Alternative Family Education


Alternative Family Education

Questions about enrolling at AFE?  Fill out our questionnaire!  Click on the link below:

Alternative Program Enrollment Questionnaire

Enrolling New Families at AFE

Interested in Homeschooling?
Have you discovered homeschooling works well for your child and your family?
Or is the uncertainty of this time leading you to explore other options
of public education? 
Are you curious how homeschooling can work with you and your child
choosing your curriculum, supported by a consultant teacher?

Please contact Sara Homan, our registrar, for more information about
Santa Cruz City School's K-12 Homeschool/Independent Study Program
phone 831-429-3898 ext. 201, email [email protected]

AFE can enroll students 6th-12th grade as transfers from other districts,
but Santa Cruz City Schools is not able to accept elementary students
from outside of the district.


AFE Resource Center online:

The BSSC Library has great resources here:

and on the BSSC Library page:
BSSC Library Link



Promotion Celebration!
On Tuesday, May 25, our 22 8th graders were promoted into high school.
Watch the students and families who attended the celebration here (unlisted, only people with the link can watch).


Graduation Ceremony!

BSSC Green, Thursday, May 27, 2021
10 students graduated from high school this year.
Watch the students and families who attended the ceremony here soon
(will also be unlisted, only people with the link can watch).


AFE Talent Sharing , May 14, was great!

18 great acts from hip hop, baton twirling, piano and fiddle, over finger knitting, song covers, insanely fast guitar playing, opera, gymnastics, drawing, to watching gray whales in the Bay!
Link to watch the whole show will come soon.


AFE Teacher-Led Enrichment Class Offerings

Fall 2021
Elementary - Wednesdays K - 2 Wednesdays 10:00 - 12:30 Elizabeth: Marine Science - Rocky Shore
3rd - 5th Wednesdays 10:00 - 12:30 Amelia: Science (exact one TBD)
Middle School - Tuesdays Nancy: Language Arts (Autobiographies-reading and writing) 12:00-2:30 Crissy: Marine Science 10:00 - 12:30
High School - Thursdays Peter: Economics 10-12 Ayala: Literature 1-3  (Maybe Podcasts and Literature?)
Volleyball 6th-12th Mon 1-3, Wed 10-12 Fri games 12-2 or 11-1, depending on league schedule
Some things to note: * We plan to offer all these classes on-campus and in-person. * You may opt to take one, or both, of the classes offered at your grade level  span.  
(Note: You may notice an overlap of time in the middle school classes.  This allows for time for the entire middle school group to come together for some outdoor games and fun connections! ) * At all grade levels, in the Spring a different set of classes will be offered. So definitely do join in on any of these Fall classes that seem like a good fit for your family!   We are excited to welcome you back to our (new!) campus buildings in the Fall and to share some wonderful learning explorations through these classes (and other events to come)! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to your consultant teacher or to Michelle McKinney with questions.
Have a lovely summer, The AFE teachers

Spring Semester 2021

All AFE enrichment classes that were set to transition Zoom to hybrid began in-person classes
on the week of April 5th (right after our Spring Break).

Please note:  At this time, we are unable to invite adult volunteers onto campus to our classes. 
This is different from AFE's policy under normal circumstances. 
However, we must follow protocols for safety during Covid19 times.  

ELEMENTARY K - 2nd Grade 

Gardening: Plants, Animals and Insects - Tuesdays 10-11 (online) Crissy Hansen [email protected] Do you enjoy gardening, learning about different plants, local animals and insects? This virtual (Zoom) class may interest you! We will be learning about gardening in the Santa Cruz area, indigenous plants, animals and insects and discover the joys of creating a garden. We will learn about beneficial animals and insects and how to create a garden that will attract these creatures. We will learn about the structures and growth of seeds and plants, as well as the life cycles of some plants and insects. This class will incorporate hands-on assignments, journaling/notetaking/sketching, videos and virtual learning during our time together.


Celebrating Mexico Through Folk Art, Story and Song - Wednesdays 9-10 and 10:30-11:30 (in person or virtual) Elizabeth Lindsley [email protected]

We will explore my home country of Mexico by exploring its folk art and the many ways we can use natural materials to make beautiful art from different cultures.  Each week, we will explore a different type of Mexican folk art, share a story rich in Mexican history and folklore, and celebrate Mexican music.  Families who sign up for this elective will each get a packet of materials for making weekly projects inspired by Mexican folk art as a follow-up to our class.  Each week we will meet in person or online, depending on county health regulations.
Play with Your Math - Wednesdays 10-11 (in person) Ayala Younger [email protected]   Get creative with mathematics as we combine math, art, games, and cooking to create “mathterpieces.” We will get playful with math concepts such as geometry, patterns, sequences, problem solving,  and number sense through various activities and projects.  Our group will meet weekly in person or online, with some fun math extension ideas for you to do at home over the week. 


3rd - 5th Grade 

Time Travelers - Mondays 2-4 pm (in person or virtual)

Amelia von Gerer [email protected]

Take a tour of Santa Cruz County with the lens of a historian. We will explore moments in Santa Cruz’s history through photos, books, videos, discussions, and field trips around our county. Discover fascinating stories about Santa Cruz’s past with us! This class will look at history through the lens of many different groups of people and their experiences and contributions to our home. Each week we will meet on Zoom for one hour. Outside of class, I will assign an exploration (field trip) to a local outdoor spot to investigate history in person. If health ordinances permit, we will at some point move to meeting in person at these locations instead of on Zoom. Students will also engage in weekly reading and writing assignments at home.


Operation Deep Dive! - Mondays 10-11 (online)

Steve Salas [email protected]

Are you ready to really go below the surface on a topic that you find interesting? If the answer is yes, then “Operation Deep Dive!” might be the enrichment class for you. The goal of the class is to build upon and further develop your skills in expository writing by researching a topic of your choice. You will practice collecting and evaluating sources, taking notes, organizing information, composing paragraphs, and presenting what you have learned in a culminating final project. Peer review and input will be a component of our work together as will completing weekly assignments. If you are new to typing and doing research online, my hope is this class will be a smooth introduction to these skills. 




Ecology and our Environment - Tuesdays 10-11:15 (on campus or virtual)

Peter Deutsch [email protected]

We will address key topics and concepts in ecology and investigate these ideas in our local and global environment. The structures, interactions and functions in ecosystems will be the basis of our study. This will include natural resources, human impacts, various biomes and habitats, classification of living things, and the structure, function, and behavior of organisms. Our Zoom class will allow for a range of interactions in big and small groups and the instruction/content will set the stage for the active, hands-on based weekly homework and larger projects.


Brain Explorers - Tuesdays 10-11:15 (in person or virtual)

Nancy Aylsworth [email protected]

Stretch your brain by exploring its different parts, strengthening your memory and practicing creative thinking. We will learn about different types of intelligences and learning styles. You’ll also study some psychology, learn about biases and perceptions, and how to keep your brain healthy. We will create a supportive and interactive class while we learn about ourselves and each other. 




Radical! 20th Century African-American Literature - Thursdays 10-11:30 (in person)

Zari Lionudakis r[email protected] Students will analyze literature from selected works from some of the 20th century’s most influential and radical African-American authors. Students will learn the methods which made each work successful and provocative, as well as the socio-political context which framed each story. Students will be asked to research unknown concepts, vocabulary and historical figures to gain a better understanding of the time/place. Students will be expected to read two books and two essays this semester, and choose two to complete a project (slide, essay or poster). Works: - James Baldwin “Sonny’s Blues” (1957) - Alex Haley “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (1964) - Toni Morrison “Sula” (1973) - Ralph Ellison “An Extravagance of Laughter” (1985) Credit will be given based on the student's participation in class and their understanding of each work as evidenced by their projects.
World History: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
- Thursdays 11-12:30 (online) Stacey Saady
[email protected] Students will learn about the origins, traditions, contributions, and trajectories of the thee monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Students will gain an understanding of the persecution Jews, Christians, and Muslims have historically suffered, and connect these persecutions with the disconcerting Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia we are fighting against today, particularly in the United States. Midway through the course we will have a guest speaker from Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, and a guest speaker from Baghdad, whose family escaped during the Iraq War through political asylum. Additionally, this class has a strong geography component: students will learn both the ancient and modern maps of the historical areas we study.
Other Activities on Campus!

K-2 Book Club - Wednesdays 12:30-1:30 Elizabeth Lindsley [email protected]

3-5 Outdoor Games - Tuesdays 2:30-4:00

Steve Salas [email protected]

3-5 Clay Studio - Wednesdays 11:00-12:00

Amelia van Gerer [email protected]

Volleyball - Mondays & Wednesdays 3:00-4:30, 6-12th grade Peter Deutsch [email protected]

Cardboard Creations - Thursdays 2:30 - 4:00, 6-12th grade
Ayala Younger [email protected]

AFE Teacher-Led Enrichment Class Offerings

Spring Semester 2021


 Spring 2021


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