366 Gault Street, Santa Cruz, California 95062, United States

(831) 429-8444

Enriched elementary school education in the ♥ of Santa Cruz

Enriched elementary school education in the ♥ of Santa CruzEnriched elementary school education in the ♥ of Santa Cruz

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is the student/teacher ratio at Santa Cruz Children’s School?

A. We have many elementary school classroom teachers, classroom aides, specialty teachers and parent volunteers bringing our student/adult ratio to 12:1 or better, depending on the demands of the class.

Q. Do you require entrance testing?

A. No. We prefer to meet with all prospective students before considering an application for enrollment and ask that students entering grades 2 through 6 spend a day shadowing a class.

Q. Do you give homework?

 A. We do give homework but it is fairly minimal aside from occasional larger projects that sometimes require at home help (i.e. science fair projects) and if students are motivated they can easily finish it during homework club in aftercare on Monday and Tuesday. This is more relevant in the upper grades. Homework for the lower half of the school is even lower key. Andrea's Kindergarten homework in the first semester is a themed kit with fun activities to do together at home and in the second semester, there may be a page of math once a week and a monthly reading log. Homework can also be pretty easily tailored to the needs of the student and should never be overwhelming or stressful. Our goal with homework is more about teaching executive functioning skills and personal responsibility rather than adding a ton of extra work to battle over at home. 

Q. Is your Kindergarten a full or half day program?

A. Santa Cruz Children’s School Kindergartners attend school for a full day. They complete the bulk of their academic lessons in the first half of the day. In addition, the last 45 minutes of each day are spent on the yard for one final recess period (aka "linner").

Q. Do you offer any before or after-school care?

A. Instruction begins at 8:30am each day but students can be dropped off as early as 8:00am at no additional cost. Our after-school program runs from 2:30 to 4pm. After school care is charged only when you use it. See the application for more details. We offer homework assistance and after-school workshops along with plenty of active outdoor free play.

Q. Is SCCS a good fit for my child with special needs?

A. Santa Cruz Children’s School can be an excellent fit for students who do not fit well in a “typical” classroom because of learning or social-emotional differences. However, because of our size we do not have extra resources or dedicated specialists for severe learning disabilities, behavioral challenges, or certain other student support needs. We work in conjunction with interested families to determine our ability to serve their students on an individual basis.

Q. What sort of fundraising requirements are there?

A. As a 501(c)(3) we accept charitable donations and we occasionally have fundraising events. We do not, however, have any required fundraising commitments or expectations. Most of our families prefer instead to give their time, which is often even more valuable.

Q. Do you require parent service hours?

A. We have no required volunteer hour expectations, however, parent involvement enriches the educational experience of the students, teachers, and families, and is a crucial part of the community and culture of SCCS. Parent volunteers model the importance of education and play a key role in the success of students. Parents enjoy dropping in to help in the classrooms, chaperoning field trips, and teaching mini-lessons. We also have a limited number of volunteer parent co-op teaching positions available each year that fill up quickly.

Q. What does a parent co-op teacher do? 

A.  SCCS parents have the opportunity to design and implement unique and creative curriculum, bringing their passions and expertise to the students.  Doctors, astrophysicists, authors, ballroom dancers, artists, and more have dedicated a few hours a week to adding priceless depth to the students’ educational experience. We have limited positions available and cannot guarantee a space to all who express interest. Live Scan fingerprint background checks are required and will be provided.

Q. Do you offer financial aid?

A. We rely on most families paying the full tuition to pay teacher salaries, cover operating costs, and keep the overall tuition one of the most affordable in the county. We are, however, able to award a limited number of scholarships each year to help make tuition more affordable for families in need. Availability and awarded amount depends on enrollment, hiring needs, and anticipated expenses. Each family will be expected to pay at least a portion of the tuition and will need to reapply each year. Please contact us to discuss the scholarship application.

Q. Do you accept mid-year transfers?

A. We absolutely accept mid-year transfers as long as there is space in the appropriate age group. Tuition will be prorated.

Q. Does your school require uniforms?

A. No. We ask that children come to school dressed neatly, comfortably, and without overtly aggressive or branded clothing as these can be a distraction.

Q. Does Santa Cruz Children’s School have a religious affiliation?

A. No, SCCS is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with no religious affiliation. We welcome students of all faiths and we strive to be sensitive to religious cultures, customs, and holidays.

Q. When can I visit Santa Cruz Children’s School?

A. We host an Open House early in the calendar year , or you can contact us to schedule a tour.