Guidepost Montessori at Alicia is a new Montessori community in Laguna Hills in Orange County, located on Alicia Parkway right near the I-5 Freeway. At the heart of our school is our belief that children thrive when given freedom and responsibility in Montessori environments prepared especially for them. Our bright, beautiful classrooms and caring staff members will nurture your child’s joy in learning. Your child will love gardening in our engaging outdoor play spaces filled with native plant species and designed to encourage your child to explore. We welcome your family!
Our beautiful campus and welcoming community is the perfect place for your child to explore her own potential.
Guidepost Montessori classrooms are light, airy, calming, aesthetically beautiful spaces. Each material is carefully chosen and carefully displayed — to inspire and entice your child to explore.
Krista Bartolome, Head of School
Ms. Krista Bartolome has been working in childcare and education for over ten years. She earned her Bachelor's in English from California Baptist University, and later continued her education at Southern University at New Orleans with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. Working as both an administrator and teacher at public, private, and Montessori schools, Ms. Krista has experienced many methods of education and has found that the Montessori method encompasses hers ideals. As an Orange County native, Ms. Krista can be found exploring local eateries, reading new books, and taking walks around town with her husband Ryan and their dog Annie. She and her husband are expecting their first child.
Ellie Venegas, Assistant Head of School with Teaching Responsibilities
Ellie Venegas first took an interest in learning as a young girl. Tutoring since elementary school, she always felt that teaching was her calling. Ms. Venegas began her studies at California State University of Los Angeles as part of the ACE/PACE program. After, she completed the Early Childhood Education Program at The School of Continuing Education - North Orange County Community College District. Most recently, she has enjoyed the privilege of expanding her knowledge through Guidepost's Intensive Montessori training.
Being a mother of a four-year-old and watching his development parallel her studies and experience with the Montessori Method inspires her to apply her knowledge. She is very happy to serve her community as a Lead Toddler Guide at Guidepost Montessori's new Spanish Immersion program.
Ellie's first language and language of her heart is Spanish. In high school she excelled in all her courses in Spanish for Spanish Speakers. And in college, she always enjoyed exploring Chicano Studies. She is very excited to share her culture and native tongue, while fostering a community of independent and assertive children with the Montessori philosophy.
Children are compelling in every way. They are fascinating, intriguing, charming, heartwarming creatures with infinite variation in personalities, tendencies, and interests.
The unique joy and sacred responsibility of a child's caretakers is to learn about her — to discover and fall in love with her as she grows, to let careful observation and observant care guide her development, and to get to know her well enough to help her shape herself. A child's teachers and parents are collaborators in this process that is at once scientific discovery and heartfelt nurturing.
To that end, our school is designed to further connect you with your child, to bring you into a community of valuable resources and education-minded people, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and support your child as she grows.
Insights into Your Child
The Montessori approach emphasizes careful, theory-informed, individualized observation of each child's development. We don't want to keep what we see to ourselves! The impact of these observations is greatest when shared with a child's parents.
At Guidepost, parents receive regular, detailed updates about their children. Classroom guides are available outside of class hours by phone, email, or for scheduled in-person meetings. Your child’s guide will also meet with you for regularly-scheduled conferences about your child's learning and growth.
We see these conversations, both periodic conferences and frequent exchanges, as critical for both giving and receiving information. They allow teachers to hear from the people most expert and most observant about a child: his parents.
Parents will also receive written progress reports two to three times per year, each a summary of a teacher's observations of the child over the course of the previous months. Meanwhile, day-to-day and week-to-week, parents receive regular updates from the teacher, in the form of photographs and written anecdotes about their child.
And finally, parents are able to directly access Transparent Classroom, the web-based system we use for careful record keeping and observations about your child. Transparent Classroom offers you an on-demand window into the lessons and classroom life of your child.
A great school offers the incredible resource of a trusted partner for parents in the education of their child. The simplest way to amplify that resource is to offer more of it: to offer it at flexible hours so that you can access a trusted, caring partner during days and times when you need us the most.
At Guidepost, we offer an extended school day program, where children thrive in the Montessori approach all day long. Early morning and late afternoon times offer children the downtime and free time they need in order to assimilate all that they have learned during the school day. Each child can find time to develop interests outside the classroom with expert guidance, and to explore an environment rich with opportunities.
To ensure that parents can rely upon a consistent social and recreational experience in a warm and expert school setting, our extended day schedule is offered inclusively with the cost of our programs: there is no extra charge for morning and afternoon extended day hours.
In addition, extracurricular programs are offered during the afternoon extended day, after class time is over. Parents and children can choose from a wide variety of optional activities designed to spark your child’s passion in some way.
Guidepost Montessori runs year-round. We know that we need to be available as a support for your family, so we minimize school closure days as much as we can. For enrolled families, a full calendar will be available on our Parent Portal.
Our typical school day runs from about 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the program. However, because we believe so strongly in supporting a partnership between home and school for families needing greater accessibility, our all-inclusive tuition price includes the option to utilize our extended day program. This means that your family can drop off as early as 7 AM and pick up as late as 6 PM.
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