Before I share my experience with LePort Woodbridge, I want to address some of the things mentioned in other reviews. I am a little surprised about things some parents were focusing on...such as staff turnover, or payment options, etc... While those things are important, how come nobody focused on the exceptional level of teaching that goes on at this school??!!?
Yes, there are occasional staff changes, but the children NEED to be able to adapt to changes in their life. We cannot shelter them from everything that makes them a little uncomfortable. It's not like anyone is blindsided. Lucia Thompkins makes sure that all future changes are announced far enough in advance in order to prepare the parents and children. And most of the time, the children don't even mind the change. It's harder on the parents to deal than the kids. The school is like one big family with all teachers helping each other out in different classrooms, so most of the time the kids already have met and/or have already worked with the incoming replacement. Lucia, in general, is very good about emails and newsletters to keep parents well informed. She also coordinates lots of parent workshops and meetings. I am always disappointed to see such a low parent turnout because these sessions are incredibly helpful. I think if parents actually make the effort to seek help, there are a number of resources available to them.
Tuition/Payment--LePort is an expensive program, and I am not unaware of the fact that Irvine Montessori schools are significantly more expensive than other cities. It is a problem an Irvine resident deals with in every situation of their life. That's the price we pay for living in this city. My husband and I were very torn about whether we could financially afford to have both our sons attend LePort. But ultimately, nothing is more important than our sons' futures. And I highly doubt we are going to look back in 10 years and regret having them attend. We SEE the benefit of this decision every day!
My oldest son has been with Ms. Nambiar for almost 2.5 years. She has truly brought out the best in him. He used to be "the crier", the one who hated being away from his parents, the painfully shy, and the insecure child who had a meltdown in any new or unfamiliar situation. Today, he is confident, he speaks his mind in a large group setting, participates in team sports, and just radiates calm and confident energy. It's all because of Ms. Nambiar and her team of assistant teachers. She is calm ALL the time. The woman has unbelievable patience and is very intuitive. She knows each child's strengths and weaknesses and wastes no time individualizing her teaching method to allow the child to reach their full potential. The environment in her classroom is like a home; where everyone knows their purpose and is respectful and loves each other. The many times I've done parent observations, I'm just blown away by how mature the children are and how Ms. Nambiar has an innate ability to bring the best out of her students. She is the epitome of "teacher."
My youngest son just started his first year of the Primary program and I am already seeing extraordinary growth and confidence. I had my doubts to how he would adjust to a full day without his parents and with naps at school (since he fights naps at home), but he is doing absolutely fine! Ms. Elliot and Ms. Hogeweg did everything to make sure my little man felt comfortable and safe. He naps well and always comes home with a smile on his face and some project in hand that he is excited to show off. Ms. Elliot has said that she wanted to be a teacher her whole life, and it shows in her demeanor. She loves her students and you can tell she truly loves what she does.
I would like to send a little shout out to Christina, who has been the warm and caring person taking care of all the administrative duties here for so many years. We are so glad that she has returned back to the campus and always appreciate how she goes above and beyond her duties to make everyone's day a little easier.
Also worth mentioning, I am a huge fan of the new online transparent classroom experience. We get pictures of our little ones working in the classroom as well as a description of what developmental skills are learned with that specific material.
I would highly recommend this campus and appreciate all that this school has done to give my boys the proper foundation for a lifetime of success. They have learned independence, respect, and confidence. To me, that is priceless!