best schools in santa cruz county

Public Schools Guide

best schools in santa cruz county

A directory of Santa Cruz County Public Schools including alternative programs and charter schools.


Alternative Education Programs (SCCOE)

Cesar E. Chavez School for Social Change

DeWitt Anderson School 

Escuela Quetzal

Esperanza Middle School

Natural Bridges High School

Green Careers Center


Robert A. Hartman School

San Lorenzo Valley Community School

Santa Cruz Community School

Star Community School

Success Academy

Teenage Parent Program

Wagner Cottage

Watsonville Community School

YES (Youth Experiencing Success)


Bonny Doon Union

Elementary School District

Bonny Doon Elementary


Happy Valley Union

Elementary School District

Happy Valley Elementary


Live Oak School District

984-1 Bostwick Lane
Santa Cruz, CA 95062 

The Live Oak School District is a dynamic, high-achieving, and economically stable district of seven school sites and 2,200 students. We have been honored with many awards, including California Distinguished School, California Reading Association, and Magna Technology Award. We believe in choices for families. We have three elementary schools, Del Mar, Green Acres, and Live Oak (all with preschools and after-school programs), Shoreline Middle School (with a Teen Center), Ocean Alternative Home School, Tierra Pacifica Charter (K-8), and Cypress Charter High.

Cypress Charter High School, 9-12 
2039 Merrill Street
Santa Cruz

Del Mar Elementary School, K-5 
1959 Merrill Street
Santa Cruz

Green Acres Elementary School, K-5 
966 Bostwick Lane 
Santa Cruz

Live Oak Elementary School, K-5 
1916 Capitola Road 
Santa Cruz

Ocean Alternative Education Center, K-12 
984-6 Bostwick Lane 
Santa Cruz

Shoreline Middle School, 6-8
855 17th Avenue 
Santa Cruz

Tierra Pacifica Charter School, K-8
986  Bostwick Lane
Santa Cruz

Tierra Pacifica has developed a unique solution to the challenge that all schools face: how to create a joyful learning community that results in high academic performance and honors each child. A responsive social environment and parent participation are the heart of our school. Founded in 1998, we serve 135 students in grades K-8 in six multi-age classrooms. Tierra Pacifica is a CA public charter school sponsored by the Live Oak School District.

Mountain Elementary School District

Mountain Elementary


Pacific Elementary School District

Pacific Elementary School 
50 Ocean Street, Davenport 

Pacific Elementary School in Davenport is a public school serving 130 students, preschool-sixth grade. Families throughout the county choose us for our traditional classrooms or our hybrid independent study program with three classroom days and two home school days per week. All students participate in our award-winning garden and lunch programs in which students grow, cook, study, and eat healthy food. We emphasize experiential learning, including FOSS science, field trips, weekly music, media literacy, and drama. We maintain a gifted and talented education (GATE) program and offer opportunities for accelerated math advancement. To express interest, visit:

Pajaro Valley Unified School District

Alianza Charter School, K-8
115 Casserly Road

Alianza offers a Spanish-English Two Way Bilingual Immersion Program. Students read, write, and speak a second language as they grow and develop in all academic areas. During half the day, students are immersed in Spanish where all books, instruction, and conversation are in Spanish. During the second part of the day, students are completely immersed in English. Alianza is committed to preparing all students to meet or exceed state standards. 

Amesti Elementary  

Ann Soldo Elementary  

Aptos High  Aptos Jr High  

Bradley Elementary  

Calabasas Elementary  

Freedom Elementary  

H.A. Hyde Elementary  

Hall Elementary  

E.A. Hall Middle  

Lakeview Middle  

Landmark Elementary

Linscott Charter School  

MacQuiddy Elementary  

Mar Vista Elementary  

Mintie White Elementary  

New School  

Ohlone Elementary 

Pacific Coast Charter School, K-12
294 Green Valley Road

Pacific Coast Charter School (PCCS) is a unique K-12 personalized learning program that blends independent study with academic and enrichment classes, college preparation, community service, and workshops and tutorials, led by credentialed teachers.  Pacific Coast Charter School is accepting enrollment for 2009/2010. 

Pajaro Middle 

Pajaro Valley High

Radcliff Elementary

Renaissance High  

Rio Del Mar Elementary  

Rolling Hills Middle  

Starlight Elementary  

Valencia Elementary  

Watsonville Charter School of the Arts, K-8 

Watsonville High 

San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Boulder Creek Elementary 

San Lorenzo Valley Elementary Schools

San Lorenzo Valley Middle School 

San Lorenzo Valley High School

San Lorenzo Valley Charter School


Santa Cruz City Unified School District

Alternative Family Education   

Ark Independent Studies   

Costanoa High School   

Monarch Community School   

Bay View School, K-5   

Branciforte Middle School  

DeLaveaga Elementary School   

Delta High School, 9-12 

Gault Elementary, K-5

Harbor High  

Mission Hill Middle School  

Santa Cruz High School  

Soquel High School  

Westlake Elementary School 


SCCOE Charter Schools

Pacific Collegiate


Scotts Valley Unified School District

Brook Knoll Elementary 

Scotts Valley Middle  

Scotts Valley High 

Vine Hill Elementary 


Soquel Union Elementary School District

Main Street Elementary  

New Brighton Middle  

Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary  

Soquel Elementary


Support Services

Club Z! In-Home Tutoring

Club Z! In-Home Tutoring is a highly individualized, one-on-one program. We can work with the school curriculum or create a customized program to fit each student. We also offer support over the summer to master material from the previous year or get ahead by preparing for the upcoming grade! We also have excellent SAT Prep and Study Skills programs for the summer to really help students who want to get ahead. We serve all ages, in all subjects, including reading, mathematics, science, foreign languages, and much more. Call to schedule your free in-home consultation.

Educational Resource Center of Santa Cruz
224C Walnut Ave.
Santa Cruz

Visit us to borrow over 2600 educational toys, games, and learning materials.  We can provide you with enrichment activities for your 2 to 12 year old or an experienced teacher can help you select home tutoring materials to help you with specific learning needs.  Open Wednesday through Saturday from 11-4.

Lucy Ruggles
Interactive Tutoring
“Learning how to learn”
[email protected]

With encouragement and support, a student will see that learning can be enjoyable and rewarding. Success in school builds confidence and self-esteem, and summer is a great time to learn the skills for academic success in the fall.  Contact me for a free first appointment and we can discuss how we can best support your student in “learning how to learn”.

Read America Clinic
4740-A Scotts Valley Drive
Scotts Valley

Give your child the skills and confidence for academic success. Read America Clinic provides a caring, embarrassment-free environment with individual instruction using proven, research-based programs. Offering remedial reading/writing, preparation for state testing and exit exams; beginning reading instruction and parent training; homework/study-skills assistance; literacy or foreign language enrichment. All ages/abilities.

Santa Cruz Spanish
PO Box 3082
Santa Cruz

Spanish classes for all. Get ready for Spanish in high school: Private classes and small groups to get students ready for Spanish classes in 9th grade.
Advanced students: We use effective methods to improve Spanish knowledge and greatly increase AP or IB test scores. Students learn complete manipulation of verb tenses and get plenty of opportunity to practice with Spanish conversation and pronunciation. After school classes in elementary and middle schools.

Steps To Success Educational Therapy
4145 Clares St

Steps to Success is a comprehensive educational therapy practice for children (K-12th grade) with learning differences. Using a family centered approach, we work to strengthen learning deficits, remediate academic skills and develop successful learning strategies. Services offered include developmental educational assessments, individualized educational therapy, classroom observations, parent training, consultation and tutoring.

Teach By-The-Beach
8037 Soquel Drive

We offer a rare combination of teaching and therapeutic approaches to individuals with educational or communicative needs. We provide a full spectrum of services ranging from early childhood subjects to highest-end secondary math and science curricula. We are energetic, compassionate, and eager to meet the individual needs of our students.

For more information about Santa Cruz County Schools please go to