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Best Schools In Santa Cruz, CA

Best Schools In Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz is one of the medium-sized cities that spread across Northern California and Central Coast. The city is home to 65,021 people (according to the United States Census Bureau in 2017). This makes it the largest city in Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz’s livability score is rated 61 out of 100, and ranked 910 in California and 21,953 in the United States. Also, the median age of all residents in the city is 29 which falls below the national average. But makes the city a great place for millennials.

Similarly, the city is rated above average for its local amenities and you can easily access them within walking distance. If you have kids or planning to have one soon, or you’re single and still interested in schooling, Santa Cruz is well rated for its top quality schools.

However, to help you find the best schools, I have compiled a list of the best elementary, middle/high as well as colleges and universities in Santa Cruz.

Let’s dive in!

Best Elementary Schools In Santa Cruz

Here are the best elementary schools in Santa Cruz, CA:

Happy Valley Elementary School

Happy Valley Elementary School is one of the best public schools located in Happy Valley Elementary School District. The school services grades k – 6 and has 132 students. Overall, this elementary school is ranked above average in terms of school quality compared to other elementary schools in California.

Happy Valley Elementary School students’ performances in state tests are above average with a score of 74% in Math and 84% in English. Also, this school’s students are constantly improving academically from one year to the next. Furthermore, the school has a student to teacher ratio of 19:1. All their teachers have 3 or more years of experience.

Brook Knoll Elementary School

Brook Knoll Elementary School is one of the public schools in Scotts Valley Unified School District. The school services grade PK – 5 and have 531 students. Also, this school is ranked above average when matched up to other elementary schools in California.

Source: Great Schools

The school’s students performances on state tests are higher than the state’s average with 74% in Math and 73% in English. Also, students’ of this school’s performance shows significant improvement from one year to the next. Brook Knoll’s students to teacher ratio is 22:1. Up to 92% of their teachers have 3 or more years of experience.

Tierra Pacifica Charter School

Tierra Pacifica Charter School is one of the public schools in Live Oak Elementary School District. This school has a total of 153 students and services grade K – 8. In terms of school quality, this school is ranked higher than average compared to other similar schools in California.

Tierra Pacifica Charter School, Santa Cruz, CA
Source: Great Schools

Tierra Pacifica Charter students performances are rated above average in state tests with a score of 74% in Math and 66% in English. Also, students here show a significant sign of improvement academically from one year to the next. Furthermore, Tierra Pacifica Charter student to teacher ratio is 17:1. 100% of their teachers have 3 or more years of teaching experience.

Bonny Doon Elementary School 

Bonny Doon Elementary School is one of the public schools located in Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District. The school services grade K – 6 and have a total of 165 students. This elementary school’s state tests performance is rated above average with a score of 50% in Math and 66% in English.

Bonny Doon  Elementary School, Santa Cruz, CA
Source: Great Schools

Also, in terms of school quality, Boony Doon is rated higher than average compared to other elementary schools in California. Students of this school also show a significant level of improvement from one year to the next. Furthermore, Boony Doon Elementary School teacher to student ratio is 18:1, and 100% of their teachers have 3 or more years of experience.

Live Oak Elementary School  

Live Oak Elementary School is one of the public schools in Live Oak Elementary School District. This school services grades K – 5 and has 352 students. Live Oak is rated above average in school quality compared to other schools in California.

Source: Great Schools

This school’s students performance on state tests score is higher than average with 52% in Math and 60% in English. Also, their students show a significant level of academic improvement from one year to the next. Furthermore, Live Oak Elementary school student to teacher ratio is 20:1. Also, 94% of their teachers have 3 or more years of experience.

Best Middle And High Schools In Santa Cruz

Here are the best middle and high schools in Santa Cruz, CA:

Pacific Collegiate Charter

Pacific Collegiate Charter is one of the public high schools located in the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

Source: Area Vibes

The school services grades 7 – 12. The school has a total of 508 students and 28 teachers. This add up to a student to teacher ratio of 18:1.

Source: Area Vibes

Furthermore, Pacific Collegiate Charter has an average proficiency test score (in languages and math) of 76.5% which is 101% higher than the state’s average. Also, it has a total of 234 students registered in advanced placement (AP) courses and 192 taking some courses.

Santa Cruz High

Santa Cruz High is one of the public high schools located in Santa Cruz High School District. The school services grade 9 – 12, have a total of 1,031 students and 42 teachers. This add up to a student to teacher ratio of 25 to 1.

Source: Great Schools

Santa Cruz High School has an average proficiency test score (in languages and math) of 62%. This test score is 63% higher than the state’s average. However, none of this school’s students is registered in Advance Placement (AP) course and none is taking other courses.

Scotts Valley High School

Scotts Valley High School is one of the public schools located in Scotts Valley Unified School District. According to Niche, this school is rated the 3rd best public high school in Santa Cruz County.

Source: Area Vibes

Scotts Valley High School services 819 students enrolled in grades 9 – 12 and has a student to teacher ratio of 22:1. Based on the state’s test score, this school’s students have an average proficiency test score of 4% in Math and 82% in Reading.

Source: Area Vibes

Harbor High School

Harbor High School is one of the public schools located in Santa Cruz City High School District. The school has 954 students and services grades 9 – 12. This school is rated higher than average in terms of school quality compared to other high schools in California.

This school’s students perform above average on state’s tests. The school also has a college readiness measure that is higher than average.

The number of Harbor High School students who are enrolled in more advanced courses are higher than average compared to other schools in the state of California.  Students in this school have an average proficiency test score of 36% in Math and 60% in English. The school’s students’ to teacher ratio is 18:1.

Mission Hill Middle School

Mission Hill Middle School, Santa Cruz, LA
Source: Area Vibes

Mission Hill Middle School is one of the public schools servicing grades 6-8 in Santa Cruz City High School District. The school has a total of 641 students and 27 teachers. This add up to a student to teacher ratio of 24 to 1.

Source: Area Vibes

Also, the average proficiency test score of Mission Hill Middle School in Languages and Math is 58.0% and its 52% above the state’s average. However, none of the school’s students is enrolled in Advanced Placement Programs and none is taking other courses.  

Colleges and Universities in Santa Cruz

University of California Santa Cruz

The University of California-Santa Cruz is a public university in the heart of Santa Cruz, California. The school has a total enrollment of 19,700 students for fall 2018.

Source: Area Vibes

The university has 17,792 undergraduates and 1,908 graduate students. Also, the school boasts of a 78% graduation rate and a student/faculty ratio of 18:1.

Cosmo Factory Cosmetology

This school is a private for-profit academic institution located in Santa Cruz, CA. Cosmo Factory Cosmetology Academy is Accredited by The National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).

It is also endorsed to function in California by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Similarly, it is approved by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (BBC).

Source: Area Vibes

However, the school’s total enrollment is only 34 and the student to faculty ratio is 33.33% (3 to 1).

Five Branches University

Five Branches University is one of the first schools that specializes in teaching traditional Chinese medicine in the United States. The college is a private for-profit school in Santa Cruz. Five Branches University is a school of Chinese medical arts and acupuncture and it has campuses in Santa Cruz and San Jose.

Also, the school offers a doctorate and master’s degree in Acupuncture. The university also offers a dual Doctor and Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree.

Furthermore, each of the school’s campuses has a Health Center and an Herb Room. Students use both for learning the fundamentals of herbal medicines and treatments from practitioners. Five Branches University has a total enrollment of 332 students.

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