Frequently Asked Questions

What grades do you offer?

Camino Schools will eventually offer Kindergarten through 8th grade. In the fall of 2024, we will offer grades K-7 and expand to include 8th grade in the 2025-2026 school year.

What do you mean by “combined grades”? Why are you doing this?

Many first year schools begin by offering “combined grades” of 2-3 grade levels in the same classroom. Some schools even do this permanently by design, citing benefits such as increased collaboration, more tailored pacing, and deeper relationships between teachers and students.  While our goal is to eventually offer single-grade classes, as we grow, we may offer combined grades based on specific enrollment numbers in each grade level.

What is the average class size?

In our opening year, most class sizes will be about a dozen students or less. As we grow, our goal is to limit class sizes to no more than twenty students.

Is Camino Schools co-ed or single-sex?

One of the three pillars of Camino Schools is character formation. In order to aid the character formation of young women and young men, we will eventually move to a single-sex format in the upper grades. This will allow us to tailor the educational approaches in ways that are best suited to helping boys learn to become great men and helping girls learn to become great women. A key element of this approach is hiring teachers who are first and foremost great role models for the students, with male teachers for the boys and female teachers for the girls. 

How much is tuition?

Tuition for Camino Schools is $12,000 for the first child, $10,000 for the second, $8,000 for the third, and free for any additional children.

I simply can’t afford the tuition. How much financial aid is actually available?

One of our primary goals in founding Camino Schools is attracting like-minded families who will form a strong culture and community within which our children can grow and flourish. If the mission and vision of Camino Schools resonates with you, we are committed to making it work for your family. Just complete a Financial Aid application along with your Admissions application and we will take it from there.

How long will you be in Tustin? Where will the permanent campus be?

We are thrilled to have secured the initial campus that we have, but our search for a permanent home continues. Our hope is to secure a campus in the general vicinity of Irvine or its surrounding communities. We envision being in Tustin for about three years before moving into a permanent home that we are able to design specifically with our unique mission and vision in mind.

Where are people commuting from?

Currently, we are attracting families from Downey to San Clemente and everywhere in between. We look forward to helping facilitate carpool options for many of our families.  

What is “classical” education? How are “classical” schools different from other schools?

Classical education is a time-tested program of learning that is rooted in the liberal arts and aligned to a child’s natural stages of development. The core difference between classical education and modern forms of education is in its aims. Most schools today, either explicitly or implicitly, exist for “college and career readiness” while classical schools exist to help parents form their children in wise and virtuous adults. We address this question in a lot more detail here

What is Camino Schools’ approach to technology?

Classical education involves extensive reading, careful listening and thinking, and sustained contemplation of sometimes complex subjects. Students cannot grow in these skills if they are excessively attached to screens or other forms of digital entertainment. During their time at Camino Schools, students will be freed from the distraction of personal electronic devices. We believe that this approach to technology will enable students to think independently, concentrate deeply, develop a strong memory, and form genuine friendships. We expect our classrooms to be largely free of computers and digital media except in limited instances.

Will students at Camino Schools wear uniforms?

Yes, we believe that uniforms assist with students’ appreciation of order and professionalism. Furthermore, we appreciate the impact they have on family life by way of simplification and sustainability. We are currently vetting a number of potential uniform providers. 

What co-curricular activities will be offered at Camino Schools?

We will support and encourage the development of a wide range of co-curricular activities based on the interests of the families in our community. At a minimum, we look forward to eventually offering strong programs in athletics, fine arts, music, theater, and debate, to name a few.

Does Camino Schools offer any summer programs?

Yes! One of the best ways to experience the uniqueness of Camino Schools is by attending one of the summer camps that are run by Camino Schools faculty. Details for summer 2024 will be announced soon. 

Why “Camino” Schools?

Our name is inspired by the legacy of St. Junipero Serra, the Franciscan missionary who brought Christianity to California. Just as St. Serra brought cultural transformation to California along the “Royal Road”— El Camino Real — the path he took when he founded the California Missions, so Camino Schools seek to renew our culture by forming children into men and women of great character.

Why is Camino “Schools” in the plural? Is there more than one school?

There are two reasons for this. First, we believe that a single-sex model of education is uniquely suited to the formation of young men and women, and as such over time we intend to develop distinct student cohorts, faculties, and programs of education for boys and girls in the upper grades. Second, in the spirit of St. Juniperro Serra, our ultimate vision is to renew the culture of all of California. Our hope is that our first schools here in Orange County will serve as both a model and inspiration for many more Camino Schools throughout our great state.

What do you mean by a “mentoring program”?

At the heart of our mission is the formation of the whole person: body, mind, heart and soul. Mentoring is a personal means of education that tailors this holistic formation to each student. Through conversation, mentors guide mentees in self-knowledge, help them to set goals and develop friendships, and deepen their spiritual life. The guidance of the mentor is tailored to each student so they can reach their full potential. In the upper grades, each student will be assigned a faculty mentor (male faculty for boys, female faculty for girls). Students will meet with their mentors regularly and mentors will work very closely with parents to assist in the holistic formation of the student.

Who was St. Josemaria Escriva and what is Opus Dei?

St. Josemaría Escrivá was a Spanish priest who founded Opus Dei, a personal prelature of the Catholic Church, whose charism is to foster among men and women a profound awareness of the universal call to holiness and apostolate, pursued freely, in their ordinary work and place in society. St. Josemaría’s teachings inform the mission and praxis of our school insofar as our faculty and administration seek to do their work well for love of God and to be examples of virtue to the students they form and all who are a part of our community. You can learn more about Opus Dei here

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