Frequently Asked Questions
What makes our school unique? What sets us apart from other schools?
The single most common thing we hear from parents is that our teachers made their child’s experience extra special in a way that they will remember throughout their life. They made them feel like they had a second home away from home, and helped them to overcome whatever hurdles or obstacles presented themselves during the time that they were students here at Montessori on the Lake. Our school is also located on a large private lake, of which all 6 of our playgrounds overlook. Our scenery includes over 20 fruit trees, grapevines, real and artificial grass, ducks, turtles, geese, fish, and various birds.
Where do graduates go when they move on from Montessori on the Lake to other schools?
We have had graduates apply and be accepted at many prestigious private high schools in our area. Our graduates have attended Sage Hill, Santa Margarita Catholic High School, J Serra, and the Orange County High School of the Performing Arts. We have former students that have gone on to attend M.I.T., Simon’s Rock College of Bard, Cal Poly SLO, Purdue University, USC, UC Berkeley, Bennington College, Colorado State, to name a few, as well as local colleges. Younger students who move to public elementary schools frequently qualify for GATE and AP classes.
What are your teacher qualifications?
Each class from Infants through Elementary has a lead teacher that is fully qualified to teach the Montessori Method. If required, depending on the age group, there is an assistant teacher(s) that meets state requirements to facilitate the Lead teacher with the class.We have a close affiliation with Monarch Bay Montessori which is the home of the Montessori Teacher Academy, a Teacher Education Program that instructs and certifies adults in the Montessori Method of Education. The Montessori Teacher Academy is affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS), is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and is licensed to operate by the State of California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education. Most of our teachers received their Montessori Teaching Certification through the Montessori Teacher Academy although our senior staff had trained previous to its inception. We require all our Elementary staff to have a college degree. Preschool, Infant and Toddler teachers meet the requirements outlined by the Community Care Licensing division of the Department of Social Services. All staff have had reference and background checks, fingerprinting and health requirements.
What is the average tenure of your teachers? (teacher turn over)
We have an established group of senior staff who have worked at Montessori on the Lake for a decade or more, including four original staff members who started our school with us in 1988. We have very low teacher turn around and our senior members work in all areas including infants, preschool, elementary and administration. Occasionally when we do have a teacher resign, we do our best to bring a new teacher in slowly and have them overlap with the resigning teacher for a two week period. All Lead teachers and teacher’s assistants work full time, five days per week to keep proper consistency in the class room.
Do you have a multi-sibling discount?
We offer multi-sibling discount for families with 2 or more children in our program. Two children from the same family receives a 5% discount off the oldest child. Three or more children from the same family receives a 20% discount off the oldest child.
What is your lunch and snack policy?
We provide morning and afternoon snack to all students. Snack foods include fresh fruit, crackers, cheese, chips, pretzels and veggie sticks. We provide milk for all students. Parents provide lunch each day which can be cold food like a sandwich or it can be a “warm up”, food in a container that can be microwaved before eating. We have a “NO SUGAR” policy which states that sweeteners must not be listed in the top five ingredients. This also includes natural desserts, jello, and sugarless candies or sweets.
What happens if my child gets sick at school?
If the child becomes ill while at school, the parent is called on the phone and is required to pick the child up as soon as possible. The child must stay home until all symptoms of illness have subsided for a minimum of 24 hours. Guidelines include fever of 100 degrees or more, vomiting, diarrhea, unidentified rash, possible conjunctivitis (pink eye), severe headache or cold and flu symptoms.