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Old 02-15-2021, 01:14 PM
 
9 posts, read 2,243 times
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We are moving back to Orange County after several years away. We will be moving this May and enrolling our kids in OC schools. We will have one kid who would be starting 7th grade and another starting 5th.

I grew up in OC and went to public school from K-6th and private from 7-12th. Since I've been away for so long and it's been a long time since I was in school, I don't have much up to date info on all the schools in Capo Unified and Saddleback Unified. We are leaning towards public school for our kids, though we won't say no to private...

Our top choices are Mission Viejo and San Clemente. I do like Laguna Niguel and Dana Point, which is where I lived during my childhood down here. How are the Middle and High schools in Mission Viejo? I don't care too much about elementary schools since we would only be doing public elementary for one year. (though aren't elementary schools in MV all pretty good?) I remember Shorecliffs Middle in San Clemente didn't have the best reputation and San Clemente High was very overcrowded. What about Berenice Ayer? I've heard schools in Mission Viejo are pretty good. Isn't Mission Viejo High School supposed to be really good? What about middle schools there? I remember my mom saying Dana Hills was good and so was Aliso Niguel..
I went to Crown Valley for elementary and Niguel Hills for middle school...Crown Valley is closed, so that knocks it off the table. I only went to Niguel Hills for one year and it was ok. My parents didn't love it though, and my mom got a job at a private school so that's why I went there. What is Niguel Hills like these days?
Sorry to ramble...just want to get an idea.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
3,070 posts, read 1,806,206 times
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When did you leave? There is a whole lot more to South OC than the old days. There is Aliso Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Baker Ranch, Ladera Ranch, Portola Springs, and a half dozen new neighborhoods in Irvine. All these areas have good schools.


I'd consider Mission Viejo High above average, but not a top tier school in OC.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:19 AM
 
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I've been gone since the early 2000's, but I've been back to visit a lot since. I do love Ladera Ranch, though my husband thinks it's too expensive and we can get more for our money elsewhere in OC. I've heard through the grapevine that you should by a house in Northern Ladera Ranch since it's zoned to Tesoro HS, which is better then San Juan Hills. I've heard that San Juan Hills doesn't have a great reputation..can anyone elaborate?

I think Foothill Ranch is pretty nice, but I do prefer RSM much more. RSM is an area we are considering. My husband doesn't love Irvine, even though I constantly talk it up to him. Everyone I know who I've talked to down there, raves about Irvine schools and I think it would be worth paying more to live in Irvine when the schools are so good.

Where is Baker Ranch? Is it part of Irvine?
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:47 AM
 
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We live in RSM and have three kids (21, 18 , 16) but only our youngest has gone to public school. He's at Trabuco Hills. Our nephew is at El Toro High, and my husband graduated from Mission Viejo but that was such a long time ago, his experience is irrelevant!

I have found the public high school OK. Some of the teachers are exceptional, most are OK, and there are a few bad apples (my son had a terrible Biology teacher and nephew has a terrible Precalculus teacher). As expected, you get a better experience in the Honors/AP classes than in the generic ones. I have to admit, I am comparing the public high school to the small private high schools my older kids attended. In my opinion, they got a better education there as well as a much more personalized experience.

I have heard that Tesoro is better than Trabuco Hills but that's just hearsay. It is certainly a newer campus, for what that's worth. Tesoro is in Capo Valley Unified but the southeast side of RSM, Ladera Ranch, and the unincorporated areas of Las Flores and Wagon Wheel, plus parts of Mission Viejo, are zoned to Tesoro.

Baker Ranch is on the northwest side of Lake Forest. Large, new SFHs and townhouses, no yards. It resembles the newer (north) parts of Irvine. I would be leery of Baker Ranch, Foothill Ranch and north Irvine for the simple reason that they have had to evacuate several times in the past five years or so because of wildfires. My part of RSM is not prone to wildfires; we've been here 25 years and have never had a problem.
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:16 PM
 
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We lived in the Northern part of Ladera Ranch, that you mentioned, and both of my kids attended Tesoro. I can't say enough good things about Ladera and Tesoro. We have since moved on and kids have graduated. Miss it a lot. Parts of RSM might be a little less expensive and still zoned for Tesoro, if that's your choice. Most schools in South OC are good, but our hearts are at Tesoro.
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:29 PM
 
9 posts, read 2,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveorangecounty View Post
We lived in the Northern part of Ladera Ranch, that you mentioned, and both of my kids attended Tesoro. I can't say enough good things about Ladera and Tesoro. We have since moved on and kids have graduated. Miss it a lot. Parts of RSM might be a little less expensive and still zoned for Tesoro, if that's your choice. Most schools in South OC are good, but our hearts are at Tesoro.
My H doesn't like Ladera Ranch. Personally, if the schools are good, I think it's worth it. I like Ladera Ranch a lot, my H thinks it's too perfect. I have heard nothing but good things about Tesoro. And the more I hear, the more I like! I'll also mention the parts of RSM that are zoned to Tesoro and also Las Flores to my husband, since those are areas he probably hasn't thought of. Isn't most of RSM in Saddleback Valley SD, though?

Also, I assume Tijeras Creek is zoned to Tesoro? My mom's cousin and her husband used to play golf there and they would rave about the neighborhood. I've driven though before and thought it was nice...any thoughts?

Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:41 PM
 
9 posts, read 2,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
We live in RSM and have three kids (21, 18 , 16) but only our youngest has gone to public school. He's at Trabuco Hills. Our nephew is at El Toro High, and my husband graduated from Mission Viejo but that was such a long time ago, his experience is irrelevant!

I have found the public high school OK. Some of the teachers are exceptional, most are OK, and there are a few bad apples (my son had a terrible Biology teacher and nephew has a terrible Precalculus teacher). As expected, you get a better experience in the Honors/AP classes than in the generic ones. I have to admit, I am comparing the public high school to the small private high schools my older kids attended. In my opinion, they got a better education there as well as a much more personalized experience.

I have heard that Tesoro is better than Trabuco Hills but that's just hearsay. It is certainly a newer campus, for what that's worth. Tesoro is in Capo Valley Unified but the southeast side of RSM, Ladera Ranch, and the unincorporated areas of Las Flores and Wagon Wheel, plus parts of Mission Viejo, are zoned to Tesoro.


Baker Ranch is on the northwest side of Lake Forest. Large, new SFHs and townhouses, no yards. It resembles the newer (north) parts of Irvine. I would be leery of Baker Ranch, Foothill Ranch and north Irvine for the simple reason that they have had to evacuate several times in the past five years or so because of wildfires. My part of RSM is not prone to wildfires; we've been here 25 years and have never had a problem.

I looked up Baker Ranch, that area of Lake Forest isn't an area I've been in, at least that I can recall. When I left it was probably just open space! Funny, I know lots of people still living in OC and I've never heard Baker Ranch mentioned...

Thanks for all the info! My younger cousin attended Trabuco Hills and did cheer there. She enjoyed her time there and her parents felt she got a good, but not fantastic education there. Her dad went to El Toro HS when it was only a few years old!

Thanks for the info on fire danger, I'll keep that in mind!

Anyone got any info on middle schools in OC? Shorecliffs, Aliso Viejo, Newhart?

How about Castille, Reilly and Bathgate elementaries?



*I remember going to the orthodontist back in the day and they had yearbooks from so many of the south orange county middle and high schools...they don't seem to do that anymore. At least where I live right now. Then again, due to Covid they don't have any magazines for reading materials in the waiting room these days

Last edited by catladyintraining; 02-19-2021 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:43 PM
 
10,199 posts, read 6,279,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catladyintraining View Post
I looked up Baker Ranch, that area of Lake Forest isn't an area I've been in, at least that I can recall. When I left it was probably just open space! Funny, I know lots of people still living in OC and I've never heard Baker Ranch mentioned...

Thanks for all the info! My younger cousin attended Trabuco Hills and did cheer there. She enjoyed her time there and her parents felt she got a good, but not fantastic education there. Her dad went to El Toro HS when it was only a few years old!

Thanks for the info on fire danger, I'll keep that in mind!

Anyone got any info on middle schools in OC? Shorecliffs, Aliso Viejo, Newhart?

How about Castille, Reilly and Bathgate elementaries?



*I remember going to the orthodontist back in the day and they had yearbooks from so many of the south orange county middle and high schools...they don't seem to do that anymore. At least where I live right now. Then again, due to Covid they don't have any magazines for reading materials in the waiting room these days
I wish I could help you with the other schools, but none of my kids went to public elementary or middle school. The families in my neighborhood (and yes, it is Saddleback USD) all seem very happy with the local schools, when we have talked about them.

We've been going regularly to an orthodontist in Mission Viejo for at least 10 years now, and they have never had yearbooks! I can highly recommend the orthodontist, though. My youngest child just got his braces off so we are basically done, but he did a great job on all three of them.
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
3,070 posts, read 1,806,206 times
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Baker Ranch is the area south of the 241 Toll Road, Foothill Ranch is the north side. I think Baker Ranch kids go to the brand new Portola Springs High School. Portola Springs is another area to consider. I think top to bottom, the Irvine USD is the best district in the county.
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Old Today, 02:12 PM
 
9 posts, read 2,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTheEnchanter View Post
Baker Ranch is the area south of the 241 Toll Road, Foothill Ranch is the north side. I think Baker Ranch kids go to the brand new Portola Springs High School. Portola Springs is another area to consider. I think top to bottom, the Irvine USD is the best district in the county.
Yeah I've heard nothing but good things about Irvine public schools. I've been looking at Baker Ranch, but it doesn't appeal to me. It's nice. but I don't know, just isn't my taste...
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