Best Faith-Based School & Preschool
Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, School & Preschool
Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, School & Preschool’s mission is to joyfully and intentionally nurture disciples. This Lake Forest school emphasizes all facets of student development by providing a variety of opportunities for children to reach their potential.
abidingsavior.com | Lake Forest
Best Bilingual School
The International School of Orange County is the Orange County campus of the International School of Los Angeles, established in 1978. The International School has five formal campuses with over 1,000 students. The Orange County campus first opened in 1988 in Fountain Valley and moved to its current location in the city of Orange in 2015. The International School blends the rigor of the French academic system with the diverse international community in Southern California and serves preschool through eighth grade.
ischooloc.org | Orange
Best Montessori School
LePort’s mission is to foster students who will flourish as joyous children today, and as successful adults tomorrow. By using Montessori methods that emphasize the relationship between what is presented in the classroom and the experiences children have outside of the classroom, LePort helps children become independent thinkers and doers.
leportschools.com | Irvine
Best Multiple-Campus Private School
Fairmont Private Schools
Fairmont Private Schools remain at the top of readers’ lists for premier private school education for yet another year. Fairmont has been providing students in Orange County with a superior education since 1953. Fairmont focuses on individualized learning for preschoolers through high school students and strives to create a nurturing and safe environment at all five of their Orange County campuses.
fairmontschools.com | Multiple Locations
Best Single-Campus Private School
Heritage Oak Private School
Heritage Oak has been in Orange County for more than 50 years and serves preschool through middle school. They are accredited by NIPSA and a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School. This is the fourth year the school made the list.
heritageoak.org | Yorba Linda
Best Private High School
Servite High School
Servite High School is a Catholic college preparatory high school for boys, dedicated to forming the next generation of faith-filled leaders. At Servite, the student-faculty ratio is 18:1 and 99 percent of graduates attend college. It’s a place where young men can explore their interests, join a brotherhood for life and become the best version of themselves.
servitehs.org | Anaheim
Best Public or Charter Elementary School
Richman Elementary School
“Richman Elementary School is more than just a school,” says Richman School Principal Kristen Holm. “We are a family.” This Fullerton School District school enjoys a unique partnership with the Anaheim Ducks, who built a hockey rink at Richman and beautified the school. Holm attributes the school’s success to staff putting students first, and family support. “We couldn’t do what we do at Richman without everyone giving 100 percent,” says Holm.
richman.fullertonsd.org | Fullerton
Best Public or Charter High School
Mission Viejo High School
Mission Viejo High School develops students’ highest potential. The aim is for each Diablo graduate to be an innovative, critical thinker who collaborates effectively, contributes meaningfully and competes successfully in the global community. The school has been recognized as a California Distinguished High School five times since 1988 and offers a nationally recognized Model United Nations program, a nationally recognized Agriculture Science program and an unparalleled athletics department.
svusd.org | Mission Viejo
Best Public or Charter Middle School
Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School
Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School works collaboratively to give students a rich and meaningful educational experience that fosters a lifelong love of learning. The theme this school year is “Roadrunners Stand Together.” This middle school is determined to stand together to ensure student success and keep the safety and education of RSM students as the top priority.
svusd.org | Rancho Santa Margarita
Best Public School District
Saddleback Valley Unified School District
Saddleback Valley Unified School District serves TK-12th grade and even boasts a Virtual Academy for K-8th grade and at the high school level. Superintendent of Schools Crystal Turner, Ed.D., stresses a focus on intentional lesson design and engaging strategies, and a commitment to prepare today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s world.
svusd.org | Mission Viejo
Best Special Needs School
The Prentice School
The Prentice School is a private school with an environment designed to create an optimal learning experience for students with language-based learning differences including dyslexia and other related challenges like ADHD. “We know the struggles of learning differences,” says Head of School Devon Green, “and we’re here to guide your student to a new future, showing them that they are exceptional.”
prentice.org | Tustin
Best Tutoring Service
Total Tutors in Irvine is among Orange County’s top private tutoring and test prep facilities. Total Tutors is invested in their students and offers a new way of educating. They use their own assessments and evaluations conducted by credentialed teachers in order to create an individual path for each student. And tutoring isn’t just available for academic subjects, but programs for music and instruments are offered as well, making Total Tutors the total package for your learner.
total-tutors.com | Irvine
Best Military Tradition School (all boys)
St. Catherine’s Academy
St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) is a Catholic school with a military tradition. It has been educating boys in kindergarten through eighth grade for more than 130 years in Anaheim. The academy’s strong Catholic foundation rooted in the Dominican Charism, along with its rich military tradition, provides a unique multi-faceted program that promotes a variety of life skills, structure, discipline and teaches responsibility and self-confidence. SCA offers a day program and a five- and seven-day junior boarding program.
stcatherinesacademy.org | Anaheim
Best Montessori Preschool
Far Horizons Montessori School
Far Horizons opened its doors in 1975 at its current location, with a mission of providing a caring atmosphere where the child is first and always feels valued. The teachers, staff and administration have a unique relationship, working together to assure that the children are valued and cared for. The school normally serves up to 48 preschoolers in two preschool classrooms, each with two Montessori-trained teachers. Far Horizons serves children from preschool through junior high school.
fhmschool.org | Orange
Best Faith-Based Private Elementary/Jr. High
Red Hill Lutheran School
Founded in 1961, Red Hill Lutheran’s preschool through eighth grades serve 450 students. In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, the school offers a range of specialty classes in all grades, including everything from choral music, Spanish and STEM classes to competitive sports. Red Hill Lutheran School was recently honored as a 2020 High Performing National Blue Ribbon School. According to Principal Dr. Paul Marquardt, the student population is kept at just the right size — with an average class size of 18.
redhillschool.org | Tustin
Best Faith-Based Private High School
Mater Dei High School
A co-educational college preparatory Diocesan Catholic high school, Mater Dei celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. The high school provides a holistic education and serves a diverse community of students committed to knowledge, faith and service. Consistent with Catholic values, Mater Dei works with parents and guardians, who are the primary educators of their children, in the development of the whole person: religious, spiritual, intellectual, creative, emotional, physical, social and moral. Mater Dei High School students represent every religious, cultural and socio-economic background. This diversity contributes greatly to the school’s core values and mission of Catholic education.
materdei.org | Santa Ana
Best Special Needs Tutoring
Armenta Learning Academy
Founder Julie Armenta has been in the business for 32 years and offers private classes, school and tutoring programs, and specialized attention for all ages, needs, subjects and levels. Sessions geared toward special needs include neurofeedback therapy, social skills classes, speech and language support, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, skills for school success and year-round programs. Off-site distance learning as well as on-site options are available with health and safety measures in place.
armentalearningacademy.com | Laguna Niguel
By Sarah Mosqueda, Diana Jarrah and Jessica Peralta