Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below a list of our most frequently asked questions related to our admission and enrollment process.  For answers to questions about the school, our programs, and policies please see our general Frequently Asked Questions.

Q: Am I required to tour the school prior to applying?

Yes, all prospective families are required to tour the school prior to applying for admission.  You may either schedule a tour or attend our Community Open House.

Exceptions are only made for families relocating from outside of Southern California.

Q: Do you have an Open House?

Yes, our next Community Open House will be held on December 10, 2016. Click here for further details and to register.

Q: At what time of year does enrollment occur?

Families who are interested in applying to Turtle Rock should begin the process one year prior to their desired entry date.

Our Nursery programs enroll year-round as space becomes available.  We begin offering placement in our Early Childhood and Kindergarten programs during the spring (March and April) for children starting in the fall.

Further information can be found on our “How to Apply” and “Admission Timeline” pages.

Q: What is the process for me to place my child on the wait list or to apply?

Please refer to our “How to Apply” page for detailed admission information for the specific program you are interested in.

Q: Why does Turtle Rock charge a waitlist or application fee?

With several hundred families waiting to be admitted at any given moment, managing our waitlist takes an enormous amount of time and effort.  We charge a nominal fee for families to join our waitlist to ensure that we are working with families who genuinely want to be a part of our community.  The waitlist fee is applied toward your Initial Family Registration fee once we are able to offer you placement.

Q: Why does the school require a parent interview?

Given the tremendous interest in Turtle Rock (we have over 200 families apply every year for approximately 65 spaces), we wanted to create a more meaningful admission process instead of a simple first-come, first-served wait list.

Our goal is to admit families who we believe will be a great fit for Turtle Rock.  Parent interviews allow us to learn much more about you, your family and your child.  It also allows you to learn more about us!

Q: How far in advance should we apply to the nursery program?

Families who are interested in applying to our Infant or Toddler program should begin the process as early as possible.  There is no application deadline, as these programs enroll year-round whenever a space becomes available.

Q: How many children does the school enroll into the nursery program each year?

Each year our Infant program enrolls 8 children, and our Toddler program enrolls only 4 new children (the remaining spaces are taken by infants moving up into the toddler classroom).

Q: How are admission decisions made in the Early Childhood programs?

Our goal is to admit children and families for whom Turtle Rock is a good fit. An admission committee of administrators discusses each application, assessment from the play group (if applicable), and parent interview. After determining which children and families would thrive in our school, we craft each class looking for a balance in socioeconomic, racial, cultural and family diversity, and gender. Turtle Rock is committed to supporting children and families who reflect Orange County’s diverse population.

Q: Does my child have to be potty-trained for the Preschool or Junior Pre-K programs?

Our Preschool program assists with potty-training when your child is ready; therefore, your child does not need to be potty-trained prior to entering the Preschool program. The Junior Pre-Kindergarten program and above (3+ years) requires children to be fully potty-trained.

Q: What is the birthday cutoff for your programs?

For Preschool through Pre-Kindergarten, we have a strict September 1st birthday cutoff.

For the Preschool program, children must turn two by September 1st of the year they wish to enter. For Junior Pre-Kindergarten, children must turn three by September 1st of the year they wish to enter. For Pre-Kindergarten, children must turn four by September 1st of the year they wish to enter.

Q: Are there any exceptions for age requirements?

Unfortunately we are not able to make exceptions for the birthday cutoff dates.

Q: What is Turtle Rock looking for in a prospective Kindergarten student?

We are looking for students who will take advantage of the opportunities offered by our challenging academic program and enriched curriculum. We welcome students of all races, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Q: What is the minimum age to attend Kindergarten?

An applicant must be five years old by September 1 of the year he or she enters Kindergarten.

Q: Are there fees involved in applying to the Private Kindergarten program?

A non-refundable fee of $100 is charged with each application.

Q: Is there a deadline for completing the admissions process?

Applications are due by Friday, February 5, 2016. We will consider late applications for open positions on a case-by-case basis.

Q: When is the best time to start the admission process?

Families who are interested in applying to our Private Kindergarten program should begin the process in September of the year prior to their desired entry date.

Q: Do you accept applications for Kindergarten from outside families?

Yes, we accept applications from new prospective families in Kindergarten.  In cases where all other factors are equal, we will give priority to an applicant already enrolled in our Pre-Kindergarten program.

Q: What schools do you pick-up from?

We provide pick-up service from Turtle Rock Elementary and Bonita Canyon School at no additional charge.