About AFE

AFE supports, nurtures and inspires families and students to discover and develop their potential through engaged learning, problem-solving, and community involvement.
What is AFE?

Santa Cruz City Schools Alternative Family Education (AFE) is an independent home study school provided for kindergarten through twelfth grade students and families who prefer an individualized approach to education, combined with the support of school district resources. The program gives parents the responsibility to directly supervise instruction, with professional guidance from a credentialed teacher consultant. The program is designed by and for homeschool families, with teacher consultants who are knowledgeable and supportive of home-based learning, state frameworks, and school district curriculum guidelines.

AFE shares a campus with three other small schools. You can read about our campus on the Branciforte Small Schools Campus (BSSC) website. Like the other BSSC schools, AFE is also affiliated with The Coalition of Essential Schools.

Alternative Family Education, 185 Benito Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

General Information

Students in the Alternative Family Education School are considered enrolled in the Santa Cruz City School District. Each family, with the credentialed consultant teacher, determines the pace, methods, and the materials used for their child's educational program derived from the District's curriculum guidelines and state frameworks. Each student's learning goals are outlined in a contract signed by all parties involved. Student, family, and consulting teacher meet at least monthly to evaluate progress, set learning goals, plan activities, and to discuss resources and special interest courses offered by AFE. AFE provides students the opportunity to pursue an education of their own design, at their own pace. AFE also challenges each student to excel in areas of special interest, provides alternatives for students to achieve competency in basic skills, and creates a bridge between the traditional school and the community. AFE was created out of, or influenced by, a movement in education based on a home school model, with family involvement as key to the learning process. AFE families see the world, their community, and the people in it as their classroom.

AFE staff strives to provide opportunities for networking, community service, and establishing relationships with other students and families. Families receive a roster of all AFE participants and a monthly newsletter to keep current of classes, events, field trips, and opportunities where students and their families can meet others. AFE is at the historic Branciforte Small Schools Campus (BSSC), and serves approximately 189 students and their families, with a staff of eight teachers, one of whom is also a lead teacher, two support staff, and one part-time administrator. In addition to regularly meeting with families, AFE teachers also offer ongoing classes, field trips, and workshops.

The AFE complex houses a Resource Center of over 5,000 library materials that include curriculum materials, instructional materials, state frameworks, games, manipulatives, and parenting resources. The Resource Center also holds audiovisual materials and multimedia computers with Internet access and a complete ceramics studio. AFE consulting teachers meet with families in their home settings or at the Resource Center. AFE classes and workshops are held at the Resource Center, the ceramics studio, and at other venues around Santa Cruz.

Family Handbook. We maintain a list of documents and resources that are available for AFE families on our Family Handbook page.

School Accountability Report Card (SARC)

This page provides a series of accountability reports about the state of our school.

Every school in California is required by state law to publish a School Accountability Report Card (SARC), by February 1 of each year. The SARC contains information about the condition and performance of each California public school.


AFE has been serving homeschoolers since 1991!

Copyright 2015 Branciforte Small Schools Campus