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Santa Barbara Schools: A Breakdown of Your Options

Families moving to a new town often want to know which neighborhoods have the best schools before deciding which street to settle into. If you’re considering Santa Barbara, there are many great options.

The Santa Barbara Unified School District allows parents to send their children to the school of their choice through an intradistrict transfer, and there are several charter and private schools in the region to consider as well. For all grades, Santa Barbara schools have plenty to offer its diverse student population.

Elementary Schools

The elementary years are a time of fun and discovery, and the various public, charter and private elementary schools in Santa Barbara provide quality education for children of all learning abilities and backgrounds.

  • A K-6 public school, Cold Spring School, which has a population of approximately 170 students, provides a small school setting. It consistently ranks among the highest achieving schools in Santa Barbara County and California, and has been recognized as a Gold Ribbon School. While a strong emphasis is placed on academic excellence, the education here is also well rounded, along with classes in the arts taught by professional artists and musicians.
  • At private K-8 Crane Country Day School in Carpinteria, creative expression is encouraged through an experiential education that includes visual and performing arts, athletics and service learning in addition to the core subjects.
  • Adelante Charter School, a Spanish-English two-way immersion elementary school in Santa Barbara, gives students the opportunity to become bilingual and multicultural with a curriculum that’s focused on science, math and technology.

Middle Schools

Santa Barbara residents have many options for junior high, including more independent private middle schools than public middle schools. There are several faith-based schools in the area, as well as schools with options for individualizing your child’s studies.

  • Founded by parents, students and teachers, Santa Barbara Middle School is the only accredited independent middle school (grades 6-9) in the state of California, which allows for flexibility in taking advanced math and foreign language courses.
  • At Santa Barbara Junior High School (public, grades 7 through 8), students can take advanced foreign language courses in Spanish, Latin and French.
  • Students at Goleta Valley Junior High School (public, grades 7 and 8) place highest in the county in math test scores and participate in a two-year science program in partnership with the National Science Foundation and University of California, Santa Barbara.

High Schools

If high graduation rates are important to you, Santa Barbara high schools are sure to impress. Within the Santa Barbara Unified School District, the three traditional public high schools (Dos Pueblos Senior High, San Marcos Senior High and Santa Barbara High) have graduation rates between 90 to 95 percent and boast high rates of college readiness, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Searching for the right high school isn’t always about test scores and statistics, however. Area high schools now have more options to better meet student needs and learning styles.

  • San Marcos students can opt for a nontraditional schedule of three or four 90-minute classes a day, and study unique subjects, such as anger management, as reported by the Santa Barbara Independent.
  • The high school curriculum at Laguna Blanca, a private K-12 school with a student body of 355, incorporates computer science, human development and public speaking into their curriculum.
  • One of the oldest public high schools in California, Santa Barbara High School is known for academic as well as athletic excellence. The school also offers four unique academies for specific skills—Visual Arts and Design, Multimedia Arts and Design, Dons’ Net Café Business Academy and Computer Science Academy.

Several factors come into play when selecting the school that would be a perfect fit for your child. These are just a few examples, but the schools in Santa Barbara give you a variety of school environment choices where your child can learn, grow and succeed. If you’re ready to move to a Santa Barbara neighborhood, head Owners.com to find the right home.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.


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