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Montessori School, Primary school, Kindergarten, Elementary, Daycare, Preschool


Arborland Montessori School Facts

Arborland Montessori School Provides:

Nurturing Credentialed Montessori Teachers

All Arborland Montessori School teachers have the AMI/AMS Montessori teaching credentials for their classroom age groups. The majority of Arborland Montessori School teachers have been teaching at Arborland for over ten years. Moreover, we regularly provide professional development training to ensure that all our teachers have the most updated knowledge and skills to help your child. << click here for Teacher Profiles >>

Inspirational Montessori Teaching Methods

  • self-motivation
  • organization
  • responsibility
  • independence
  • respect
  • cooperative learning environment in multi-age groups for the younger ones to learn from the older ones and for the older ones to learn to be leaders

Special Individual Attention

  • Montessori School children spend three years in the same classroom with the same Montessori teacher.
  • Once the child is adapted to the classroom environment, he/she feels secure and comfortable and is able to concentrate on learning.
  • Due to the long term relationship and daily observation, the teacher truly understands the individual child’s strength and weakness.
  • The Montessori teacher is able to guide each child based upon individual differences.
  • Each child is different from one another, yet every child is valuable in his/her own way and will be a successful adult.

Solid Montessori School Academic Program with High Academic Standards

  • Our average students achieve above national average
  • Our high achieving students continue to be at the top 5% of their class in any school
  • 100% of graduating high school alumni attend 4-year universities

Hands-on Scientifically Designed Montessori Materials

Each of the scientifically designed Montessori materials is custom made for a specific learning objective. The materials emphasize the role of physical, hands-on activity in explaining abstract concepts in a concrete way. The child's comprehension of difficult concepts is reinforced on a regular basis, as the child's knowledge is constantly stimulated through multiple senses. A unique trait present in Arborland students is a genuine interest and quest for knowledge. Rather than using subjective reinforcement through grades, Montessori teaches each child to remain self-motivated, engaged, and challenged through exciting lessons, stories, and concrete Montessori materials.

Arborland Montessori School Serves Children Ages:


The History of Arborland

A Brief History by: Anisa Foy

In the fall of 1987 a small new school opened on the Corner of Valencia and Brookhurst in Fullerton, California. The founder of the school, Dr. Sueling Chen, a young mother from Taiwan had just completed her Masters in Business Administration from the University of California Los Angeles. When questioned about her reasons for opening a school, she replied simply, “With two children under the age of 3, I looked around for a safe place that offered quality early childhood education. I was unable to find a place that fulfilled my needs and what I had in mind. That is when the thought occurred to me that there was need for a new school, and I decided to open a school myself.” So it was born, this wonderful place of education, fondly known only as Arborland, started like all great inventions, to fill a need. In this case the need was for quality education for young growing minds.

Never one to do things by half measures, Dr. Chen began an intense search, looking for the best. After an extensive quest and much deliberation, she decided on a Montessori school. The teachings and philosophy of Dr. Montessori touched her heart and mind, as it matched and expressed her own views. After seeking the best advice, and meeting with other Montessori educators, Arborland Montessori Children’s Academy opened its doors for business in 1987 in a modest custom built building at 1700 West Valencia Drive in Fullerton. There were a grand total of seven children in the first primary room, two of them being Sueling’s own children.
From these humble beginnings the school quickly grew by leaps and bounds fueled by the boundless energy, enthusiasm, and strong beliefs of its founder. By 1991 the enrollment was large enough to warrant the purchase and building of an elementary classroom to accommodate and continue the education of the graduating primary children to first grade. A lower elementary classroom for children aged 6 through 9 was opened with an enrollment of thirteen Arborland graduates for primary to first grade. Soon a second lower elementary classroom opened in 1992 to meet the demands of increasing numbers of graduates from our primary classes. In a couple of years, it became evident there was a need to expand the education for upper elementary children. Construction began for an addition on the first floor level of the elementary building for another elementary classroom. In 1993, the children moved into the upper elementary room for children aged 9 to 12. The new extension also provided a room for Spanish and Art classes.

It was a very proud and momentous day in 1995 when the very first student graduated from Arborland and transitioned successfully into the public school system. In subsequent years many children have graduated from Arborland to local junior high schools to continue their education. In recent years our alumni have graduated high school and entered prestigious universities around the nation.

While overseeing the rapid expansion and growth of Arborland since its inception, its enterprising founder, Dr. Chen, miraculously found the time to have another child, complete her Montessori teaching credentials, and complete her doctorate in education!

The new millennium brought further growth for Arborland with the opening of The Arborland Education Center and The Arborland Academy of the Arts. Here the idea of education was extended beyond the early years to include the field of arts, dance, music, sports, and continued after school education and support.

What started as the dream and belief of one woman’s dream for quality education for her own children has grown into a large education center to include all the children of a whole community. In The Field of Dreams a voice said, “If you build it, they will come.” The children did come and hopefully will continue to do so well into the twenty first century and beyond.

Twenty Years of Arborland!
A Timeline of Our Growth

1987: In the beginning of the year, Mrs. Chen started looking for a preschool for her first child while working as a Marketing Analyst in Irvine. With a bachelor’s degree in education, a teaching credential, teaching experience, and a master degree in business administration, Mrs. Chen had very high standards, and was not content when she visited more than 20 preschools in her neighborhood. Her persistence in placing her child in an educational, not baby sitting, environment prompted her to enlarge her visiting radius and she visited more than 50 preschools at the time just to choose one school for her child. Coming from a teacher’s background, she expected her child to be in a safe and nurturing environment and be stimulated intellectually. After spending eight months searching for a school, she realized that the only way to satisfy her expectation in early childhood education was to open up her own school. Therefore, Arborland Montessori Children’s Academy was created as Mrs. Chen’s dream school. She then secured a site and started a school development plan working with government agencies to receive the necessary permits.

The goal of Arborland Montessori Children’s Academy is to maximize your child’s potential by providing hands-on materials, dedicated Montessori teachers, personalized curriculum, and life-long study skills to cultivate your child’s intellectual, physical, and social development in a safe and loving environment.”

1988: A brand new private school was constructed at 1700 W. Valencia Drive under Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy. Mrs. Chen received the license to open Arborland Montessori Children’s Academy’s door to the community on September 26, 1998 with three classrooms and an office building, with seven children in Classroom A.

1989: Good words went out about this brand new Arborland Montessori Children’s Academy. Arborland opened up the second classroom, Classroom B.

1990: Parents continue to give us referrals. Arborland opened up the third classroom, Classroom C and already had a wait list. Parents were not happy with public school education and requested us to add an elementary school. With the strong support of the parents, we decided to build an elementary classroom to continue excellent Arborland education. Mrs. Salzman joined Arborland.

1991: Elementary Classroom D opened up with 13 Arborland kindergarten graduates to attend first grade. Both Mrs. Luque and Ms. Foy joined Arborland.

1992: Arborland elementary program was popular. Classroom D was full. Both Ms. Cynthia and Ms. Candace joined Arborland. We need more rooms to accommodate the needs in elementary education.

1993: Arborland added a two-story building on the east side of the premise to house the first upper elementary class in Classroom E. A small Classroom G in the second floor was used as a Spanish classroom.

1994: Both upper and lower elementary classes were full.

1995: In order to meet the demand of the community, Arborland opened up a third elementary classroom. Upper elementary students were moved upstairs to Classroom F. Both Classroom D and E became lower elementary classrooms. Within eight years of establishment, Arborland had three primary and three elementary classrooms and a wait list for both primary and elementary classrooms. Classroom G was enlarged to be a regular classroom size. Arborland Montessori Children’s Academy celebrated the first year of producing elementary graduates to junior high school. Mrs. Snider joined Arborland.

1996: Arborland acquired our west side neighbor’s house and converted it into Classroom A-1 as the 4th primary classroom. Upper elementary students moved to Classroom G. Classroom F was used as a multi-purpose room including Spanish lessons. We had four primary and three elementary classrooms. Mrs. Mullen and Mrs. Gershfeld joined Arborland.

1997: More elementary students graduated from Arborland elementary programs. Mrs. Martinez joined Arborland.

1998: The growth of Arborland and student enrollment continues.

1999: Mrs. Chen pursued Montessori Teaching Credential. Mrs. Walker joined Arborland.

2000: In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Mrs. Chen went into the classroom and taught full-time. Ms. Shepard and Miss Michelle joined Arborland.

2001: Classroom A-2 was established as a toddler’s room. Mrs. Chen worked with developers and government agencies to build Arborland's second campus at the Amerige Heights community. Mrs. Currey joined Arborland.

2002: Arborland Education and Youth Activity Center was created.

The goal of Arborland Education and Youth Activity Center is to serve the children and young adults to be successful in life through academic skills, physical development, and emotional guidance.”

In order to better assist the teachers to grow professionally, Mrs. Chen decided to return to her Alma Matter school, University of Southern California, to pursue a doctorate degree in Education. The architectural design of Arborland Education and Youth Activity Center was completed and construction started. Ms. Cole joined Arborland.

2003: Grand opening of Arborland Montessori Children’s Academy Hughes Campus and Arborland Education and Youth Activity Center. Mrs. Khoso joined Arborland.

2004: We continued to add students and staff. Mrs. Jadon, Ms. Vitha, Miss Wong, Miss Lisa, and Ms. Rokosz joined Arborland.

2005: Miss Simms, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Santiago, Miss Marie, Ms. Sanchez, Miss Morla, and Mr. Kevin joined Arborland.

2006: Grand opening of Arborland Hughes Campus elementary building and Arborland Academy of the Arts. Arborland Hughes Campus started elementary program in the new elementary building. Mrs. Chen completed her doctorate program from the University of Southern California, and graduated to become Dr. Chen. Mrs. Sebial, Miss Beeman, Mrs. Edna, Miss Monica, Miss Leah, Miss Garcia, Miss Vallejo, Miss Lopez, Miss Hyewon, Miss Pennypacker, and Miss Veronica joined Arborland.

2007: Arborland marks its dedicated and excellent services to the community for twenty years with eight primary classrooms, four elementary classrooms, and two toddler classrooms for private education and many after school extra-curricular activities. Arborland also becomes a trusted day care facility for the neighboring communities.