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Searching For Schools
updated: Jan 31, 2013, 3:25 PM

My daughter is starting kindergarten soon, and we're planning to move to get into a good school district. Which are the best elementary schools in Santa Barbara and Goleta? Any we should avoid?


Places People Are Talking About:

Coastline Christian AcademyHollister Elementary
PeabodyRoosevelt

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 369534 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:29 PM

personal opinion only: Foothill School on Cathedral Oaks (public)
Santa Barbara Christian School (private)

 

 COMMENT 369535 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:29 PM

Go visit them all and decide for yourself which one suits the needs of your family.

I hope nobody lists specific schools because they all deserve our respect.

 

 COMMENT 369539 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:32 PM

Monte Vista is a gem

 

 COMMENT 369540 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:33 PM

Mountain View is a blue-ribbon School. Hard to beat that distinction.

 

 COMMENT 369543 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:36 PM

Which are the best reposts edhat has to offer? All of them!

 

 COMMENT 369546P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:43 PM

I agree with @535. There is no one "best" school. Teachers are individuals, so 2 kindergarten teachers at the same school may have completely different teaching styles. You need to evaluate how well potential teachers match your daughter's learning needs. Some kids do well in a highly structured classroom, others do better with less structure. Pacing is also important -- if your child doesn't make transitions easily, a fast-paced classroom may not work for her. A good trick when observing is to see if you can pick out a child whose behavior is similar to your child's, then watching to see how the teacher interacts with the child and how the child does in that classroom setting.

 

 COMMENT 369548P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:45 PM

Don't move near Peabody expecting to get in. It is a good school, but since it is a charter and oversubscribed just within it's neighborhood, there is a lottery to get in, even if you live next door.

 

 COMMENT 369550 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:45 PM

We loved Mountain view. Parents are heavily involved.....maybe a tad too much if there is such a thing........but I'm prob being picky.

 

 COMMENT 369553P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:49 PM

You know, your child CAN succeed in Kindergarten and Elementary School without you investigating EVERY single classroom in town. Check the overall scores of the schools and just be comfortable knowing that at any good school (of which almost ALL SB and Goleta schools are), your child will succeed.

The MOST important aspect of a child's education is what you put into it as a parent.

 

 COMMENT 369554 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:50 PM

@548 just curious if you had moved near Peabody and weren't able to get in to Peabody? We moved to that area about 2 years ago by circumstance and our son is 4 - so wondering what the chances/odds are.

 

 COMMENT 369559 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:56 PM

Monte Vista is the greatest, we absolutely love it. Hope is pretty good too, I have friends who have kids at Vieja Valley and they are just so-so on it.

Land in the Hope School District and you're good. Kellogg School is also very good.

 

 ECHO agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 03:56 PM

I feel like you can't always judge a school by the test scores. Some kids don't test well. Teachers, I believe, do their best to teach our children. Some kids have a harder time with school then others, and some have no help at home. I think test scores end up being based on a childs whole education, not just what happens in the classroom. What I am concerned with, how accepting is the school? How hands on are the parents? How will the teachers and staff help my children if they need it? My daughter went to an elementary school that is considered one of the best when we moved here a couple years ago. There were only a few parents that would talk with me at school events. I joined the PTA, volunteered for events and fundraisers, and felt like an outsider the entire time. It felt extremely cliquey to me. My daughter is now in Jr. High. I have another one that will be starting kindergarten in August. We are now in a different school district. I'm looking forward to a fresh start, and hope that the school environment is a comfortable one for us all.

 

 COMMENT 369562 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:00 PM

Always check with the district as the lines for each school are not what you might think. For example one side of the street can be one school and the other side of the street another school. I know the Goleta schools well. There are a few that are "considered" not as good as others but I agree it's really the teacher, the child and the parents and how they all work together to give kids a good education.

 

 COMMENT 369564 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:08 PM

Mom & Dad are the best teachers! :O)

 

 COMMENT 369568P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:17 PM

@554: No, I don't live near Peabody or know the odds. I just have friends who live there and didn't get in.

 

 COMMENT 369570 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:22 PM

554 - Note that the Peabody Attendance Area registration for lottery ends today! See their website for details. Lottery is Feb. 6th. They have a really complicated enrollment system with all kinds of different dates and requirements. If your kid is not going until next year make sure you learn the enrollment requirements so you get your stuff in on-time. Ususally with charter schools chances are best for K-level enrollment and then you're at the mercy of other people not returning for later grades.

 

 COMMENT 369571P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:24 PM

If you do want to look at test scores, compare the scores for whatever ethnic or income group you are in. Otherwise, the scores are basically just telling you the makeup of the school population. Breaking it down by group gives you a better idea of how a school is doing at educating the kids it has. Some schools that might not look "good" by overall scores do a very good job with their advantaged kids. Isla Vista is an example of this.

 

 COMMENT 369572 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:25 PM

You don't have to move. I know of a bunch of people who bring their kids here from Ventura everyday just to get into SB school District. Just enroll them wherever you can get in.

 

 COMMENT 369573P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:26 PM

You could stop by the office of a school you are interested in, and look at the visitor log. That will give you an idea of how involved the parents are. Some schools have over 50 parent volunteers a day.

 

 COMMENT 369575 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:28 PM

We sent our 3 kids to Montessori Center School. Excellent education, involved parents and teachers, great classmates!

 

 COMMENT 369576 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:32 PM

We are a Peabody family. Enrolling siblings are given priority in kindergarten, the remaining spaces are lottery. The first lottery of the year (the one that ends today) will fill kindergarten. Very occasionally a waitlisted family will get into kindergarten at the last minute, or a few days after school starts - a friend who was #6 on the list this year made it into 1st grade and was notified the day before school started.

When we enrolled in kindergarten, there were 50 siblings and 50 available spaces. - we were #75. We had moved into the district two years ahead of time, not realizing there wasn't a guarantee.

Most schools are ending their kindergarten enrollment within the next week or so - if you haven't enrolled in your neighborhood school, you may be only able to transfer into a school that has availability.

Good luck.

 

 COMMENT 369577 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:34 PM

Hope School District !

 

 COMMENT 369578 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:37 PM

Stay far away from Cleveland.

 

 COMMENT 369580 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:44 PM

Monte Vista

 

 COMMENT 369588 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 04:54 PM

Santa Barbara Christian!! www.sbchristian.org

 

 COMMENT 369590 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:00 PM

La Patera!

 

 COMMENT 369591 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:05 PM

What do people think about Brandon and Ellwood schools?

 

 COMMENT 369592P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:05 PM

Roosevelt.

 

 COMMENT 369593P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:08 PM

I would look to the junior high or high school you want to go to. There is a big difference, and once you know that schools attendance area, check out the elementary school that feed to it. Good luck on your search, and I would definitely avoid Harding. Had a terrible personal experience (moved my daughter to oas mid K), and I know the kids "graduating" Harding are extremely ill prepared in mathematics.

 

 COMMENT 369594P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:08 PM

591 - My son is in 1st grade at Brandon and we love it! There is a good deal of parent involvement and his teachers have been amazing so far. Best of all, he loves school and really enjoys what he is learning!

 

 COMMENT 369599 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:18 PM

I think Brandon is great. Ellwood is okay but the principal is a whole different ball game. The teachers are good at both schools.

 

 COMMENT 369601P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:27 PM

My daughter started K at Brandon the year it reopened (1996) and it was terrific, as were GVJH and DPHS.

 

 COMMENT 369602P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:30 PM

Transfers to different high schools and jr. highs than your attendance area are much easier to get than elementary transfers.

 

 COMMENT 369605 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:49 PM

How about asking the question again (or adding to it here in the comments) with an explanation of what is important to YOU in a school.

Otherwise, you're gonna get a lot of subjective answers based on maybe nothing that you share an opinion about.

 

 COMMENT 369606 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:52 PM

Check out localschooldirectory(dot)com/city-schools/Santa-Barbara/CA
replace the(dot) with period.

 

 COMMENT 369608 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:53 PM

Open Alternative Shool.

 

 COMMENT 369611 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 05:58 PM

Schools with a lot of upper middle class white college educated parents will have markedly higher test scores than others. Parents in that demographic flock to certain schools. Often these schools are picky about who they let in, even if they are "public". It's a dirty little secret here in Santa Barbara. I think there is a recent lawsuit about one of the schools along these lines, so the dirty laundry may be aired out a bit.

If you judge a school by its test scores, or think that schools that teach to the test are "good", then follow the crowd. If you think otherwise, then you'll have to do a bit of legwork. Tip: look in your home district first. Visit your school and don't just take the principal's tour, talk to actual teachers!

 

 COMMENT 369613 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 06:00 PM

we absolutely LOVED Goleta Family School! it's on the foothill school campus. wonderful place for all 7 years!

 

 COMMENT 369617 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 06:15 PM

@535: Sorry, you are correct, but I'll meet the OP half way. I would recommend Open Alternative School and would choose to not say anything bad about the other schools. One great thing among many about OAS, is you can live anywhere within the SB School District boundary.

 

 COMMENT 369618 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 06:27 PM

Be very cautious about kids that transfer from one school to another. It's a huge red flag anytime you hear a parent say their child transferred to the school because "the last school wasn't a good fit". And if you don't believe this you aren't able to see the eye rolls coming from teachers, other parents, and your peers.

 

 COMMENT 369619 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 06:28 PM

611, it's a dirty little secret in pretty much every school district in the state and probably the nation.

 

 COMMENT 369622 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 06:30 PM

Another vote for La Patera ! This is my eighth year there as a parent and the staff is fantastic, they have art, music, computers, music, science, and PE in addition to the usual curriculum. The events are well put together and I feel a great sense of community there. Like others have said, take a look for yourself that the different schools in the area and choose what you feel is best for your kindergartner, but get on the ball as enrollment begins very soon.

 

 COMMENT 369623 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 06:43 PM

Mountain View in Goleta receives more funding than the other public elementary schools in Goleta, so it is probably better. Housing costs in that area are higher too though.

 

 COMMENT 369625 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 06:46 PM

Have you looked into homeschooling?

 

 COMMENT 369629P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 07:19 PM

Mountain View does not receive more funding than other Goleta schools from the district. The extra funding is from parent donations.

 

 COMMENT 369632 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 08:01 PM

Vieja Valley School, 434 Nogal Drive, Santa Barbara -- One of the best in the country!

 

 COMMENT 369633P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 08:14 PM

Of course, all the responses here probably say more about the demographics of Edhat readers than the quality of individual schools.

 

 COMMENT 369638 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 08:24 PM

Franklin is a great school and your kid could learn spanish as a first language

 

 COMMENT 369639 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 08:30 PM

Peabody, was a great school when I went there years ago and my son seems to enjoy it as well. Pretty much any school except Frankilin, try private schools as well. More White population in schools means they aren't held back by Spanish speakers and kids who hinder them from reaching their potential in my opinion. Your kids' friends and their parents are going to help shape your kid, get him into some place where they can excel in the classroom and aren't around a bad crowd of kids. Promote social bonds and sports where they make lifelong friendships.

 

 COMMENT 369641P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 08:32 PM

Roosevelt. That's what my teaching friends all say.

 

 PIXIETANGERINE agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 12:31 AM

Coastline Christian Academy 967-5834

 

 COMMENT 369710P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:01 AM

Peabody - hands down! My son went there ( he is 20) and it was great then. My neices go there now and it is still a unique school with a huge emphasis on the arts as well as on all academics and sports. It is a place full of compassion and nurturing - the kids loce their teachers. Saw their school theater company - yes, this elementary school has its own theater company! - present a version of Alice inWonderland. Simply amazing - so creative and interesting and all done by the kids. Peabody seems to build a real community and the kids flourish. No wonder there's a waiting list - plus I heard that it has the largest population of all the elementaries in the school district!

 

 COMMENT 369715 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:08 AM

We are a Roosevelt family. It has changed some, but a nice diversity and great teachers. All my children did well through college. Good study habits. Nice people. Comfortable with diversity. In Santa Barbara, that was important to me.
Good luck. If you are an involved parent, your child will do well no matter what. Trust your little one to let you know when things aren't working. If you stay involved with them, you will know.

 

 ECHO agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:35 AM

You can prepare your child with elementary school, place them in a school where you think their ideal "friends" would go to. I agree with a previous poster, Jr. High can have a changing impact. Sometimes its the type of kids you want your child to be friends with that are into the same "activities" as the ones you think they should stay away from.

 

 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:58 AM

I suspect the poster wants to live within easy walking/biking access to the school, so wants to move where that's possible. I see many parents walking their children to Foothill and picking them up after. It's a nice community feeling for them.

 

 COMMENT 369825P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:47 AM

We loved Mountain View but have friends who moved/kept their children in different schools. I also have friends who moved their kids or moved themselves to Mountain View from Montecito Union. I agree with the poster that said you should visit the schools and then decide what fits your family best. My opinion is that YOUR child will do about the same at any school unless there are circumstances that have and adverse affect.

 

 COMMENT 369846P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 10:12 AM

Regarding Peabody--and I know enrollment ended yesterday--the lottery is a recent thing, due to increased school-age population within the Peabody district. They have a enrollment max mandated by law; I don't know if it's different because they became a charter school, or if it's the same for all public schools. When I enrolled my daughter in 2007, I just walked in and signed her up. (We live in the district.) A few years later they announced that people outside the district could no longer enroll, even siblings. And then they started the lottery for people in the district. Still, every year some new kids arrive in every grade. Even if you live here and don't get in, it's still a great neighborhood and there are also Roosevelt, Adams, Monte Vista and OAS nearby. All of which are good schools in nice neighborhoods, too.

 

 COMMENT 369880 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 11:08 AM

Hollister Elementary. It might not look so "rich," but it's the beyond awesome giving and caring teachers that make up a good school. Both my sons thrived there.

 

 

 

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