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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
fabulous school - dedicated staff, great neighborhood setting, great balance of acadmics and nuturing.
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.
This school offered testing for giften children, and very good teachers!
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.
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
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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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