Fact Sheet

  • Santa Barbara Charter School (SBCS), founded in 1993, is one of the oldest charter schools in the nation. Charter schools are free, public schools that are allowed to run independently from the larger school system.
  • Enrollment in SBCS is open and non-preferential. When there are more applicants than spaces available, lotteries are held to determine placements. Students may live anywhere in Santa Barbara County or adjacent counties.
  • SBCS was founded on the idea that small school size and choice benefit public education. SBCS serves about 240 children grades K-6th grade on our campus and an additional 70 in the K-8th grade HomeBased Partnership.
  • Our small size allows us to be innovative, creative and responsive to changing student needs and to take advantage of best practices in the field of education.
  • We have an active core of parent, grandparent, and community member volunteers working to make SBCS a great place for children.
  • SBCS nurtures learning through “the Arts, Academics and Relationships” –

Art skills are cultivated, as is an overall appreciation for the arts. Arts are also integrated into academic subjects to access students’ strongest skills.

Academics include the development of critical and creative thinking rather than simply focusing on the 3Rs to prepare for standardized tests. Responsive instruction emphasizes establishing context and finding meaning.

Relationships are enhanced by small size and the teaching of peaceful conflict resolution, empathy for others, and respect for one’s self, others and the environment.

These values will be emphasized regardless of the funding trends or political constraints of the day.


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