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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcome baby girl: Where will Lilibet Diana go to school?

As parents often say, it’s never too early to be thinking about where your child will be heading to school. 

For Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who announced the arrival of their daughter today, they have a whole new area to explore – with neither parent having been educated near their £11m mansion in Montecito. 

But fortunately, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s second child is surrounded by elite private schools in Santa Barbara

It’s unclear where Archie goes to class, or whether the couple will decide to send their daughter to the same place, but some of their options include a £20,000-a-year school which says ‘rigour and joy go hand-in-hand’. 

Elsewhere, the newest addition to the Sussex family could head off to a Montessori nursery – which discourages traditional competitive measurements of achievement -like their father Prince Harry, and cousin Prince George, did for preschool. 

Here, FEMAIL reveals some of the most popular Santa Barbara nurseries… 

1. Laguna Blanca

When their daughter reaches the age to begin school, Meghan and Harry will have a number of prestigious options to choose from.

One of the top establishments in Montecito is Laguna Blanca, which is a private co-ed day school that says it ‘celebrates the worth of the individual’.

It costs an eye-watering £20,000-a-year and has a pupil teacher ratio of 7:1.

The 86-year-old school promises to ‘promote deeper learning and values life balance and well-being’, while also ‘hosting state-of-the-art technology while maintaining the quaint, classic setting historically enjoyed by students’.

It has two campuses, a larger one in Hope Ranch and a second in Montecito, where a an Early Kindergarten program was successfully launched in 2014.

Impressively, a 100 per cent of Laguna graduates attend college.

However, in 2020, a former student criticised the institution and labelled it ‘not a safe environment’ – suggesting the school ‘didn’t want her there’ because she went there on scholarship.

Karinna, who graduated from the school, which offers classes from kindergarten through to 12th grade, seven years ago, said: ‘I remember trying to avoid an admin office on campus because they would try to chase me down on my way to class to ask me where the tuition payments were.

‘I was embarrassed. And after school, we used the computers on campus to do our homework, there was a passive aggressive letter sent that students and children of faculty members should stay out of the room. 

‘I don’t think Laguna, as an institution, wanted us there. I think they had us there to put on their catalogue, but they were not providing the resources for them to succeed.’

Laguna Blanca said at the time it was taking steps to better educate the campus community on diversity issues in the classroom, reported NewsChannel 3-12.

2. Hollywood Schoolhouse

Pictured: Hollywood Schoolhouse

The Sussexs could send their children to the same school Meghan attended when she was growing up in LA.

Over 310 students are enrolled at Hollywood Schoolhouse, where tuition ranges from $20,950 for the early childhood programme up to $28,300 for children in 4th-6th grade. 

The independent school boasts on its website that it is ‘known for a blended program of progressive and traditional instruction as well as a strong community that supports students throughout their entire journey in primary education’ 

Meghan Markle attended the facility for her primary years, before going to Immaculate Heart High School, which is an all-girl Catholic private school.

Since opening in 1945, Hollywood Schoolhouse has also offered financial aid to children within the neighbourhood and remained popular with parents involved in the production of media in Hollywood.

Donors have included Al Pacino and Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, while Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose Depp is also among alumni.

Crane Country Day School

The exclusive Crane Country School – also £20,000 a year – has the mantra that ‘rigour and joy go hand-in-hand’.

The school in Santa Barbara was founded in 1928 to provide an enriched education to children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The school is divided into two divisions, Lower School (kindergarten – grade 5) and Upper School (grades 6 – 8).

The exclusive Crane Country School has the mantra that 'rigour and joy go hand-in-hand'

The exclusive Crane Country School has the mantra that ‘rigour and joy go hand-in-hand’

In it’s philosophy published on the website, the school says it uses ‘innovative approaches’ to a traditional curriculum.

It adds that it provides a thorough foundation in the fundamentals of English, engineering and design, mathematics, science, social studies, and Spanish.

Art, drama, music, technology, service learning, and athletics are also seen as ‘essential parts of the curriculum’.

The co-educational school currently has 263 students enrolled with 38 teachers and an average class size of 20.

Montessori Center School

¿Montessori Center School's mission is 'to honour and develop the whole child from 18 months

​Montessori Center School’s mission is ‘to honour and develop the whole child from 18 months

MONTESSORI SCHOOLING 

The schooling system was invented in the early 1900s by Dr Maria Montessori to educate poor children in her native Italy.

Today, there are more than 5,000 Montessori schools in the US, and around 700 in the UK, where they are privately funded.

The method discourages traditional competitive measurements of achievement, such as grades and tests, and instead focuses on the individual progress and development of each child.

Children of different ages share the same classes, and are encouraged to collaborate and help each other.

Special educational materials are used to keep children interested, and there is an emphasis on ‘practical life skills’. Most Montessori classrooms are secular in nature.

The Montessori method has had its share of criticism. Some parents believe the classroom environment is ‘too free’ while others question Montessori teaching priorities, or the fact that children are not normally assigned homework.

​Montessori Center School’s tuition rates apparently range from $12,555- $19,255.00 annually, with the private institution’s ‘mission being to honour and develop the whole child from 18 months through sixth grade.’

Montessori is an approach to educating children developed by the Italian educator Maria Montessori.

It is founded on the belief that within each person is untapped potential that needs a fertile environment.

It aims to develop the whole child naturally through a child-centred learning approach, with the period from birth to age six seen as the time when youngsters have the greatest capacity to learn.

Today, there are more than 5,000 Montessori schools in the US, and around 700 in the UK, where they are privately funded.

The method discourages traditional competitive measurements of achievement, such as grades and tests, and instead focuses on the individual progress and development of each child.

Prince William and Prince Harry were taught at a Montessori nursery at Mrs Mynors School in west London. 

In 2016, Prince George, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s firstborn, was enrolled at Westacre Montessori School near William and Kate’s country mansion, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk.

Lilibet’s grandmother the late Diana, Princess of Wales, had first-hand experience of the Montessori teaching method.

She worked at the Young England Kindergarten in Pimlico, central London, which used the system. 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School was founded in 1944 as a parish school by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The school currently serves families from all over the tri-counties who seek academic excellence taught in the Catholic tradition.

On its website, the school says it ‘provides a well-rounded education that includes music, art, physical education, and technology’.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School was founded in 1944 by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and says it serves families who seek academic excellence taught in Catholic tradition

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School was founded in 1944 by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and says it serves families who seek academic excellence taught in Catholic tradition

It adds that ‘fundamental skills are taught by highly qualified teachers who are committed to incorporating the most effective methodologies into their teaching’.

The school, which has more than 500 children enrolled, offers an annual pre-kindergarten programme from $7,870 for three days a week which goes up to $9,645 for the full five-day week.

Once children join kindergarten up to the eighth grade, tuition fees range from $6,390 for Catholic children or $8,040 for non-Catholic families.

El Montecito Early School

El Montecito Early School is a Christian preschool, accepts students aged 2 years and older.

The Presbyterian school is located in Montecito, California, and has a tuition for a five-day-a-week year which comes in at $13,250.

There are also two and three day a week programmes from $6,400 a year.

El Montecito Early School is a Christian preschool, accepts students aged 2 years and older

El Montecito Early School is a Christian preschool, accepts students aged 2 years and older

The school describes itself as ‘a developmentally age-appropriate and environmentally-friendly setting’ that is ‘committed to educating and loving children in the name of Jesus Christ’.

The school also says is incorporates the use of the outdoor classroom into their daily curriculum, ‘giving the children an opportunity to enjoy and better understand nature and God’s creation’.

It is unknown how many children are enrolled at the school which has six teachers on its staff. 

Cate Early Learning Center

Cate Early Learning Center offers places from $1,183 for infants and toddlers who attend five days a week.

The early learning centre is partnered with the Cate school which was founded in 1910, and describes itself as a four-year, coeducational college preparatory boarding school in Southern California.

Pictured: The Cate Early Learning Centre opened in 2014 and says on its website it implements developmentally appropriate curriculum and practices in an outdoor setting for infants

Pictured: The Cate Early Learning Centre opened in 2014 and says on its website it implements developmentally appropriate curriculum and practices in an outdoor setting for infants

As part of its mission statement published online, the school says it looks for exceptional and motivated students who want to fully immerse themselves in a challenging educational experience.

The school has 298 students enrolled from across the world including countries such as Thailand and Australia while 44 per cent of the students are from California.

The Early Learning Centre opened in 2014 and says it implements developmentally appropriate curriculum and practices in an outdoor setting.

Marymount 

Marymount, in Santa Barbara, now welcomes three-year-olds for its Junior Kindergarten programme.

The school offers education for children up to the eighth grade and charges tuition fees ranging from $18,000 for Kindergarten programmes up to $29,950 for eighth grade students.

The exclusive Marymount School (pictured)  in Santa Barbara charges tuition fees ranging from $18,000 for its Kindergarten programmes up to $29,950 for eighth grade students

The exclusive Marymount School (pictured)  in Santa Barbara charges tuition fees ranging from $18,000 for its Kindergarten programmes up to $29,950 for eighth grade students

On its website, the school boasts that it provides ‘student-centered, individualized learning in a joyful and nurturing community, inspiring academic excellence and valuing difference’.

It adds that students develop a solid foundation in a diverse array of subject areas including Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Spanish, World Religions, Visual & Performing Arts, Media Literacy & Technology, and Physical Education. 

Waldorf School of Santa Barbara

Waldorf schools, also known as Steiner schools, draw on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner.

The approach strives to develop pupils’ intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner.

The first Waldorf school opened in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany, but there are now more than 1,200 independent schools worldwide and and nearly 2,000 kindergartens located in 83 countries.

The Waldorf School of Santa Barbara (pictured), which charges up to $17,392 for students to attend, says the Waldorf movement is known as the fastest growing education in the world

The Waldorf School of Santa Barbara (pictured), which charges up to $17,392 for students to attend, says the Waldorf movement is known as the fastest growing education in the world

The early childhood curriculum at Waldorf schools centres on experiential education – a process that infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content.

The Waldorf School of Santa Barbara says the Waldorf movement is known as the fastest growing education in the world.

Tuition fees range from $9,300 for pre-school programmes to $17,392 for grades seven and eight. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcome baby girl: Where will Lilibet Diana go to school? Source link Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcome baby girl: Where will Lilibet Diana go to school?

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