« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
Public district
Irvine, CA
Students enrolled: 496

Contact this school

1 Sundance
Irvine, CA 92603

School website
(949) 936-5450
(949) 936-5459
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Bonita Canyon Elementary School address.

October 31, 2013
BC is a very special school. The principal, teachers, aides, and office staff care about the students deeply. They know each student by name and their families well. They know how each student is unique and how they learn best. For example, our son had a bumpy start in his combo class at the beginning of school. After we shared that with the principal, he went into his class to check on our son and gave us an update the same day. The students and teachers have a positive attitude about learning. They are not in denial of the challenges, but instead they are hopeful. They seek for improvements and growth daily. As for the appearance of the school, it is the most beautiful and intimate school that I have seen. Yes, there are no fences, but it is still very safe because of the community alertness . We have people and policemen visible throughout the day. University High School, a few blocks away, has a police staff on duty at the school site. We have police patrols keeping our students safe as they walk to and from school. There is no perfect school, because we live in an imperfect world. However, BC strives to be better each day which makes it a very special school.

- submitted by a parent

October 17, 2013
we moved from other irvine school to BC, so far one of the best school. principle is friendly, staff are nice, teacher is great, and parents are very friendly. I have heard a lot of good things about this school.

- submitted by a parent

May 17, 2013
This school is really great! It is very small for a public school. About two classes per grade. It makes it easy to meet people. I feel like I know almost all the parents of the kids in my kids grades. Its great because we help each other out with carpooling and doing favors for each other. The teachers are great too. I do not feel like I need to supplement with alot of "mommy's homework." Many prudent parents do give their children extra lessons, but its not absolutely necessary. The academics are high but its not a competitive or stressful atmosphere. We all want our own kids to suceed but the parents are nice and dont gossip about other kids or act jealous of high achieving kids. We switched to this school from a neighboring school and Im so glad I did!

- submitted by a parent

April 29, 2013
When I first moved to OC I research which district was known to be "the best." I had to move at a moment's notice but I saw that Irvine was best known to be the top and had dazzling high API scores. The school that my son went to in LA had an API score of 100 less than Bonita but after being here for 2 years, I am TOTALLY disappointed. The school only cares about ONE thing, API scores! They teach the kids only academics and directly to the standards. Plus, the teachers send the kids home with so much homework and the parents end up having to teach the children the lessons themselves. We have from his K & 1st grade an enormous 4 ft. x 3 ft. filled with STUNNING and creative pieces of artwork that my son created, some so beautiful that we had them professionally framed. This school does not care about art, music, or how to raise children with traits like compassion, kindness, community, or team work. My son has Autism and is VERY high functioning. They have segregated him from the mainstream every chance they could get and quite frankly didn't even want him to take the standardized tests. I love the area where we live so much but we are moving because of this school.

- submitted by a parent

September 05, 2012
Great school, wonderful staff and my kids feel very at home here. You do need to give your children additional instruction at home. I think because of shorter days the extra instruction has to come from parents.

- submitted by a parent

December 16, 2011
There is another reason why Bonita is the #1 elementary in OC. They pressure kids and their families tremendously to have the best scores, parents have to teach their kids or hire tutors to keep up with the demands, and will invite those kids that struggle or learn differently to leave the school and be placed in special day classes at other schools. This is no fault of the teachers, they are under tremendous pressure as well. It is a trend within the IUSD that they have to prove that they are THE BEST district at whatever cost, and this school takes this even more seriously. So anyone that does not conform to the mold, will indeed fall through the cracks (or will eventually leave).

- submitted by a parent

December 15, 2011
There is a reason why Bonita is rated #1 elementary in OC, it is fantastic. It's not too big compared to other public schools, and the teachers are fantastic. I did the private school route first, and wish I'd started at Bonita first. My oldest daughter learned more in a month at Bonita than she did in a year at private school. All three of my children love the school. Parents are very involved & it is a great community.

- submitted by a parent

May 18, 2011
Bonita Canyon Elementary has some wonderful teachers and a great new Principal, Mr. Bob Curley. The parents are very involved and the PTA is very proactive. However, due to the State budget, all IUSD schools have been impacted. The class sizes are very large (35 students) and many activities have been cut due to the State budget. Even school administrators admit that no matter how things shape up, it will not be pretty.

- submitted by a parent

July 28, 2010
Over-rated. Not as great as everyone claim it to be. The teacher for my child was more interested in fitting them in a box rather than teaching based on their needs. Hopefully the new principal will provide more leadership. Needless to say, we are not the only one pulling our child out of this school after this year's experience.

- submitted by a parent

June 03, 2010
Have always loved this school up to 3rd grade but 4th grade was HORRIBLE the teacher was unorganized, scattered, would go off on tangents and just seemed overwhelmed and stressed out. I'm pulling my child out because we can't afford anther bad year. What other parents say is that Bonita is great for K-3, then they switch their kids to Turtle Rock for 4-6. Wish I would have known that sooner.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 27, 2010
Bonita's teachers are experienced but still very enthusiastic in their teaching and their interaction with the children and parents. They uphold a caring attitude and teach responsibility to the students. They focus on the learning but try to still make it enjoyable for the student.

- submitted by a parent

March 07, 2009
School with no fence because there is ---> no crime!

- submitted by a parent

September 05, 2008
While this is a high ranking school, I do have a couple of general concerns about school safety: the hills surrounding the campus are open, with no fencing to protect the kids; the pick up and drop off is very chaotic and kids are not looked after well.

- submitted by a parent

February 15, 2008
My kids have all gone through this school and have had nearly every teacher - it is a great school, a safe and nurturing place for a child to spend their first 7 years of education. The staff, particularly in the lower primary grades, are competent. There are some good teachers, some forgetable teachers, but mostly every one is fine. The upper grade experience could use some improvement. The current principal has done a good job, but I feel it is time for some new blood in this position. Parental volunteerism and financial support for this school is what make it a cut above.

- submitted by a parent

January 21, 2008
Top API in an OC elementary school in 2007!

- submitted by a teacher

September 20, 2006
The level of parent involvement is great. The principal, teachers and staff are all wonderful and conscientious. We attended other schools in different districts and this school overall is very well structured.

- submitted by a parent

April 22, 2006
Good quality school with excellent preparation for the next level

- submitted by a parent
no rating
March 16, 2006
fabulous school - dedicated staff, great neighborhood setting, great balance of acadmics and nuturing.

- submitted by a parent

October 14, 2005
My son moved from a private school to Bonita Canyon Elementary. We are very happy and impressed with the quality of instruction he's been getting from his 3rd grade teacher. And without the high price tag that we had paid from K-2. Third-grade curriculum is definitely more challenging but our son is quickly learning that he needs to stay on top or he'd fall behind. His teacher is very encouraging and nurturing. We think we've found the right environment for our free-spirited child. The only thing I wished they had were on-site after-school sports activities and Music instruction for the earlier grade level. My son had a Music class in second grade and the PTA bought recorders for each student. It would be nice to continue with that.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
August 13, 2005
This school offered testing for giften children, and very good teachers!

- submitted by a parent

July 16, 2004
Bonita Canyon is a special place in large part due to the dedication of it's high-achieving staff and parents. Teachers work many extra hours everyday. Parents are expected to contribute both money and time. Many families move to the neighborhood because of the school's reputation as the 'best'. As a result, there is an overall culture that highly values education. On the downside, there is also a feeling of competition (especailly among the mothers) and children may feel stress.

- submitted by a parent

October 01, 2003
We have just enrolled our son in this school (Kindergarten) and so far so good! My son didn't like going to school but ever since he started, he hasn't really complained about it. So far, I like the structure and the work he brings back home. I'm begining to see why this schools consistently is ranked among the top schools in Orange County, CA

- submitted by a parent

September 17, 2003
While the facilities are dated indeed, the setting with the adjacent park is beautiful, kids go back on campus to play after school. The teachers so far have been awesome, my daughter loves going to school there. Parents involvement is very high, through volunteering and fund-raising, the principal is very approachable and open to suggestions, the off-campus after-school program run by the City of Irvine, Kids Klub, is wonderful.

- submitted by a parent

August 27, 2003
I moved into this neighborhood just for this school and its high test scores. The facility is dated, some teachers are great, some are okay [and] most are good. What is different about this school is that the parents are very involved and support the school financially and with their volunteer time. Parents expect a lot from their kids and the scores show it. Most kids receive outside tutoring.

- submitted by a parent

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school's profile?

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »

Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: October 28, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Bonita Canyon Elementary School
1 Sundance, Irvine, CA  92603
(949) 936-5450
Last modified Bonita Canyon Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Bonita Canyon Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 35 reviews. Top