Schools

The Branciforte Small Schools Campus (BSSC) houses four schools in the Santa Cruz City School District — Alternative Family Education (AFE) Homeschool, Ark Independent Studies, Costanoa High School (created from the merger of Loma Prieta High School and the Ark daily program), and Monarch Community Elementary School. Branciforte Head Start is also located on our campus.

Alternative Family Education
AFE is a home school program for 165 students in grades K–12 and their families who prefer an individualized, home/community-based approach to education combined with the support of school district resources. In addition to regular meetings with Consultant Teachers who help outline educational goals and objectives, students may participate in weekly enrichment classes, league sports, theater productions, and field trips, including the annual trip to the Shakespeare Festival in Oregon.

Ark Independent Studies
Ark Independent Studies is a fully accredited alternative high school with 90 students. Ark students are self-disciplined and motivated students in grades 9–12 who are working toward a high school diploma. Students participate twice monthly in a seminar class, an advisory group, and individual meetings with the assigned teacher. During individual meetings students are given specific assignments, and course work is corrected and evaluated. Assignments are tailored to fit the individual student's interests and learning style. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 20 hours each week completing their assignments at home, in addition to attending the seminar and advisory. The seminar and advisory support the students' independent work with instruction, tutoring, and academic and career counseling.

Costanoa High School
Costanoa students benefit from small class sizes and strong relationships with staff members. We focus on developing the following habits: "Use your mind well. Do the right thing. Work hard." Costanoa has a diverse student population that includes 140 students in grades 10–12. Curricular offerings include English Language Development and special interest courses like garden science, careers, digital photography, ceramics, yoga, and weight training. Costanoa is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Monarch Community School
Monarch is an alternative K–6 elementary school. The families of the 90 students are expected to participate in school-related activities, in and outside of the classroom, thus providing opportunities for the staff and families to work together to implement a shared educational philosophy. Students learn in a multi-age, caring, hands-on, and developmentally appropriate environment with a theme-based curriculum that is connected to students' lives and builds upon prior knowledge and experiences.
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