School Details

Santa Cruz Montessori School

6230 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 476-1646

(out of 10)

Private Grades K-8 199 students 12 students/teacher (CA avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade

About this school

Santa Cruz Montessori School is a private middle school in Aptos. The principal of Santa Cruz Montessori School is Ms. Kathleen Rideout, who can be contacted at 199 students go to Santa Cruz Montessori School and identify primarily as Asian; White, non-Hispanic; and Hispanic. The student to teacher ratio at Santa Cruz Montessori School is 12:1. New Brighton Middle School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Photography
  • Theater drama

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Spanish


  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Asian 9% %
White, non-Hispanic 75% %
Hispanic 6% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 2% %
Multiracial 16% %
Black, non-Hispanic 0.5% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 0% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Community ratings & reviews

  • (10 months ago)

    We experienced a lack of engagement on the part of the teachers at the elementary level to the point one of them disappeared for 8 weeks on some sort of mental/medical leave (which the school informed no one about until the whisperings grew too loud to ignore) and was replaced by non Montessori trained PE teachers. The other teacher spent most of her time at her desk on her computer. I began to learn that this class for years has struggled with stability. The head of school protected these teachers by pretending nothing was happening and asking families to leave if they asked questions or made a fuss. They threatened one single mother to take her six year old out mid year and if she didn't they would make her pay full tuition retroactively. Bottom line kids and families need stability and positivity. These teachers seemed angry unhappy depressed and were often gone because of it. It's a pretty campus a small campus and tons of freedom in the classroom (see above). I am sure there are good classes and good teachers. We really enjoyed the younger preschool classes they had strong leadership and positive teachers and we loved that period of time there.

  • (1 year ago)

    I went there as a child and there is no where else I would rather my kids to be. A true Montessori in everything they do.

  • (2 years ago)

    Outstanding in some respects not in others. Our first grader here is doing multiplication and division and loves math. She loves learning and really understands what she learns. The curriculum and classroom resources are so exceptional. The teachers she has had are fantastic but overworked. However it has taken a lot of augmentation to get her reading up to grade level every year. The class sizes have increased a lot and the tuition has increased as well. This is especially a problem because so much of the work the kids do is done independently so the teachers have a lot to supervise. We just had a bullying problem that was not handled well at all. Also we had a control freak teacher's aid from a previous class who kept losing our kid's stuff and blaming us and who was generally a pain to deal with. There is a lot of "educating" parents which I found condescending. But overall our kid had a great 3 years in the school and it is outstanding in many ways. Our experience was very wonderful and also had a lot of room for improvement. We are going to try a different private school next year that does not have the problem of too many students for the teachers.

  • (3 years ago)

    We started our son in the YCC(18m-3yr) January of 2011 and transitioned him this past January to the 3y-6y class and I couldn't be happier. The teachers are excellent the school is beautiful and most importantly my son is thriving both academically and in his personal growth. I plan to start my youngest this January and have only the most positive things to say about the school. Parent involvement is high children are kind to one another and are allowed to learn in a supportive and non-threatening enviornment. The only downside is the $$ but you get what you pay for.

  • (3 years ago)

    I was at SCMS from 2nd to 8th grade. In my six years there I learned more than I could ever wished for. The teachers were stunning they were both compassionate and fun yet knew how to maintain a perfect equilibrium of play time and work time. As I moved into the public school system in 9th grade I found myself a step ahead of the vast majority of my class taking the more advanced classes understanding the material and getting better grades. Overall SCMS gave me the skills and knowledge I need to be successful not only in school but in life.

  • (3 years ago)

    All three daughters went through this school through junior high. They are grown now and all have their BA's and are working on their Master's degrees. They loved their time at the school. Later I became a teacher.

  • (4 years ago)

    This school has gone down hill in our opinion. The pros are it is a beautiful campus aesthetically speaking. Cons are many. In response to one of the other reviews Should kindergartners be writing in cursive and doing "advanced math" when the fundamentals are not taught? Many kids will imitate their peers without comprehension of what they are doing or why. Montessori philosophy needs educated guides. Gaps of learning can come from working outside an individual's zone of development and/or without proper guidance. Unfortunately in my experience there are lots of gaps going on here. Also if it is important that your child's teacher is well rounded and well educated ask whether or not teachers here have four-year college degrees and if they are required to stay up-to-date with educational and psychological research from the last 30 years. Do your own research and ask lots of questions.

  • (4 years ago)

    I am an alumni of Montessori. I went from the age of 5 till 11 years old. My wife and I preview the school 2 years ago for our son Mason who is now 3.5 years. We were blown away at all the school had to offer. Mason has been going since Sept 2010. He is learning so much even at this young age. The complement we get the most is people saying your son is so bright and very polite. I would recommend this school.

  • (4 years ago)

    SC Montessori is an amazing school. Our son eagerly runs into his kindergarten every day. In class he is challenged to do things that are hard for him in such a fun way that he believes all of it was his idea. He is doing advanced math writing in cursive doing beautiful art projects and playing actively to name a few. The teachers are so skilled and the environment is calm. Students are really engaged! It's a joy.

  • (4 years ago)

    We love SCM. Our daughter transitioned into the Montessori environment when she was in 5th grade. It is a unique environment where the students are nurtured and challenged. Teachers work as guides in helping them discover the joys of learning about the world. They also facilitate their discovery about themselves and how they learn best all while encouraging them to be independent creative and self-disciplined. I encourage parents to see it in action to better understand the quality of education the children receive at SCM.

  • (4 years ago)

    We spent many hours and visits seeking a kindergarten that would nurture our son's natural love of learning and gravitation toward certain interests while maintaining high academic standards and pushing him in areas where he is reluctant. SCMS does an extraordinary job on both fronts. Within two days the teacher "got" our child--she appreciated his intellectual and personality strengths and had found ways to engage him in the few things--like writing--that he had previously tried to avoid. He now writes every day--and thinks it's his idea! The approach to math is tremendously powerful as well; kids are working at an academic level beyond what I associate with kindergarten (four-digit addition and subtraction) and they are loving it. The teachers pay attention not only to the three Rs but other aspects of the children--and are adept at supporting all kinds of development (for example being a friend and the notion that persistence on a difficult task is worthwhile) Most importantly our son is eager to go to school every day. For our family SCMS hits the perfect combination of child-directed learning and high academic expectations; I am thrilled that we made this choice.

  • (5 years ago)

    Mu son attnded Santa Cruz Montessori School from 2/1/2 thrugh 8th grade. He is a sophmore in college and more impotantly he is a kind and socially aware young man. My son has made life long friends with not only other Montessori kids but teachers and parents alike.

  • (5 years ago)

    Both my children attended Santa Cruz Montessori. They are now in High school and are ahead of their school mates. The education they receives at Montessori not only prepared them well it nurtured the humanity and compassion in us all. My children are involved in their community and have developed a keen social conscience. For that I thank Santa Cruz Montessori and its dedicated staff.

  • (5 years ago)

    The concept of Montessori is great in theory but the practical application in the classroom did not positively translate for our child. Our child is eager to learn and did not feel challenged. We found a more academic school with a fun and challenging environment.

  • (5 years ago)

    My three children all attended Santa Cruz Montessori and received a wonderful education. The academic arts and social education they received is all I could ask for in a parent. My children were able to learn at their own pace form lasting friendships and have a great range of experiences both inside the classroom and out. It's a warm loving community with excellent teachers beautiful facilities and a strong and connected community of families.

  • (6 years ago)

    We specifically moved to the Santa Cruz area to put our kids in Santa Cruz Montessori and we are very happy with our decision. The school is a beautiful safe place with teachers that are not only experienced and engaged but also patient and kind. Our kids just love going to school and they're turning into amazing critical thinkers. They've become very self-motivated and learn so much every day. Note that our children are two very different kinds of learners (one very structured and focused and steady and the other more of a free thinker) and both of them are doing great. The community of parents and staff is also great - everyone is very welcoming and truly have all the kids' best interests at heart. We plan to stay all the way through junior high.

  • (6 years ago)

    A wonderful school and a supportive enriching environment for our children. This is our 4th year year at the school and while it isn't cheap we're going to do everything we can to stay through junior high. The teachers are encouraging knowledgeable and enthusiastic. My daughter loves going to school and can't wait to research her next 'report'. Great drama program. Curriculum is well-rounded and the children actually understand what they are learning. Great sense of community.

  • (7 years ago)

    Love tis school. Came here after being at another private school in Santa Cruz. This school is a pleasure and such a contrast to our other school. The curriculum is wonderful and the teachers are experienced and warm. The leaders of the school are smart and they understand how to support the teachers and plan for the future. Our last school was always struggling with financial problems and falling down buildings. At Montessori the facilities are good and the school is always building and expanding them. The result is a motivated set of teachers who love what they do and feel respected. this is a great place for my children.

  • (7 years ago)

    We have been part of the Santa Cruz Montessori community for 10 wonderful years. The school has nurtured all of us parents included. Our daughter is now excelling in high school. She was so well prepared. Her teachers now tell us that she not only has the academic grounding she needs but she has self discipline and is very adept at working with others. This is no surprise as SCM fosters cooperation and courtesy among its students. The learning environments are respectful of everyone and the students learn the value of being part of working whole. Of course these are the very skills our world needs right now and SCM is nurturing our future leaders and peacemakers. Our son is in the SCM Jr. High and is doing really well. This mature school has seasoned talented teachers and a school Director who thinks always about what is best for the children.

  • (7 years ago)

    SCMS is a great school. When we transitioned to public my children were advanced in all academic subjects. Even more importantly they were compassionate to their peers especially younger ones. Montessori allowed them to develop into 'themselves'.

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Overall score

(based on 28 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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