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Orange County families now have the opportunity to enroll their children in an authentic, mixed-age Montessori program all the way from infancy through elementary school (1st – 6th grade) and middle school (7th & 8th grade).

In Elementary School and Middle School at LePort Montessori Irvine Spectrum, your child will:

Be challenged at his or her pace—with individual or small group lessons, paced to match each child’s ability and skill level. For example, academically strong students can work at an accelerated pace in math or any subject, with the opportunity to start more advanced work, for example algebra and geometry while in middle school.

Engage in a rich curriculum. We offer an outstanding math program combining the unique Montessori math materials with additional curriculum–so children learn to think numerically, understand math concepts instead of memorizing procedures by rote, and so they love math. Our language arts program includes systematic study of phonics in the early years, as well as auditory, individualized spelling, explicit instruction in grammar, and systematic development of vocabulary. LePort Montessori students from elementary through middle school are guided to explore history, with deep study of human cultures from prehistory to the present, study observation-based science told as intriguing mysteries with hands-on labs experiences and receive a thorough education in geography. In small-group literature circles, children learn to delight in great full-length books (not excerpts), to identify themes, plots, and characterization, and to strengthen their understanding of human nature by discussing the heroic people and stories with the guidance of their passionate teachers. Enrichment opportunities, from visual arts to music, from performances to fieldtrips, from community leadership and self-government to mentoring opportunities, are integrated into the Montessori experience.

Acquire strong social and executive function skills. As anyone who has a hiring role can attest, many young adults lack the ability to organize their own work, manage time, complete projects independently, exercise good judgment, and manage to work on or lead teams. The mixed-age Montessori elementary and middle school communities excel at developing these skills in children–for example, through community meetings, they practice the ability to plan and execute longer student-initiated class projects, and working in small groups throughout the day allows them to design, implement, and complete independent academic follow up to the lessons they have received. They learn to work well in small groups and pairs throughout the school day.

Be able to enjoy being a child. Through the elementary program, we assign no or limited homework. A child who works actively from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm typically will have their afternoons free–to enjoy sports, tackle projects around the house, explore with the family, to read or practice music, or to just engage in unstructured play. Research shows no causal links between the amount of homework assigned in elementary school and a child’s academic accomplishments. That’s why we don’t send home worksheets, but instead encourage children to use their time to more deeply explore their own areas of interest after school. By middle school, students will increasingly have homework, building up to 6-8 hours per week, to prepare them for typical high school work loads.

Get ready for success in high school and life. Montessori middle school students at LePort benefit from personalized high school counseling from teachers who know them intimately, so they can thoughtfully choose the right high school path, and be prepared–academically, emotionally, and socially–to not only be admitted to their high school of school of choice, but also succeed there.

All of this is part of our mission at LePort Montessori: to help children gain what we call Knowledge for Life: the essential knowledge, thinking skills and strength of character needed to flourish as joyous children today, and as successful adults tomorrow.

LePort Montessori Irvine Spectrum
irvinespectrum@leportschools.com

North Campus:
1 Technology Drive, Bldg. A
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 544-1047

South Campus:
1 Technology Drive, Bldg. H, Ste. 100
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 544-8859

Discover the benefits of Montessori Elementary

With Montessori Elementary at LePort, children can continue in Montessori school from 1st – 6th grade. Watch this video and learn how different elementary school can and should be!

Our Elementary and Middle School classrooms are carefully prepared, welcoming environments, very different from what you expect to see in a traditional school. Instead of desks facing a whiteboard, they are large, bright spaces with different work areas (individual and group desks, different sized tables, reading corners and work rugs), lesson tables and white boards arranged to allow for small-group and all-group gatherings. Classrooms have pets and plants the children take care of. They have musical instruments, arts materials, science areas with microscopes and specimens. Our goal is to create carefully prepared environments that allow children to feel comfortable, supported and nurtured so they can do their most productive, deeply engaged work.

Our team of passionate Elementary and Middle School educators are excited to introduce families to the life-changing benefits of Montessori for the elementary and middle school years. Our school leaders bring with them profound and unique educational backgrounds: Dr. Eric Daniels, our Head of School, taught for a dozen years at three top US universities, and joined LePort initially as a teacher. Knowing that the roots of student success in college came from the thinking skills honed in childhood and early adolescence, he eagerly transitioned to the programs at LePort to work in that area. Ms. Rhonda Munro, our Upper School Director (Elementary and Middle School), holds Montessori credentials from both AMI and AMS training programs, and has a rich 30+-year background teaching and leading Montessori programs from primary through middle school, in Canada and in the US. Together they are eager to help you discover whether a Montessori elementary and middle school education is right for your child.

Schedule a Tour

Contact us today to request a tour and to receive information about our programs and special offers.

By providing us with your phone number, you consent to being contacted by LePort Montessori and/or its affiliated schools regarding their educational programs, whether such contact is by phone, autodialer, recorded message, or text. Please note: Your consent is not required as a condition of enrollment.

Quick Facts and Admissions Process

Irvine Spectrum Elementary and Middle School

One school for the entire family: authentic Montessori from infant daycare through middle school (ages 3 months – 8th grade)

A strong Montessori elementary and middle school program to give your child a great learning community of peers: two mixed-age lower elementary (1st – 3rd grade) and two upper elementary (4th – 6th) classes each, with around 20-24 students each, and one middle school class (7th & 8th grade)

Montessori-trained head teachers in each classroom, supported by junior teachers and/or subject-matter expert teachers, for an effective 1:12 or better teacher-to-student ratio. Head teachers have either AMI or high-quality AMS Montessori training.

Large, light-filled classrooms with many different work spaces (different size tables, individual and clustered desks, rugs, reading corners, science stations)

An expansive elementary and middle school play yard, where children can be physically active doing everything from climbing, swinging, playing soccer or basketball, and participating in high-energy games of dodgeball with their teachers

Convenient central Orange County location: Located in Irvine, right by the Irvine Spectrum Center, at the I405 and I5 merge. Within a 20 minute drive from many Orange County cities: our students commute from Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, Yorba Linda, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and many other southern and central Orange County communities.

Limited needs-based financial aid available.

Enrolling year-round (space permitting): touring, accepting applications, conducting assessments and starting students throughout the school year. Assessment visits take from a half day (for lower elementary) to a full day (upper elementary & middle school).

Elementary and Middle School Staff

Celine Jebsen

Head Montessori Teacher (Elementary)

Ms. Celine was born in Norway, but has lived abroad most of her life. The United States is the tenth country she's lived in! Ms. Celine completed her AMI Primary training in Dublin, Ireland in 2012 after which she worked as a nanny for two families in Dublin. She completed her AMI Elementary training at Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon as well as her M.Ed. in Montessori Education at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. Before entering the world of Montessori, Ms. Celine earned a B.A. in International Relations from Schiller International University in Madrid, Spain. Ms. Celine is passionate about Montessori theory and the holistic approach to the child, supporting each child's unique journey of self-development. Outside the classroom, Ms. Celine enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Mini and Pip, hiking, and doing snow and water sports. She also enjoys Pilates, the culinary arts, photography and traveling; she is looking forward to discovering the Southern California coast.

Kara Gregory

Junior Montessori Teacher

Kara Gregory graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) with a BA in English. She then continued at UCI, earning her Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential and Masters of Arts in Teaching. Before joining LePort in 2014, Kara worked with elementary students in nearby Tustin Unified teaching language arts and math intervention programs. She also worked with a literacy nonprofit, bringing an intensive reading program to schools in need across Orange County. While attending a LePort Parent and Child class with her young son, she discovered a strong connection to the Montessori method in the classroom. In her free time, Kara enjoys traveling, being outdoors with her friends and family, reading, and catching up on her shows.

Janelle Enriquez

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Claudia Siem

Head Montessori Teacher (Elementary)

Ms. Claudia Siem is originally from the San Francisco area and relocated to Orange County, California in July of 2013. She received her AA in Child Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from City College of San Francisco, and a BS in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco. Prior to joining LePort, she taught at a preschool in San Francisco for over seven years! Ms. Claudia is also a certified lifeguard, with experience in teaching swim to both children and adults. Ms. Claudia is thrilled to be able to teach in a Montessori environment and she believes there is much for adults to learn from children. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading, motorcycle adventures, and spending time with her family, friends and Beagle named Charlie.

Cassandra Kolacinski

Montessori Elementary Math and Science Specialist

Mrs. Kolacinski was born and raised in Orange County. She received her B.A. degree from the University of California-Irvine in Psychology and Social Behavior. After working for a year for a sales and marketing company, she decided to go back to school to pursue her true passion of teaching. She went back to the University of California-Irvine and graduated with her M.A in Teaching, along with a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She later added a Single Subject Mathematics Credential.

Mrs. Kolacinski has taught Math 6, Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 in San Diego County and Los Angeles County, she is ecstatic to have returned to her native Orange County! She is very excited to be working at LePort and truly believes in their teaching principles and approach. Mrs. Kolacinski hopes to create a love and excitement for learning in her students, by making learning meaningful, relevant and enjoyable!

Outside of the classroom, she enjoys traveling, trying new things and spending time with her husband and dog, Layla.

Elizabeth Lyons

Head Montessori Teacher (Elementary)

Ms. Elizabeth Lyons has been involved in education for many years. In high school, Ms. Lyons was inspired by the way her English teacher opened her mind to new ideas. She also admired the way he made the classroom feel like a safe place to learn and discuss freely. Prior to joining LePort, she volunteered at after school programs and summer camps. Upon receiving her bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University, she worked as a tutor which eventually inspired her to pursue a career in education. Ms. Lyons decided to continue her education through UCLA Extension and received her Early Childhood Education Certification. She traveled to Bergamo, Italy to complete her AMI Montessori Elementary training in 2017. In her spare time, Ms. Lyons enjoys being outdoors whether it is hiking, swimming in the ocean, or practicing yoga in the park.

Jess Gagne

Head Montessori Teacher (Elementary)

Ms. Gagne graduated from the University of Connecticut's Neag School of Education, obtaining her B.S. in Elementary Education and her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. She completed her AMI Elementary Diploma at the Montessori Institute Northwest in 2016. She loves learning and reading, and enjoys music, yoga, the outdoors, and public radio. Ms. Gagne has been working with children for most of her life, and has had the privilege of international work experience in Peru and most recently in London, where she studied and researched for her Master's Degree. She is excited to be working in the Montessori environment, and has enjoyed her experience at the CREC Montessori Magnet School in Hartford, CT, as well as several other traditional schools. She loves to collaborate and discuss ideas.

Gabriela Valles

Junior Montessori Teacher

Ms. Valles received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Vanguard University in Costa Mesa. Additionally, she was a member of the women’s soccer team for four years. Ms. Valles has always had a passion for children and particularly enjoys helping them succeed in every aspect of their lives. Prior to joining LePort, she coached high school soccer and worked in the behavioral health field as a behavior coach. Ms. Valles worked with children who suffered from severe behavioral and/or mental health issues and ultimately assisted with the overall improvement in their day-to-day lives. In her free time, Ms. Valles enjoys playing soccer, making crafts, spending time with her friends and family, as well as watching her nephew grow from day to day.

Steven Sarwine

Head Montessori Teacher (Middle School)

Mr. Sarwine earned his B.A. from California State University, Fullerton, where he studied English. He found his passion for education during his early years working for summer camps and after school programs. This passion blossomed after teaching in both large and small classroom settings. He formed a strong affinity towards history through his years of teaching multiple levels, reading profusely, and even traveling to various destinations around the world. 

In Mr. Sarwine’s spare time, he would most likely be found with his nose in a book, camping with friends or family, walking his dog, or cheering on his favorite team, the LAA Angels. 

Cindy Tabin

Montessori Middle School Math and Science Specialist

Mrs. Cindy Tabin received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from the University of California, Riverside and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Fullerton. Mrs. Tabin has worked with children for many years, both in and out of the classroom. Prior to joining LePort Montessori, Mrs.Tabin taught fifth grade, conducted private tutoring for a variety of ages, and managed a Mathnasium math learning center. She has been fortunate to have had opportunities to teach students with a range of different ability levels, from gifted students to students with special needs, and is keenly aware of the need to individualize to a student’s particular skill level. Mrs. Tabin also believes in the importance of connecting personally with her students, mentoring them to grow as responsible and successful citizens. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, friends, and cat. She loves to play sports--on any given day of the week, chances are you’ll find her at one of the many parks in Orange County, playing softball!

Schedule a Tour

Contact us today to request a tour and to receive information about our programs and special offers.

By providing us with your phone number, you consent to being contacted by LePort Montessori and/or its affiliated schools regarding their educational programs, whether such contact is by phone, autodialer, recorded message, or text. Please note: Your consent is not required as a condition of enrollment.

Stay in touch with LePort Montessori

Please fill out the form to receive additional info, as well as invitations for upcoming event. If you share your phone number, our admissions team will call to answer your questions or set up a tour.

By providing us with your phone number, you consent to being contacted by LePort Montessori and/or its affiliated schools regarding their educational programs, whether such contact is by phone, autodialer, recorded message, or text. Please note: Your consent is not required as a condition of enrollment.