Discovery Depot Childcare Center — 2 Year Winner
This Yorba Linda school was founded almost a quarter of a century ago by the Faith Community Church of the Nazarene. The children learn Christian values and have a lot of fun. The school playground is very large and partly shaded, and the facilities were recently remodeled. Activities include family movie nights, parades, carnivals, Easter egg hunts, and outdoor chapel.
Best Private School
Fairmont Private Schools — Debut Winner
These nonsectarian schools were established in 1953, before many of our readers were born. Fairmont has 3 campuses in North Orange County for preschoolers through 8th graders, a high school in Anaheim, and a school for international students. Preschool and pre-kindergarten emphasize character development, academic preparation, and lots of playtime. The maximum ratio of preschool students to adults is 8:1. The high school focuses on academics, offering 22 AP classes and an International Baccalaureate program and boasting a 100% college placement record.
“They truly care for the kids’ wellbeing both academically and emotionally, with a timely response to any concerns you might have. Teachers are what make this school great. Tuition is high but once you are in the school, you will see where your money goes. Tons of activities for kids throughout the days.”
— Stacy Nguyen, Fairmont Private School Anaheim Hills parent
Best Public School
Yorba Linda High School — Debut Winner
Part of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, this school opened 6 years ago and now has 1,800 students. Students’ median Academic Performance Index scores exceed 900, and the school won a California Distinguished School award in 2013, the first year it was eligible.
Best Charter School
Orange County School of the Arts — Debut Winner
This public charter school in Santa Ana has 1,800 high school students from all over Orange County, half of whom are minorities, all of whom are very talented. To nurture those talents, the students spend 4 afternoons a week practicing acting, singing, dance, creative writing, instrumental music, culinary arts, or (new this year) digital media. Notable alumni include Drake Bell, Taryn Manning, and Matthew Morrison. Last year, the school received $2 million from the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family for its music wing. OCSA recently purchased land to accommodate an outdoor amphitheater, parking garage, or other campus improvements.
Best Tutoring Program/Service
Kumon Learning Center — 5 Year Winner
Orange County has many Kumon Centers, which children from preschool age through 12th grade attend after school to improve their reading and math skills. Kumon instructors give each student an individualized program of worksheets to complete at the Kumon Center and at home.
Best Mommy & Me Class
OC Mommy and Me — Debut Winner
Groups are organized by babies’ birth dates and led by a Certified Parent Educator and Certified Newborn/Infant Care Specialist who is, perhaps most importantly, also a mother. During 8 weekly classes in Newport Beach, new mothers learn valuable information, get emotional support, and make friends. New this year: classes for parents of multiples.