Our deepest and most important underlying assumption is that students create their own meanings and understandings through their interactions with materials and other people.  They are curious and interested in figuring things out.  It is the teacher’s job to notice how each child interacts with materials, and ask questions or provide materials and instruction that lead to the next step.  We pay careful attention to what students can do and are interested in doing.  Our integrated approach allows students to explore different disciplines using a variety of media and activities.  Learning is maximized as students utilize personal strengths and cultivate individual gifts.

Our program places emphasis on learning academics through the arts, while allowing children to develop a sense of interpersonal and intrapersonal awareness as they learn communication and conflict resolution skills.  The multicultural, anti-bias curriculum helps children learn to appreciate differences as well as to understand themselves.

Santa Barbara Charter School has a flexible curriculum based on the California Common Core State Standards. We focus on uncovering rather than covering curriculum.  While learning objectives are similar to those of other local districts, our methodology is non-traditional and differs significantly from local schools.  Instruction is concrete, interactive, and experiential.  Meeting individual needs while attending to the needs of the whole group is a priority.  Children often work individually, in pairs, or in small groups.  Whole group lessons are individualized by asking questions of varying difficulty and sophistication.

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