Passionate Professionalism

Great education, excellent customer service.

Which would you pick: a school where your child enjoys learning each day—or one that meets your needs as a parent?

At LePort, you don’t have to choose. Our goal is to serve both the child and the parent, equally. That’s what we mean when we describe our people as passionate professionals: We are passionate about equipping each individual child with Knowledge for Life, and we’re professionals who understand that in addition to wanting a great experience for their children, parents need to find a school that simultaneously meets their own needs, both practical (such as having schedules that allow parents to work) and personal (such as wanting to feel connected to their child even when they are not with her).

This is what Passionate Professionalism means at LePort.

Passion is…

Highly-trained, passionate teachers, supported to do their best in every classroom, every day

We are very selective in our hiring. For our Montessori classrooms, we actively recruit the best head teachers, selecting from those who hold the top Montessori credentials. Most of our teachers have undergone the demanding, year-long training courses offered by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the original Montessori training organization founded by Dr. Maria Montessori; while a few come to us from other training backgrounds and with the experience that enables them to deliver a classroom experience that is up to our largely AMI-inspired LePort standards. For our upper school, we’ve attracted outstanding teachers who are passionate about inspiring children and have a deep expertise in the subjects they teach.

We create an appealing career path for our teachers. Many who join us as assistant teachers discover their passion for Montessori while at LePort, and we sponsor the best assistants to attain their AMI-Montessori training. We often hire new teachers straight out of their training into our Junior Teacher program, where they can apprentice under Master Teachers before becoming Head Teachers in their own classrooms. Head teachers can advance in their own careers by, in turn, becoming Master Teachers in larger classroom and mentoring new teachers. They can even become Heads of School, or join our regional or central academic teams.

By offering a promising career path and good benefits—from competitive pay to a generous PTO policy, from a health plan to a supportive work environment—we attract great people, teachers who care about their students and their subjects, and who make a career out of teaching, staying with us for a long time and providing a stable, caring environment for both students and parents.

A purposeful, caring partnership with parents and a supportive community

At LePort, we believe that children thrive when all their caregivers work from a common playbook. That’s why we invest heavily in partnering with parents.

  • Strong communications when you enroll. This means home visits by your baby’s teacher to your home, before you baby beings attending our infant program. It means getting-started handouts to guide you on how to implement Montessori ideas at home, if you so choose, and how to help your child meet key milestones, from minimizing separation anxiety, to toilet learning.
  • Frequent Parent Info Evenings. 3-6 times each year we invite you in to meet with our teachers and fully discuss important aspects of your child’s experience at LePort, from sleep habits for infants, to how to best prepare for high school for our junior high students.
  • An open door policy. For children age three and up (primary through elementary), we invite parents to come in to observe classes in session. Our “Watch Me Work Wednesdays” program gives you the chance to observe your child and the entire class in action, without needing to make a special request.
  • A strong community of like-minded parents. Because we practice authentic Montessori, because our parents deliberately choose Knowledge for Life, LePort schools have strong, coherent parent communities. From weekend casual play dates to potluck events at schools, from Special Friends day at Thanksgiving, to graduation parties and winter recitals, each of our schools has a distinct approach to fostering community between parents.

A commitment to equipping ever more students with Knowledge for Life

At LePort, we put our children where our mouth is: most of our executives, head office and campus staff enroll their own children at LePort. We know, first hand, that at LePort, our children thrive under the care of their LePort teachers, that they learn Knowledge for Life, coming home each afternoon with new skills, new knowledge, and that joy of being excited by learning.

Our leadership team is deeply committed to providing a quality education. Several of our leaders hold Montessori credentials themselves, and have taught in classrooms; others have children who attend our schools. All believe that education is crucial for a better future–for each child under our care, and for the world. We believe, as Dr. Montessori stated, that “the child is the future,” and this belief animates everything we do. We live and breath great education, doing it in our classrooms each day, writing about it (check out our blog) and growing our organization with the purpose of bringing the best possible education to ever more children.

“The teachers at LePort inspire their students. Every one of them is sincerely concerned about their students’ personal growth. As they do with the academics, they constantly talk about how personal growth relates to the rest of life. All the teachers at LePort are the same way; they have a passion for their work, and it shows with the kids.”

Tami W.
LePort Parent

Professionalism means…

Excellent customer service

At LePort, we aim to meet the needs of children and parents simultaneously. This means we tailor what we offer to the needs of parents:

  • Convenient schedules. We offer a range of schedules to meet many needs. Short, 3-day, 8:30 am – 12 pm schedules for toddlers are great for those children just starting school—while 7 am to 6 pm extended care makes it possible for dual career couples to work and have their child experience an outstanding education. With our 12-month option for infant, toddler and preschool programs, your child can stay in a familiar, nurturing environment throughout the summer (while many other programs close or operate on reduced schedules) while also receiving care on “semi-holidays” such as Columbus Day and Martin Luther King Day, when not all work places are off.
  • Easily accessible locations. When we open new schools, we pick locations that are convenient to reach—whether in the middle of a residential neighborhood, near commuter freeways, or just off public transport lines.
  • A range of enrichment programs, right on site. Many parents aren’t able to take their children around for enrichment activities. That’s why we offer many programs on site—from soccer to chess, from music to art and even foreign language.
  • A hot lunch program. At our larger preschools, we offer a hot lunch program. Parents can go online and pick from a menu tailored to offer healthy choices (our founder is an obesity surgeon, so sugary foods are not on our menu). Your child’s nutritious lunch will be delivered directly to his classroom—so you don’t have to pack it.

Regular, proactive communications

When you are not with your child, it’s easy to feel disconnected, especially if you are managing a busy career or caring for another baby or an ailing relative.  We want to make it easy to stay involved—which is why we communicate often and in detail.

  • Weekly “Tuesday emails.” Every Tuesday at 5 pm, you’ll receive an email with information about upcoming events, links to important documents and general school announcements.
  • Closed Facebook groups for photo sharing. Each LePort school has a private Facebook group accessible only to parents and staff members. Teachers and administrators regularly post photos, so you can see what your child is doing at school—and preview the cool things he’ll be able to participate in as he moves up in our program.
  • Easy access to teachers. Our head teachers finish teaching at 3 pm, and have paid time between 3 pm and 5 pm not only to prepare their classrooms, but also to return emails and voice mails from parents. Our teachers also proactively communicate with you via emails—both emails to the entire class, and individual emails updating you about your child’s experiences in class.
  • Easy access to the administrative team. Each of our schools have two to four full-time administrators, which can answer your calls throughout the day. Whether you’d like to know if your child is doing well after crying at drop-off, or whether you have a parenting question, our administrative staff and Head of School are ready to help.

Attention to the small things that make all the difference

How thoroughly are the classrooms cleaned, and how often? Is there a professional cleaning company, or do the teachers need to double as cleaners? Does the after school dance program measure up to our expectations, or is it time to find another partner? What happens when a teacher goes on maternity leave: who will cover for her?  When you call to let the teacher know your sister will pick up your son today, does someone answer the phone—someone who can explain the process of adding an approved pick-up person? How well prepared is the school for an emergency, such as an earthquake?What does the school do to ensure that a child with a food allergy isn’t exposed to an allergen–and that all staff knows how to act in the case of an anaphylactic reaction? How exactly should an infant teacher handle it when a baby rejects an already offered bottle: toss it or keep it?

These and dozens other hidden, invisible little (and big!) things need to be figured out proactively for a school to run smoothly, day in and day out, for children to be safe, for parents to trust. With a central team dedicated to supporting our schools in everything from development to academics and operations, and strong regional and school-based leadership, LePort has the ability to come up with compelling answers, and to ensure best courses of actions are implemented consistently across all of our schools.

A professionally run company capable of opening more schools

Often, desirable private schools have long waiting lists. There are “interviews” for toddlers, and “assessments” for four-year-olds. Many families who move to an area, or who just didn’t think to apply for preschool with a baby in utero, plain don’t get into the top schools at all. At LePort, we believe that this is a sad state of affairs: our goal is not to parade long waitlists and restrict access to only the “best” families, but to deliver a great education to as many children as possible! That’s why, whenever one of our schools is full and the waitlist grows, we actively work to open another one.

Of course, opening a new preschool or private school is a difficult challenge: permits need to be obtained, funds need to be raised, contractors need to be selected and managed, teachers have to be recruited and trained, and parents need to receive the information they need to confidently enroll their children in a new school that isn’t open yet.

At LePort, we’re willing to take on this challenge: from four schools in 2010, we’ve grown to twenty-two schools in 2016. Opening new schools, and integrating schools whose owners retire and are looking to us to continue their legacy, isn’t easy and often comes with unanticipated obstacles. Our central support team is here to manage these projects–from financial and legal due diligence to managing construction partners, from hiring, training and integrating new staff, to ensuring consistent communications with parents.

Don’t take our word for it:

Please contact us, come in for an event, or join us for a campus tour. We’d love for you to see Passionate Professionalism in action!