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Montessori on the Lake School

Private | PK-8 | 300 students

To inspire academic excellence, to nurture curiosity, creativity, & imagination.
 
 

 
 

Living in Lake Forest

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $355,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $2,040.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 13 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
No new ratings

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23 reviews of this school


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Posted May 30, 2014

I loved that school. I went preschool thru 5th grade. I wish I was able to continue until 8th grade but my parents wanted me to go to public school.. if you have children that go to Montessori school, it will be a culture shock for them to transition to public school, especially one that gives a lot of homework and teaches very little in the actual class room. Montessori is one of the best schools in my opinion and the meathods of teaching are very effective. I rememer more things from montessori school than I do from any class I took later in life..


Posted April 30, 2014

Pulled my 2 children out of this school today. Can't stand the school management anymore. Attended almost 4 years. Grade 1 to grade 4. Pros: Some very good teachers. Award 2 stars for the rating. Cons:Lower elementary Spanish is experiential only, boring and outdated teaching style.Had issues with granting bathroom breaks during Spanish class.Good for children with behavioral problems. ( yes this is a con for us). Play yard is small and not very safe. Yard time = deal with meanies time. Children are left to fend for themselves against more aggressive school mates. The director insists we should allow the children to work things out on their own. (???) And watch out for the ball, or it'll hit you hard. You get an ice pack after you get smacked. Inadequate supervision at the yard, but school is in denial. Even after the director admits the yard staff can't keep her watch of all 17 kids. Best part: Director's response to difficult issues " since you don't like this school, you can bring your money and children to another school, and you don't have to finish the school year with us." No refunds for fees paid up front.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 19, 2013

I have toured a dozen schools before I found a home away from home for my son. I can't say enough great things about the beautiful lake view and the passionate teachers.children are exposed to Monart, cooking, music, science, geography, language, and computers. This is a hidden gem in Orange County and I am able to focus at work knowing my child is learning in a well rounded environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 29, 2013

The class sizes are small and there are several teachers per class room. The staff seems highly trained and extremely dedicated to the parents, teachers, and children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 30, 2013

I highly recommend Montessori on the Lake. My daughter has been going to this school since she was 3 months old. She is now 4 and in preschool with Ms. Brandy and Ms. Erin, which I could not ask for better teachers. They are both warm and caring and dedicated to the academic growth of each child. The office staff is also great and always available. The transition from one level to another has been extremely easy for my daughter which puts us parents as ease. But most importantly my daughter LOVES going to school and her teachers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 28, 2013

This school has an amazing middle school program. My daughter was struggling at a public school and made the transition mid year to miss Sandys class. She thrived In the environment. Not only did her teacher take extra time from her day to help my daughter, directors were so welcoming and a great help, to me and my daughter!! Thanks motl
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 22, 2013

The staff and faculty are excellent! Such a warm and welcoming environment and I love how my son is thriving! Miss Brandy and Miss Erin are the best!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 18, 2013

We are so happy to have found Montessori on the Lake. My daughter is in her second year of preschool there, and we couldn't ask for a better program. My daughter adores Ms. Brandy and Ms. Erin, and we've been amazed at her academic progress.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 18, 2013

Amazing school! My 4 yr old has been there since baby & now my 3 yr old is also in Ms. Brandy's class. My girls love their teachers. The school does a great job transitioning the children from 1 level to the next. Directors & teachers are always responsive. Because there's always someone manning the office, it's easy to get a hold of the teacher vs. leaving vm msgs. (I've called other schools & get vm's during school hrs, very annoying.) It definitely shows that the teachers love it here, most been here for years, very little turnover. This is important for sense of stability for the kids. The campus is also pretty big with multiple playgrounds. Kids sometimes switch play areas - which is great, good to chang the setting. The school does a fabulous job communicating with parents, we get month newsletters on the units of study that month. Net net definitely recommend this school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 18, 2013

My daughter has been attending MOTL since she was 18months and is now in Kindergarten. The teachers and staff have always been very attentive and helpful in every way. I love the fact that I know my child is being taken care of as if it is one of their own. I truly appreciate all the time and dedication the teachers put into teaching each and every child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 22, 2013

MO5TL rocks! My daughter started in the Toddler program at the age of 26 months. She was with me all along and had extreme separation anxiety issues. She settled down in the school within a week s time. She loves going to school now and waves good bye with a big smile. Hats off to the teachers for the love and attention they were able to provide to my daughter. Hopefully she ll continue to the preschool.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 22, 2013

We have had our son in this school since he was 2 years old. Now he is in 5th grade. He loves it! The focus is on learning and individual responsibility. At a glance, the school seems to lack structure, but that "lack" is the method for students to get the most from the teachers and for the teachers to be flexible enough to meet the students' needs. We highly recommend this school for anyone seeking an academically strong and nurturing environment for their child!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 3, 2013

I love the communication at this school and how the directors are very involved and follow up with me on any questions or concerns I have. They definitely respect my role as a parent and allow me to ultimately choose whats best for my children. I also love that they greet my kids and me by name every morning. My kids have shown tremendous growth since switching to MOTL. I love that the teacher knows my kids...she knows their progress and knows where theyre at in their learning and development. Only the careful observations and direction of a well educated and trained teacher can do that. At an average preschool, most teachers are not adqueately educated or trained to truly empower a child to reach his or her truest potential. I can tell that my children's teacher is highly trained from the progress and growth my children have shown academically and socially. I recommend this school...I would definitely go visit the school and go see for yourself! It's worth the invesment if you can afford it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 11, 2013

This school is definitely worth coming to observe. I'm especially excited about sending my child to their Kindergarten program...simply amazing! MOTL will help your child grow academically and socially and the progress is evident each week! I LOVE that they don't hold the kids back...they empower them to learn and understand what they're learning in a meaningful and purposeful way. It took me a few months to decide if their preschool tuition was worth paying...and it has definitely turned out to be worth it. In play based schools, all they mostly do is play! I can arrange that with play dates. At MOTL they play together during outside time, but they also do work that is purposeful. Most everything is designed to strengthen fine motor skills and the academic progress my child shows each week is awesome to watch. For us, it has been worth the investment to start our child's education with a strong foundation.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 11, 2013

Amazing school! The Kinder program is especially worth coming to observe. Ms. Soon is simply amazing. She is a truly dedicated teacher who is passionate about her students! Your child will be empowered, challenged and nurtured to reach their fullest potential. What more can a parent ask for?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 18, 2012

My daughter has been at MOTL since preschool, she is now in 1st grade and we both LOVE this school! All the teachers I have meet are very kind, firm, creative & loving! They are patient, supportive & encouraging to the children and you can really tell that they love what they do. The student to teacher ratio is great! Your child will get individualized attention they need. There is a wonderful balance between learning traditional/core school lessons (reading, writing, math, Spanish...) and a variety of cultural subjects such as computers, cooking, geography, zoology, music, drama, art, PE, etc. The kids are also taught important life skills such as manners, respect, being on time, making friends, family values, kindness & compassion and it's all taught in a kind and loving way. The teachers, staff and management at MOTL understand the life of working parent & support them by helping with drop off for the shy kids, giving many options for after school care, occasional care, extra fun activities for the kids. You know your child will be happy, in a great learning enviroment and safe at school all day.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 25, 2012

This school is a great school . The teachers are great. Highly educated and compassionate . The administrative staff is great as well. They really communicate well with the parents. Always open door policy. My daughter loves going to school. The kids are well mannered and tolerant of others. They are really taught how to be independent and are taught practical life skills. Academically I feel it's definitely up to high standards with hands on learning and not a bunch of worksheets. I would check this school out for yourself and not let a few bad reviews deter you. No school is perfect but this one sure comes close.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 19, 2011

We placed our daughter in this school from the time she was an infant till 2 yrs old. Then, we placed her back again when she was 4 years old . We had no problems in the infant and in the 1 yr old class. However, when she was transferred to the 18 month to 2 yr old section, there was less supervision. She was getting bruises and I had to ask why. The staff was hesitant to report accidents. The pre-school was even more of a problem. After a year off , I placed her back . She was 4 yrs old and was having social issues. We later on found out she has mild autism - not aggressive, but introverted . She received little guidance from the teacher, because the teacher claimed there were other kids, although, she had an assistant. What infuriated me was when my daughter stood in front of the sink and did not wash her hands. Instead of talking to her, the teacher just stood back and did nothing. Worse, she asked her assistant not to do anything, and just to watch . My daughter just stood in the sink for about 15 minutes! In my opinion, this is a good school, but only if your kid has no issues.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 26, 2011

My daughter has attended MOTL for 2 years in the preschool program. We love her teachers and the school. They offer many activites for the kids to participate in, ballet, gymnastics, art, cooking etc. I do have to pay for these extra classes but they do it after school hours. Her extra classes are from 3:30 to 4:30 which is perfect. She can do an extra activity and with my work schedule I pick he up at 4:30. It just works great for our daughter and for our working schedule. I don't feel as though I'm compromising on anything! It's a GREAT school:)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 3, 2010

I have put both my kids through the program at Montessori on the Lake. My youngest (who has a learning disability) graduated this year from the program. She was accepted into Honors Biology and English at her new High School! The teachers are just amazing. Hooray for MOTL. Our family will miss you very much.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 53% 26%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 26% 11%
Hispanic 11% 52%
Black 5% 6%
Two or more races 4% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
French
Korean
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Kindergarten Mandarin Immersion Program
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Korean
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Cooking club

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 6:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Ms. S. Smith
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
  • Please visit our school
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • Infant
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Extended/longer school day
  • Part-time study
  • Year-round
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • AMI
  • AMS
  • Other Montessori
Fax number
  • (949) 855-5633

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Hybrid
  • Montessori
  • Multi-aged
  • Project-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Environmental
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Science
  • Writing
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Kindergarten Mandarin Immersion Program
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Korean
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
  • Vans for student field trips
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Physical Education Classes
Girls sports
  • Physical Education Classes

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Cooking club
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Volunteer in Library
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$1000 - $10000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
No.

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Sage Hill
JSerra Catholic High School
Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Orange County High School of the Performing Arts
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

23311 Muirlands Boulevard
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Website: Click here
Phone: (949) 855-5630

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