's fascinating to watch these kids learn things like times tables with movement! If your considering Journey, take a tour a check it out yourself. You'll know if its right for your family.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2013
We love Journey! It's such a great community of parents, and the teachers are kind and obviously love what they do. My two boys started 2 years ago - when they were in 3rd and 5th grade. We were nervous that they would be welcomed into the tight knit group of kids - many who had known each other since Kindergarten - but they made instant friends and have built lasting relationships with many of the kids there. The studies are different from their last 'traditional' school - in which Journey students create their own 'text books'. It's more work, but they've retained so much more because of it! Plus the extra-curricular activities such as cooking, gardening, hand-work, music, and games have helped them become well-rounded children. Lastly, the 'compassionate campus' has helped the older students take on responsibility and help the kids become a greater community on the whole. Many 'graduated' (high school) students come back on major days such as the first day of school, Harvest Faire, the 8th grade projects, and the May Faire - a great testament to how much they love their experience at Journey. Many students go on to some of the most competitive high schools in the area.

- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2013
We are new to Journey School this year and have absolutely loved our experience so far. The school provides such a nurturing, warm, and creative approach to educating and guiding our little ones. They strive to open their eyes to the beauty and miracles that surround them every day, which inspires their creativity and desire to learn. In 1 month of school, my kindergarten son is a different person. He has a new view of the world, new appreciation for all that is around him, and has come out of his shell. He used to cry every day at drop off for preschool and now has told me he wishes to live at school...what a huge change! We couldn't ask for a better place to send our child and feel blessed to be part of the Journey family.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2013
Journey is a welcoming, nurturing, and hands on school. The teachers have a depth of experience in the public and Waldorf model of education and are very caring. We enjoy that the children have the same teacher from 1st-5th grade, which facilitates and easier flow between summer and fall, and helps create a cohesive class. I've also always been impressed that the principal is out front each morning, helping with the drop off flow and happily greeting students and teachers. Our grounds are great too. 6 gardens that the students maintain with parent help, natural playscapes, and the creek behind the school where K and grades take nature walks. Our children also benefit from the art that is interwoven in all the lesson plans. Drawing, painting, and knitting are a tangible way to create a deeper level of learning and retaining information. There are several parent classes that are available throughout the year, focusing on art, media literacy, and also parenting and relationships. We feel very lucky to be a part of the Journey community!

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2013
My daughter is in her 3rd year at Journey School. She is excited to go to school in the morning and speaks fondly of her days there. She went to an expensive private preschool and was coming home in tears all the time. So we now feel extremely blessed to be at Journey. I was a bit confused by some of the bad reviews, but then I thought about it. My absolute favorite restaraunt, the one I could eat at every night, has some one star reviews mixed in with the five stars. I guess some people just love to complain and search to find something negative to say. I'm just glad those negative people have already left the school. They are usually part of the problem and not the solution.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2013
Journey School has been such a blessing for our family. Although my children never complained about our former, public school, I spent so much time volunteering at their school and helping in the classrooms that I was able to see what really happens in the "traditional" system. Journey School doesn't focus on tests or worksheets, but rather, it teaches students in such creative ways that children really want to learn. It took a bit of work to get my hyper-educated husband on board with the Waldorf approach, but now he is totally sold. He even asked me to get him a couple of Journey School license plate holders for his car that say: "Journey School, Where Education is a Journey, Not a Race." Big smile! :)

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2013
We are so grateful for having found this healthy and nurturing environment for our children. Kids get to be kids while learning how to be responsible, compassionate, whole human beings with integrity. While no place is perfect, every year of our 5 years here have gotten better and better! Nearly all the staff is Waldorf certified and many have nearly completed their Master's degree. Mentoring, dedication to staff development and the addition of differentiated learning continue to improve the quality and rigor of instruction. The results are evident when you speak with the kids. They are poised, articulate, and thoughtful. Their hearts are big. It is refreshing to see a campus where younger kids and older kids mingle easily in play without trying to prove to one another how "grown-up" they are in comparison. Parent involvement and constructive dialogue is the key here in making the "extras" available and in making sure the education meets each child's needs -- this is not a negative. This level of involvement should be the norm (versus the exception) in the education of all children. This is a school of choice. Understand how the curriculum fits with your family and choose wisely.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2013
If you search for a school, which picks up your child with an age appropriate learning method, you will love this school. A lot of meaningful lessons with no stress to the child. School day structure where the free spirit has place to drive. Individuation for different types of learning always close to the matter of facts. Art and Nature go along with all at academics, nothing is missing. The children are gaining personal strengths hand in hand with knowledge and happiness.

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2013
very responsive and supportive admin... high caliber teaching. This is a place of community-based learning... head, heart, hands all in balance.

- submitted by a community member
August 08, 2013
The children are engaged in learning through multiple modalities: visual, auditory and through movement. Additionally, the children are surrounded by beauty, music, the arts, and an attitude of reverence in caring for their surroundings. Journey recently was awarded the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Award for their effective environmental education Eco-literacy program. My children are progressing beautifully in their social/emotional, academic and physical development. Most importantly, they love school now that they are at Journey!

- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2013
This school is a problem child, hugely inconsistent. It has had many meltdowns over the years along with a huge turnover of administrators, teachers and many families. I laugh when I see these silly 5 star "gosh, everything is perfect..." Reviews . As a family who spent many years there, we know the good, the bad and the ugly. This school only works IF you're lucky enough to land a good teacher who can DISCPLINE their class AND if you have a good (no problem kids) class. The community is cliquish but warm and fuzzy from a distance. Works best for K thru first or second only if you want a slower start to your child's educational career but beyond that, you are gambling.

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2013
My child had a horrible experience at Journey School. She was slapped in the face three times, pushed, and threatened to be stabbed at school. Journey does not have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. My child was scared to go to school and would hide in the bathroom at recess. We took her out of the school mid year and will not be returning.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2013
I really wish I could leave a 0 star rating. We left last year after being disgusted and disillusioned with with the cover ups going on in this school. My advice to new parents considering Journey School? Run.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2013
The only way to prepare kids for the future is to teach them to be critical thinkers. Journey School does just that. It focuses on the well-being of the whole child, rather than only academics. Academics are important at Journey, but they're not the ONLY factor in what makes this a great school. The teachers are fantastic, the students respect each other more than any other school we've tried and the school community really cares for each other. Be sure to read up on Waldorf schooling before sending your children here. We are beyond happy, but parents only wanting a heavy academic focus (memorizing for high test scores) may not feel this is right for them. We also appreciate Journey's effort in eco-literacy. It feels good knowing our kids are growing healthy physically and mentally. We feel so blessed to be at Journey School!

- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2013
By looking at some of the ratings, I have to think that many of those parents didn't do their research on Waldorf education. Before you send your kid here, know it's not focused on heavy academics. This isn't a bad thing! What you get is a well-rounded child that has a positive outlook on school, with a love for learning. Speak to alumni of Journey -- they are honor students, award winners, and doing fantastic at their colleges. I believe there is a higher rate of college graduates, as well. Our experience at Journey has been amazing. I've never been at a school with such a community feeling. Most parents volunteer in the classroom, on nature walks, helping with festivals or in the garden. Many families help contribute financially to give these kids the best education possible. I am so thankful we found this school. Our kids are doing very well here after trying a few schools.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2013
We are the most happiest parents in the world having our son in Journey School. This system is the one that any parent need to choose for their kids. We can't wait to have our other kids in this school. See how our son can't wait to go to school, how happy he wake up everyday; be part of this amazing community is just a gift from heaven to us. Thank you Journey School to allow us be part of you.

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2012
We have attended Journey School for 4 years. I have moments of doubt but it think that is a normal part of parenting when you are engaged in your children's education.No question, California has serious problems with education. I am thankful that I pulled my kids from our local school and moved them to Journey. I find it interesting that the more recent negative reviews are from parents who have not been at the school for a year or more. The changes have been more positive than negative. Compassionate Campus (trademarked or not..why that matters??) is an excellent program and has put the kids in the front seat of working as teammates across the grades. I have a middle school son who tells me daily about his younger buddy and the funny stuff his friends talk about. This alone reminds me why I drive so far for school each day. Society (mostly TV) today is pushing kids to grow up so fast that they have no time to be their age. Compassionate Campus (TM) has given my child the gift of noticing that he is growing up and appreciating the joys of childhood.

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2012
Having had a similar experience as the previous review, I couldn't have said it better myself.

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2012
The updated website looks great and there are some good teachers on campus. The new "Compassionate Campus" which Journey won scholarship money for must be a joke. When you have to TradeMark a program you can bet the administration is looking to cash in on a side business. A compassionate campus has been a tenant of Waldorf schools for 100 years and it was why these types of schools where created in the first place. We no longer attend for the very reason that Journey School Administrators were NOT COMPASSIONATE and let our child get continually groped by another Boy, did nothing and asked us not to say anything so they dont have probelms renewing their charter. There have been many private lawsuites against this campus that have been won or settled out of court. This school is an embarrassment to Waldorf Eduction and Public Eduction at the same time. You get the worst of both worlds and TradeMarking a Compassionate Care program proves that the Administration is trying to cash in on 100 year old Waldorf teachings. Don't be fooled, it's all whitewashed and there's bad paint underneath.

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2012
We just finished our 3rd year at Journey school and we are so thankful for all the wonderful people that are at this school. From the parents to the faculty this school radiates happiness!!

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2012
Journey School is an outstanding school! We're so grateful for the well-rounded education our children are receiving at Journey. They're passionate about learning, have an appreciation for the arts, care about the environment and they care about others. Journey isn't for everyone but it's a perfect fit for us. Great administrator, teachers, parents and students.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2012
Lots of conflicting reviews! It's obvious that it is a very emotionally based school. That is the big issue we had with Journey. Administration, staff, and parents are so caught up in the "feelings" of the school rather than the actual education. The May Faire, Fairy Market, etc are cute, but do not make up for lack of core academics. Unfortunately we witnessed academic laziness, low expectations, and serious disregard for core subjects. Also, they do not teach the art of navigating through text books, basic computer skills, study skills, or test taking skills. After leaving Journey and going to a more traditional education, we are so grateful that are children are learning these fundamental skills. At Journey, the emphasis is on the arts, knitting, gardening, etc, versus mastering core curriculum. Those extras are very enriching but you have to feel OK with them being IN PLACE of basic math, ELA, and science. And science at Journey is Steiner science. You should google that to make sure that's what you want your child learning. Remember where your child will be going from Journey and make sure that Journey can sufficiently prepare them for their future.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2012
Based on our experience, we are giving this school two stars. Our children spent three years at Journey, with the 2011-2012 year being their first year at a new school. We experienced positive and negatives during those three years. Unfortunately, the negatives outweighed the positives. Lack of teaching core curriculum in one class put one of our children an entire year behind. The other major issue was administration and the lack of discipline for bullies with no consistent policy enforced. Further, the parents who had real concerns were often overlooked. For us, you can't judge a book by its cover...it looked great on the outside but the interior is very flawed and isn't nurturing the whole child. We recommend keeping an eye on your children and their preparedness for high school. We cannot recommend this school at this time.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2012
There is abundant evidence that ADHD increases as as TV viewing does. Ask yourself if you are working for or against the school s purpose. This school is working toward the trend of making a healthy 40 year old. I would rather have a well-rounded child who understands the area of a triangle by actually crocheting it before he learns the concept years later. And when he is twenty, has the skilled hands of a surgeon no matter what he chooses as a career. I don t understand why parents who haven t educated themselves send their children here. Check out Unplugged on Purpose about a Philadelphia Waldorf School. Then admire Journey School for attempting the Impossible for trying to provide this on $5000 or less, I ve heard, this coming year. I would suggest working toward bridging the gap and being a positive force or sending your child to the Waldorf School of Orange County for $16,000. Dream on, Right? By a potential teacher who found out too late (for her own child) about the wonders of Waldorf. P.S. I was snapped up by another school so I feel that you might consider this impartial. Good luck in your journeys!

- submitted by a community member
February 04, 2012
Gosh - The polarization of 1 star vs 5 star reviews is a bit of a worry. We've read back a bit and the 1 stars reviews have several common threads, a few complaints we've heard of already. The 5 stars paint a pretty picture, some of which we seen for ourselves. However, some 5 stars are very polished, too much so, right out of a brochure it seems. I suspect the reality is somewhere between the 2 extremes. Although I'm leaning toward the underdog, we're leaving a 3 star review. We are deciding on whether to stay and commit to this system before the Community Meeting marketing blitz, 'close the gap', re-enrollment decisions. Our daughter really likes the school and is enjoying herself. We're earthy and like the slower pace but then there is the real world that our daughter has to learn to navigate. Seems to be a charter is a bit of a no man's land, not really in either camp (Waldorf or public). The teachers are great for sure. Admin is interesting, a bit inconsistent from our experience. So it's been educational reading all these reviews. We've decided.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2012
I have known about this school for several years and was thrilled when an opening allowed my little one to join the community. The teachers are concerned with their students and committed to the Waldorf philosophy of educating children in mind, body, and spirit in an age appropriate manner. The student body here is well mannered and the campus is welcoming. I highly recommend this school to all I know and meet!

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2012
When we first observed at this school we loved the idea of children being able to be children! The school has a strong media policy and the children are not being influenced with materialism. The school also has a compassionate campus program that seriously cuts down on bullying and teaches the students how to get along with all sorts of people. The teachers are EXTREMELY dedicated. Many work on weekends and nearly all the teachers are taking Waldorf training courses and many have worked in traditional public schools in the past so they understand how to cover the state standards. The administrators are hard workers and have many great ideas that they have implemented in the few years they have been here. The school was unstable a couple years back, but the administrators have really turned things around. Learn about the school before sending your child. Many parents have a negative attitude because they send their child hoping for an individualized education, and then are upset when the teachers won't completely change the curriculum for their child. At the end of the day, my daughter has LOVED coming to school everyday for the past few years and she is learning.

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2012
There are a lot of unhappy parents at Journe watching stuff all this. Events do not happen in a closet, parents who vol. etc are watching and see the travesties that occur to others and are frustrated. This is reflected in lower donation rates and parent vol., etc. All the negative reviews below are correct. Huge egos, 'big talk' but little action, wishy washy decisions. We will be leaving at end of year. This school has lost the heart it once had. Newbie Admin has done a couple of good things but made huge, bad judgement calls, sweeping stuff under rug. IF school gets rechartered, school council / teachers need to insist on a proven track record of experienced, ethical, stable Admin otherwise this school won't make it. Stop the nepotism, go outside Waldorf ville.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2012
The negative reviewers are spot on. Negative reviews do 'disappear...' i watched when we left in the spring and 3-4 disappeared. We left last year with others due to the substandard teacher in our class as our child was academically behind. Check out STAR scores to verify 2 classes who suffered. To be fair, recent hires are great but there are several grades that are suffering from years past. Admin promises and doesn't deliver. Unfinished website, important survey we've been told still not out, FAVORTISM of special families whose kids get off scott free. Admin Incompetence, inexperienced, etc. but happy to take your money. Middle school very unprepared for real world. School currently works for K-5, just doesn't have it for beyond that despite some good teachers efforts. This school really needs a really experienced, strong admin who won't waffle and is an educator at heart. We are soooo happy we left. i pray for the others in our old class to 'open their eyes.''

- submitted by a parent
May 17, 2011
All of my children have or have attended the Journey School. I am grateful for having this school in our community. People can argue that the school is not educating to the state standards or that the schools administration is not doing a good job but I have to disagree with their opinion. I believe that this school is teaching correctly and it is trying to help our society, which to me is really flawed right now our society that is. Our little community within Journey while not perfect but it really helps out when you look at it as a whole. I thank everyone at Journey for having a school within Orange County that is out for helping children.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2011
Wow where do i begin? I will start out on the positive. I think the idea of how Journey says they are going to teach children is great ( if it worked, and they were doing what they said they would do! ie: see the schools test scores SCARY!) Umm..the school has a great music program. The positive comments on here have to be from the administration or parents that sadly just don't have a clue. There is no accountability or organization at Journey, this is what they call the Waldorf way. Kids need structure or there is chaos. Journey's name should be CHAOS. The administration is constantly putting out fires that never seem to stop. It is sad and scary to me that this school is able to stay open and be responsible for children learning or lack there of in this case. There is also no text books at this school the kids write there own, no computers, and they ask all the parents to donate $100.00 a month. I will be shocked if this school is still open in the next 5 years. If you have very low standards for your child education this is the school for you! Journey were education is not a race its a joke!

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2011
This school could be so good, if only the Waldorf philosophy was actually put into practice effectively. Unfortunately, Journey lacks consistency, has no apparent curriculum that is followed, and what the child is taught is highly dependent on who they have has a teacher. Teacher to parent communication on what is being learned in the classroom (and therefore should be reinforced at home) has been completely missing. This may be a different experience from class to class, but with no standard to follow, there is no consistency. I like the playful, cheerful environment, but it is a lot of play and not a lot of work. If the purpose of school is to prepare our children for the future and to build the foundation for a strong work ethic and a successful career, then Journey falls dreadfully short. The influence I see being indirectly taught to the children is that of mediocrity and laziness, which is such a shame. Executed correctly, Journey could be a place where children learn to care for each other, care for the earth, find joy in simple things, AND work hard, develop a love for learning, and a desire to always do their best work. Unfortunately, that is not what it is today.

- submitted by a parent
March 08, 2011
This school is not the right school for anyone who doesn t stop to read the sign out front: Education is a journey not a race . Many parents come to the school without fully understanding the Waldorf-inspired pedagogy, which is understandable; there is a lot to learn. However, it explains how academics are taught through art, music, stories, play, interaction, movement, etc. This school is one of the few in Orange County that actually prepares students with the 21st Century learning skills that other schools can t cram into their day because parents are screaming for sky-high test scores in 2nd grade. My children attended Journey and are now well-rounded high school honor students.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2011
If you want even a moderate amount of focus on academic learning and aquisition of basic language and math skills, look elsewhere, anywhere else will be better. There is absolutely no desire to teach the students anything remotely close to basic academics. To have a school in the middle of Aliso Viejo ranked 375 out of 381 elementary schools in Orange County is criminal. How parents can want their children to be so disadvantaged is hard to understand. And yet Capo Valley renewed their charter. Go to the Journey school website and look for anything that relates to academic achievement. There is nothing. They do learn how to knit and compost, however.

- submitted by a community member
January 21, 2011
The Journey Schools allows children to retain the innocence. They focus on community connectedness, nature, thinking outside of the box, creativity and being proud, loving individuals. It's so refreshing. My children are happy, love school and are free to develop into at their own pace.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2010
Journey provides a beautiful environment for learning while fostering your child's imagination and natural potential. Emphasis on nature, rhythm, creativity, character and kindness are all part of the daily routine. Your child is revered as an individual and not seen as a "kid" that needs to be controlled which allows your child's spirit to soar!

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2010
Journey School was a blessing for our family when looking for a school in our area. We were looking for a school where the values were the same as those in our home; thus rather wanting to concentrate on the love of learning as opposed to conflicting value systems. Journey School has proved to incorporate all of our needs and those of our child's. Not only did we find a school that our child excels in, but we found a community with like-minded parents! Students, teachers, parents and administration works closely together to embrace the one most important thing in our children's lives....their education. We are very thankful that we found Journey. It's inspiring, full of talent, devotion, community - it's just a great place to be!!!

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2010
Finding Journey School has dramatically changed the course of my daughters life. We moved her to Journey from a traditional public school. In the past 2 years we have seen her self esteem blossom. She has developed a love of learning. Children want to come to school, and learn. The school's drama club promotes self esteem and has helped build confidence in so many of the children. The administrator and teachers work together to support each child. We are so thankful to have found Journey.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2010
My son's experience in Kindergarten has exceeded my expectations. His teacher is very knowledgeable about the developmental needs of five and six year olds, and works very thoughtfully to make sure he is cognitively, emotionally, and socially prepared for 1st grade. Being a student of cognitive science, I'm continually amazed by how well the faculty know how to use the best research about how young people learn. Did you know that vestibular development and proprioception are essential to developing spatial-temporal reasoning needed for higher level math (think Trig here)? My son's teacher does. Art is emphasized, since it's a form of higher level thinking, Knitting helps to develop neural pathways across the corpus callosum. To understand what makes this school amazing, you need to be willing to look a little deeper. Journey favors the long term payoff over the quick fix. We could not be happier.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2010
DO YOUR HOMEWORK! KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING INTO! be prepared to participate.Dropping your problem off @ the curb is not going to work here. If you havent researched Waldorf-Steiner education methods/style you might be shocked and disappointed. However if you look before you leap you could make an EDUCATED disicision about your childs future and decide if this is the right place. We have 2 children at the school and we know it is not perfect,but for US it is better than all of the other options. We sought out Waldorf education For our children from the start. In O.C. you only have 2 choices. This is Waldorf "inspired " education.To the negative reviews i can only say ...You cant please everyone

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2010
Journey School is a unique school that requires parents to be actively engaged in their children's education and in supporting the school. Parents can often be seen tending gardens, maintaining the campus or lending a helping hand inside the office. If your plan is to drop off & pick up curbside without ever stepping foot onto the campus or your measure of a good school is tied to the number of worksheets sent home, then this is probably not the place for you. All of the faculty are good and a number of them are world class and could choose to teach anywhere. The current principal is super responsive. The approach in the classroom is to present academics like math, literature and music in a creative way. I love this way of teaching. They do ask a lot of the parents at this school, but for us it is worth it.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2010
CAUTION, BEWARE, TAKE A CLOSER LOOK, these are my words of advice for any parent who is thinking about enrolling their children in Journey. If you want quality education that makes sense this is not the place . My children attend Journey and I have no idea what they do during the day. No work ever comes home, there is little homework which reflects what they are doing in class, and you have to beg the teaches to tell you anything. There is no communication. There is little disapline. My children are getting hit and punched often and nothing is done even after I have meetings with the teacher and administration. Taking my children out at this time is not an option because they are behind academically. I often wish I never got my children involved at this school. I hope they can catch up before its to late.

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2010
This is not the Journey School of the past couple of years- wow! things sure have changed along with a new administrator the school is starting to live up to the potential. Students receive all the 'basics' yet are taught creatively, are allowed to stretch their creative muscles and are encouraged to think critically and ask questions. Even with the drastic budget cuts, students here receive art, music, and drama, not as extracurricular activities, but as an integral part of the curriculum. This takes a real commitment from parents to help out on campus and understand that although the school charges no tuition, it is donation dependent. The parent community here is amazing and the kids love to come to school. This is a unique learning environment and anyone interested in a fresh and healthy approach to education should consider the school.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2010
Parents, if you are planning to enroll your child in Journey, please know what you are getting into before you take this big step. The school is very disorganized and nobody seems to know what is going on. Nobody takes resposibility for anything. On paper and in theory this school looks ideal for all children, but once you look a little closer at the staff and the curriculm you will realize it is not what it appears to be.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 18, 2009
My son attended the school for 6 years and was asked to leave because the teacher couldn't handle a few of the children. My son is very sad and transitioning from a small school where he was with the same children for 6-years was difficult. I'm now dealing with self esteem issues after having him in public school for only three months. I'm still looking for a place for my 7th grader.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2009
Journey is first public alternative in Orange County and offers children an arts-based, whole-child educational philosophy.

- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2009
It is a blessing to have a charter school in Aliso Viejo, however this particular charter school is certainly not for everyone. Yes, there is a lot of confusion in the administration, events get cancelled and the parents get notified at the last minute. But the reason why I am taking my child out is due to the lack of mental stimulation. I did not fully understand what the Waldorf system entails. And it does teach children the basics of reading and writing about 1 or 2 years later than a public school. I still believe it is a great school for kids that just would not fit into the public school system. And the public schools are certainly not inviting, so it's a shame that the only charter school we have is so extreme. I am still looking and hoping for a middle ground

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2009
Most of these reviews are by parents who are disgruntled with test scores and are fearful that their child isn't testing up to standard. Generally, the surrounding public schools do not have the child's best interest at heart. Journey's environment is a peaceful one and the tone of the teaching nurtures the child. In light of the crazy pace of the surrounding public schools, I wouldn't want my child in any other place. To each his own.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2009
If only Journey School had realized its potential! But over the past 3 years there has been turmoil in almost every grade, an almost constant exodus of teachers, uneven qualifications, 3 administrators in a row resigning, and consistent unprofessionalism in everything they do. With the charter up for renewal next year, heart surgery might be a good thing. Please do your homework. We've paid a fortune in tutors to catch our children up to state standards after leaving Journey.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 09, 2009
My children have been at Journey School for 4 years. The whole time I've wondered if sending them here is the right thing to do. There are so many wonderful things about the school: Wonderful teachers, a creative environment, and a very organic, holistic approach to understanding child development. However, the pace of learning is unbelievably slow and I've just learned of the big drop in test scores between 2007 and 2008. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely still send my kids here for the younger grades (kindergarten and maybe first grade), but we have decided to give our convential local public school a try at this point. If Journey brings their test scores up, we will return in a few years.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
October 21, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2008
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- submitted by a teacher
March 30, 2008
I had high hopes for this school, but was instead very disappointed. The school lacks leadership and the hole at the top is sorely felt throughout the school. The Waldorf theory is wonderful- but how it is put into practice is everything and this school is not what is shown in the inspiring DVD production or quick tours of the classes. The cirriculum is very slow. This cannot be emphasized enough. I understood it was slow- but I had no idea how slow 'slow' really is at Journey. Specifics: The administration is disorganized and events are calendared, moved and cancelled constantly. Playgound equipment was broken for six months with no one taking any lead on getting it fixed. For the first four months of the school year they rang the bell 10-15 minutes late every single day. Lots of problems and virually no leadership to get things solved. Can't reccomend it.

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2007
Journey School is a rising star in the world of charter schools. If you want to learn more about how the children are taught, call the school and ask to purchase their DVD. I think you'll quickly see why most of their classes are wait listed. Another testimony to Journey's excellence in art and music is the high percentage of students that are accepted every year to the Orange County School of Performing Arts.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2006
Great artistic experience with huge efforts in academics learned through an experiential curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2006
This is a charter Waldorf inspired school. As such, it is somewhat different from a 'regular' school, and this is what makes it great. An emphasis on the whole child, the arts, the block system, teaching from concrete to abstract. Inspired teachers, a committed parent group, engaged and enthusiastic children. This is a good place to send your child, if you can get in.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2005
I would hesitate in sending my child tot his school unless you are completly aware of the teachings of Waldorf. It isn't as wonderful as it seems.

- submitted by a parent
July 13, 2004
Journey School has provided my child with the highest quality of in classroom teaching exceeding my expectations over the past 2 years. Teachers at this school are the most committed I have ever met. They take the classroom indoors and out truely creating a school without walls. Bringing the learning process alive in this Waldorf inspired curriculum. As a parent I would like to see more parents take a positive roll in the operation of this school letting the teachers do what they do best.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2004
Journey is a community and a school. My children are developing social tools as well as academic skills. The teachers and parents all work together to promote multi-dimensional approach to learning, taking into account the students learning strengths and weaknesses. We are fortunate to have this alternative yet sound approach to learning offered as a charter in our school district.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2004
Journey school is an excellent example of a community coming together to educate our children. Parents work alongside the teachers in and out of the classroom, on the playground, and on the weekends to beautify the campus. The children see how they are part of a larger community that works together to make all of our lives richer. The teachers are dedicated and enthusiastic. I am grateful for Journey school for all that it has taught me and my family about the life-long journey of learning.

- submitted by a parent
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Journey School
27102 Foxborough, Aliso Viejo, CA  92656
(949) 448-7232
Last modified Journey School is a Charter school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Journey School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 78 reviews. Top