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University Montessori Of Irvine

Private | K-1 | 31 students


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Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $350,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,410.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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24 reviews of this school

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Posted March 4, 2013

Good university environment Clean Some excellent teachers but Your child is not a priority to them, they will make you understand that this is a tuition. Many people had a very bad experience here. Some teachers spend their days and long hours on chatting with a director, which is not exactly what you are paying for. Treat their own students as numbers. They are nice, but there's no real relation student-teacher. They are not flexible. No parents' involvement Some kids will never learn how to read and count. They will never be encouraged to do it, which is not exactly Maria Montessori's idea. Village Montessori would be much better. It's the same chain, but it is really different. Try it out!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 4, 2012

My daughter went to this school since she was 1 yr. old until first grade. This is a fantastic school with warm, passionate, and concerned teachers. It is a bit expensive. But the environment made it worth it for my daughter. She learnt much more from this environment, that when we moved her to the second grade to the best elementary school in Irvine - Turtle Rock, we actually found that the level is much lower than in University Montessori. Life sciences, general knowledge, social sciences, math, reading, and many other practical skills were enjoyable for my daughter to learn. I recommend this school very much.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 21, 2012

I doubt if kids have enough outdoor playing time. For first graders, do they have PE?
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 21, 2011

Great school. Teachers are caring and warm to the students. They are very good at teaching the preschoolers self control and life-skills. There is no chaos and kids are focused and engaged in learning.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 15, 2009

I had my older kid went through this school from nursery, through pre-school to kindergarten. This is a great school. Teachers are great with kids. They have great activities and very responsive to the needs of individual kid. My second child is going to its preschool soon. I can't wait.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 9, 2009

My children have been at this school from the time they were infants. The teachers have been fabulous and generally very stable (very little turnover). I looked at many many school before choosing this one and I have always been extremely pleased. My children (now 6 and 3 1/2) have flourished in the montessori environment. Children are taught to be respectful, self directed and responsible. They learn to interact with their peers in the multi-age preschool classroom, both as learners and leaders. We notice a drastic difference between our children's montessori friends and children from other schools -- go to a montessori birthday party and the kids are having a great time, not fighting, clean up after themselves and say thank you. Not true with other sets of friends. My children are academically above their peers at other schools, but the social education that this school provides is invaluable!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 18, 2008

A Great Place! My children are 6 and 4 1/2 and have been here since infants. They love school (always want to stay longer) and have learned so much. It's more than just academics, too- manners, how to get along, respect, independence... It's not the 'traditional' everybody doing the same thing, but that way they can do what they're ready for. The teachers have been great, too. I could not imagine a better foundation for my kids!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 26, 2008

Oweners interest is way above children's need in UMS. They charge $7.5 per lunch meal per child, but they provide kids chips, baked potato, sandwichs. Child is lack of disciplines after they join more structured public school. Child has not taught need to stay one job and complet it. Most of times they move from one job to another job. Lots of good teachers have left school. There are better schools around Irvine area with much cheaper tuition and better services.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 17, 2008

We have a had a great experience at this school! My daughter loves it and always wants to stay longer when I pick her up. This is her third year there. Fortunately, she's had very loving teachers. She has learned to read, to take responsibility for her work, to respect others. I've volunteered in her Kindergarten class and have observed that the children take responsibility for doing the work in their individualized lesson plans. For parents that have not had a good experience here, a lot may depend on each individual child. You need to find a school that fits the needs of your own child. I visited many schools before selecting this one and feel very confident and happy with this choice. One thing I do wish: They stopped serving chips and other non-nutritious food.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 26, 2008

Convience, clean, nice look and university environment are the main reasons that we sent children to UMS. but if the child likes or not, how much they have learned everyday, as a parent I do not know since my kids have never been to other schools. Some teachers are good, but with so many kids at different age group, how much they can do. Most of time young kids are walking around in the class room (so called observation), older kids are sit around the table doing jobs and chatting. For kids age above 5 is definitely not good. They cannot focus when they go to public school or structured school. Experience with directors is horrible. They charge so much for NOTHING! I cannot wait to take my child out.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 21, 2008

This school is absolutely horrible. As an educator, I see no teaching going on here. I sent my child for a month and took him out. Can you belive that the teacher plans only thirty minutes of the day? The rest of the time the children are 'teaching' themselves with the toys and activities around the room. What a joke! The parents who send their children here have no clue. They are blinded by the bells and whistles, because I must admit the school is clean and nice to look at. If you are looking for true learing, please look somewhere else. They charge so much for NOTHING!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 15, 2008

Agree with last three parents review. Thump down for UMS. I have waited 3 years to get my child in but now I cannot wait to get him out. My child only learn how to cut papers in past year. Dr. Maria Montessori's method is good only under certain condition small class ratio, teacher's involvment(some good teachers there) and good administration personnel. Most of these conditions are not available in UMS anymore. Some teachers always walk out of classroom, most of time only two or one teacher in classroom to deal with 33 kids or more. So the really teaching time per week is minimal. UMS is just day care place, and academic foundation is not strong. Sometimes kids learn bad habit like how to holding pen to write, and phonics and it is very hard to correct these bad habits.UCI should change school owner no real benefit to UCI employee
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 14, 2008

Montessori system is too much depend on teachers and school director. UMS is too much depent on its past reputation, but most of good teachers have left school. Its price keep on rising but qulity of education keep on droping. Kids need more love and attention, not the cold face and tone. Director and owener are big problem in UMS for demaging the quality of education. School is clean, but it is hard for little kids. It is hard for them to drink water when they play outside under hot sun. when kids get wet outside play water, they have to wait until parents come to change clothes. I give them thump down. UCI should change owner of the school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 19, 2008

My experience with this school is horrible. I observed a few times, 1) they gave a child time out merely because the child moved a little bit during the circle time; 2) the teach said 'stop it!' with angry when a little kid tried to reach a picture during the circle time; 3) a teach talked to a kid with very cold face and tone,even rolling her eyes at the kid, when the little kid tried to get something other than the teacher wanted to give her during stack time. I think the best thing of UMS is it is very organized and clean. That is the only thing that I see makes this school 'better' than others.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 20, 2007

I just heard many recommendations for this school, so we waited for long time and then enrolled in. It is really disappointing. Sometimes 21 kids with 1 teacher. Teachers are more interested in administrative things than in children. Apparently, they lack of love and patience to children.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 20, 2007

My son started at UMS when he was two and just graduated from kindergarden, my daughter is in their preschool currently. Overall, we had great experience with the school. The teachers are all very kind and caring, the school is clean and safe, and provides fresh nutritious lunch daily. It also has ballet, gymnastics, violin, Japanese, Spanish classes with extra fees. The preschool class has about 30 kids with 3 teachers, kindergarten class has 30 kids with two teachers. The kindergarten program is fantastic, the teachers are loving, caring and inspiring, my son loves his teachers and he wants to stay for 1st grade. My son is already reading chapter books and we did not teach him at home. Their graduation is amazing with cap and gown, and grand finale with all the children sing a song. Plenty of chance for parents to volunteer in Kindergarten. Great school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 7, 2006

UMS is a wonderful school. My older daughter attended from 6 months through kindergarten. My younger daughter is in preschool now. The staff is loving and well-educated. They are caring and kind and very involved. Parents should look into the Montessori methods before choosing a Montessori school. It works well with my children. UMS has regular music classes and lots of art (included in the curriculum) as well as gymnastics, ballet, violin and foreign language classes for additional fees. The school is beautiful, clean and has a great playground.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 6, 2006

I highly recommend this school. My child loves it and runs in the door each morning. He has adapted to the Montessori philosophy very well and enjoys the activities that he chooses throughout the day. There is a lot of individual activity that goes on where the children play on their own, but this is what makes Montessori so unique. It teaches them independence, concentration and respect for their environment as well as other children in class. At first glance it seems like the classroom is not organized with all the kids going from one activity to the next. But when you spend some time watching you see that they are all happy and enjoying the fact that they have choices and can learn at their own pace.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 20, 2006

The facility is clean, but some of the teachers are uninspiring and the head teacher roams in and out of the classroom frequently to do administrative stuff rather than concentrate on children.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 14, 2005

I have doubts about the Montessori method. I have many educational materials at home and wanted to send my 3 year old to preschool to socialize with other children and hopefully learn some new things as well. I was very disappointed. The teacher barely acknowledges my child at times and seems to be just running a daycare instead of a preschool. The preschool classes are large - 1 teacher to 20 something children at times. The teacher does not seem to be spend time with each child during the day and just chooses a few children each day to spend a little bit of time with. Children are left to play by themselves the whole day.
—Submitted by a parent

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Asian or Pacific Islander 61% 11%
White 31% 26%
Two or more races 4% 3%
Black 2% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 2% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hispanic 0% 52%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mrs. Cecelia McGregor
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian


Instructional and/or curriculum models used

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  • Montessori
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101 Russell Place
Irvine, CA 92617
Phone: (949) 854-6030


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