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Mater Dei High School

Private | 9-12 | 2091 students


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Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $230,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,720.

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32 reviews of this school

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Posted September 1, 2014

This school is great for athletics you can get the same academic classes and levels at a normal public high school. The teachers and administration will sugarcoat the academic programs but in truth, they are just trying to hang onto another student from going to another school.

Posted October 3, 2013

The campus is nice, some teachers are great and caring, others you will go the whole year without hearing from them. Definitely a big school feel. My son is involved in ASB and sports. The basketball program is a complete sham. You pay to play. If you are willing to donate an extra 5k a year to the program, your son can play with the big boys even if they can't dribble! I've never seen a sports program charge 1k for the year and another 1k for summer. It's almost unheard of. You are basically paying the tuition of the star players that get recruited. In addition, your son will compete with 20+boys on a team and it's all based on politics not talent. Definitely not worth the headache unless your son is 6'5'' and you happen to be a celebrity or NBA prospect. I have made requests to meet with the administration but have never received a response. Hard to be involved in the school unless you know exactly what you would like to do and who to speak with. I chose this school for the course offerings and opportunity, but your child cannot test for honors or AP unless they have a 3.5 each semester. On the other hand, the campus is safe and the security staff is awesome!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 14, 2012

I'm in my Freshman year, Mater Dei is an amazing school, I' not catholic but I'm still involved in it's sports, and academics. I'm aiming for all honors classes next year, this year I'm in Honors Algebra II / Trig and a couple other classes. My religion class is challenging due to me not being a catholic, but I love Mater Dei, all my cousins went here, and I'm proud to be a Mater Dei Monarch!
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 18, 2010

Teachers at MDHS have no degree, no credential, and no Bible teaching, only Religous
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 20, 2009

I have a freshman who is loving Mater Dei. She is not involved in any clubs yet, there are so many choices. The faculty, staff and students all band together to make everyone feel at home and make high school a fun and 'want to be there' place. Excellent expectations put on the students-no slacking in the freshman classes. Great communication between teacher and student.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 30, 2009

My son is just finishing his freshman year at Mater Dei. Overall, we have been pleased with his rigorous coursework and caring teachers. Mater Dei does a great job recognizing academic achievement. The athletics are competitive, but that was no surprise. Our son still had a great experience in the two sports he participated in this year despite the favoritism and recruiting that goes on.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 17, 2008

School has a great campus, teachers are interested in their students and want them to do their best. All of the schools in OC should try and duplicate for their is a future with the student's diploma.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 11, 2008

I loved Mater Dei and I am grateful for my experiences there. I did not attend private school for elementary or middle school and entered only knowing four people, but quickly made friends. I was a two sport athlete and benefited from the excellent coaching and caliber of the teams. I was able to receive a full scholarship to my top school choice. I graduated with over a 4.0, so I did not actually need athletics to gain access to college. My AP and honors classes prepared me well. I now have a 3.9 gpa as I enter my junior year at UCLA as a science major. I have the option to graduate a year early due to the AP credits I received at MD. I often think that some of my classes at Mater Dei were harder than classes here. I would highly recommend this school to others!
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 12, 2007

I graduated from MDHS with a 3.85 GPA. I participated in no sports (I went to 1 football game in 4 years) & was active in AP & Honors classes, arts & music, took Latin & was enrolled in a program to help lower income families. By no means, was I a stereotypical MD student. I had a wonderful experience & a few of my teachers still have lasting impacts on who I am today. These teachers fostered my natural abilities & helped me cultivate an open mind which was so beneficial in college. Many of my college schoolmates went into shock that first semester with the amount of writing & work that needed to be done for GE classes - it was the same routine & discipline that was expected of me at MD, so I easily graduated from college a year early with hard work & a 3.5 GPA.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 17, 2007

This school is good overall they have the best teachers and the absolute worst I've ever seen at the same time. Sports are king and definitely rule all decisions I've seen. The academics are excellent. My concern is the unforgiving, unmoving discipline policy that is sometimes 100% unfair. They can suspend a kid with no proof of anything and nobody will return your calls of protest. So if you have a kid who can't walk the straight line 100% of the time- watch out. They discipline severly and permanently for looking at someone wrong.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 16, 2007

This school has an inattentive, apathetic administration. I was disappointed in the lack of professionalism and apathy of about a third of my teachers. On the other hand, the school's renovations are very nice, and some teachers make going to class enjoyable. Based on the cost of tuition and the quality of the education I received from this school, I definitely would not recommend attending.
—Submitted by a student

Posted May 18, 2007

Attended MDHS myself, as a result of my education I was able to enter my freshman year at UCLA with enough credits to become a 'sophomore' within 1 semester. The opportunities for involvement (no, I was not in any sports team or a cheerleader) and advancement were numerous, diverse, and plentiful. As with all schools, the degree with which students benefit from opportunities equates to the degree in which they take advantage of them. However, I'm not aware of a school that isn't. Initially as a freshman I was fearful of those, but quickly learned that the stereotypes I held were my own prejudices and all high school kids regardless of background share the same insecurities but simply manifest them differently.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted January 26, 2007

School that only cares about sports.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 12, 2007

I attend MD and I think that it is a great high school. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. The sports program is great and so is the academic programs. The students at MD have a lot of school spirit. I haven't seen any other school with as much school spirit as we do. Everyone here is so nice, the teachers and the students. It's kind of like have a second family. I feel like I belong here. When I came in my freshman year, I felt very welcomed. The pep rallies are great. The teachers, students, and parents are very involved in the school activities. The academic courses are quite challenging but I find that good. I'm always learning new things and the teachers are always inspiring me to do better. MD is a great school! I love it here!
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 24, 2006

This school is only good for athletes. Academically it is sub-par. My daughter who is now in college is having to take remedial English courses to overcome the MD shortcomings. She graduated with a 3.4 GPA yet she was never encouraged to take AP courses. For the money, it is not an academically sound education. One daughter had to take another language course. We thought our kids would be given a better opportunity to get into one of the better colleges, but she was not accepted at anything better than a state university. On the positive side, MD gives students a great environment. There is a great deal of school pride. But I don't think that is enough to justify the cost.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 24, 2006

Mater Dei High School is a wonderful Catholic school with a strong academic curriculum. It offers all the core subjects as well as a vast array of extracurricular activities. Mater Dei teachers are very devoted to teaching. Additionally, students are disciplined and given red slips if they misbehave or are out of line. Overall, I believe Mater Dei provides a quality education which gets one ready for college and above.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted January 30, 2006

This school is really great
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 19, 2006

Great school for athletes and motivated kids. Strict discipline for those who need it.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 14, 2006

I believe this is one of the best catholic high schools in the nation! My two sons both attended school here and loved it! They got a great education and were both very involved in football! They are a Good program and the school is great!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 18, 2005

Extremely high quality in academics and sports programs. High percentage goes to college and many goes to highly rated private colleges and UC schools. Parents are encouraged to volunteer as well as students to the school activities, and students are required to do 80 hours of community service in order to graduate. Every year, they hold a Special Olympics which is run by the students themselves. I highly recommend it. Unfortunately, also expensive.
—Submitted by a former student

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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.

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 42% 26%
Hispanic 26% 52%
Two or more races 14% 3%
Asian or Pacific Islander 13% 11%
Black 3% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mrs. Frances Clare
  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA
Fax number
  • (714) 754-1880


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of Orange
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1202 West Edinger Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92707
Website: Click here
Phone: (714) 754-7711


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