FAQ

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.
 
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, 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.
 
A parent once came back to tell us the story of her daughter who, after moving to public school for 2nd grade from Montessori on the Lake, came home from the first day of school and asked, “Where is all the work?” referring to the materials not being out on the shelves. She was very successful at school, her mom reported, because although the set-up of the classroom was different, she had the skills and the self-confidence to excel at her new school.
 
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.
 
Is the school secure, does the school have an open door policy?
All students are required to be dropped off and picked up in the facility and parents sign their children in and out in a hand written log book (sign-in/out book). This ensures the security of the child by acknowledging their arrival by their teacher or a staff person who is conducting the daycare group. All persons picking up children must have the authorization of the parent and show proper identification to the office. Although many schools are installing fancy security systems, we believe this old fashioned person to person system is one of the most secure ways to drop off and pick up students at school. The staff persons are the ones who are ultimately responsible for the safety of the children. Children are not left unattended in class or on the yard at any time.
We have an open door policy which states that a parent may enter, observe or look at any area of the school or classroom at any time. Although we do discourage interruptions and maintain guidelines for attendance, we do not restrict parents from entering the school or picking their child up from school for their own personal reasons.
 
What is the average tenure of your teachers? (teacher turn around?)
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.
 
What is your license number?
We have three different licenses due to the different dates that parts of our program were opened.
Lake I – est. 1988 – LIC #300606752
Lake II – est. 1989 – LIC #300610682
Infant – est. 1998 – LIC #304270519
To learn more about Community Care Licensing visit http://www.ccld.ca.gov/
 
What is the school tax ID
Our tax ID # is 33-0260466
Environments for Learning Inc.
23311 Muirlands Blvd.
Lake Forest, CA 92630
 
Do you have a multi-sibling discount?
We offer a multi-sibling discount for families with 2 or more children in our program.
Two childen from the same family – 5% discount off of the older of the two children
Three or more children from the same family – 20% discount off the oldest student’s tuition
Twins  – 5% discount off the tuition total
 
What ages (grades) of children can attend school? 
Our school cares for and educates children from 3 months of age to the 8th grade. We refer to these classes (or groups) as the Infant Center (3 months to 24 months), Preschool and Two’s (24 months – 5 years), Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle school programs. (Kindergarten – 8th Grade)
 
Do you offer extended daycare for outside students?
We do not offer daycare or vacation care to students that are not enrolled in our school day program. We do offer our Creative Summer Adventures program to former students and outside students.
 
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 is the school policy on administration of medicine at school?
Prescription medication can be administered at school. The parent must bring the medication to the office, fill out a permission to administer medication form that includes time, reason for medicine and symptoms or possible side effects. All medication must be in a labeled closed containers and include the child’s name.
 
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.
 
When is tuition due? What form of payment do you take?
Tuition is paid in monthly installments. Preschool tuition is due between the 15th and the 25th of the month previous to attendance. Elementary tuition is due on the 1st of the month previous to attendance. At this time, we accept checks or cash. Annual payments are accepted for Elementary Program only.