About Monarch


Monarch Community School is an alternative elementary school (K–5) that has served the Santa Cruz community for over thirty years. The original Gault Open School was created in 1974 in response to a group of parents, teachers, and administrators who wanted a child-centered, individualized learning alternative for students in the Santa Cruz City School District. Monarch School was the name selected when the program moved to new buildings residing on a corner of the Ark Alternative High School. The school program was restructured and the community reaffirmed its original commitment to maintaining a small, community oriented school in which parent participation plays a major role. Our latest move occurred in the fall of 2004, when the school was relocated to the Branciforte Small Schools Campus.


Students at Monarch are grouped according to their academic, social and developmental needs. There are six classrooms at Monarch Community School distinguished by group name rather than by grade: Earth and Tierra (youngest students ranging from K–1), Ocean and Sea (students in the middle grades 1–3), and Sky East and West (oldest students 4–5).

Monarch Awarded Star Status from ERP and CBEE!

Congratulations to Monarch Elementary School for receiving the 2016 Honor Roll School Star School status!  

The Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) awared Monarch Star School status.  Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-econimically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time.

“We are so proud to be recognized by leaders in the California business community for our schools,” said Superintendent Kris Munro. “Our teachers and administrators work tirelessly to keep the focus on high expectations and student academic achievement and to continuously improve our practices. This hard work and dedication is paying off for all of our students, no matter their background.”

School Accountability Report Card (SARC)

The page at this link 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.

Single Plan for Student Achievement 2021-22

Single Plan for Student Achievement 2021-22


Branciforte Small Schools Campus
840 North Branciforte Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95062

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Office hours: (by appointment only)

Classroom hours:

8:30 am to 3:00 pm Mon., Tue., Thu., and Fri.
8:30 am to 12:30 pm Wed.
8:30 am to 12:15 pm Every day for Kindergarten students
Copyright 2015 Branciforte Small Schools Campus