Showing school attendance zone

Test Scores by grade:

About This School

Gateway School is a private middle school in Santa Cruz. The principal of Gateway School is Mr. David Peerless. 270 students go to Gateway School and are mostly White, non-Hispanic; Asian; and Hispanic. The ratio of students to teachers at Gateway School is 11:1. Mission Hill Middle School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Arts

    • Ceramics sculpture
    • Computer arts
    • Drawing painting
    • Theater drama
  • Languages Taught

    • Spanish
  • Sports

    • Basketball
    • P.E. classes
    • Volleyball

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School
White, non-Hispanic 85%
Asian 8%
Hispanic 6%
Black, non-Hispanic 1%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0%

Community Rating & Reviews

  • (5 months ago)

    My daughter is a 3rd grader at Gateway School and we could not be happier with her growth and development over the past four years. Each of her teachers have developed close and caring relationships with her understanding her learning style strengths and weaknesses resulting in a truly individualized educational approach. The school's project-based learning philosophy combined with strong academic programs including an amazing Life Lab and the new Discovery Center results in what we think is a deeper real-life understanding of concepts. Our daughter is blossoming into a happy confident and curious student who loves going to school every day. And we really enjoy being a part of this great school community.

  • (7 months ago)

    Our son is currently an eight grader at Gateway and has been with the school since Kindergarten. If you invest in a Gateway education you will not regret it. You will watch your child secure much more than an excellent academic foundation--you will see them nurtured by the staff encouraged to be curious and kind and supported in their interests. For parents looking for an alternative to the traditional 6-8 middle school we can't say enough about the quality of the middle school teachers---Small (but not too small) class sizes + amazing faculty = the best middle school program in the County!

  • (7 months ago)

    Not only is Gateway School the best deal in Santa Cruz County but the nurturing environment that allows each child to develop fully at their own pace is unparalleled. The curriculum is a challenging as your child makes it and the faculty and head of school are dedicated sincere professionals who care deeply about delivering an enriched educational experience to every child. I really appreciate the forward thinking strategy around delivering education and learning in a rapidly changing society. Incorporating learning skills such as an iPad learning tool a makers studio with infinite possibilities for exposure to problem solving techniques including 3D printing laser printing all at an age appropriate pace. What holds it all together is the world class faculty who are passionate caring supportive leaders. My son can not wait to get to school every day. In fact most days he arrives an hour early so he can engage with friends and take command of the possibilities around him. I encourage anyone remotely interested in the program to call and set up an informal visit. Check out a few classrooms listen and watch the confidence that is so present in these kids.

  • (8 months ago)

    Our now 7th grader has been at Gateway since kindergarten and with every passing year we are confident she is getting the best education in Santa Cruz. At Gateway the kids learn by doing things not by being talked at. They work with each other to solve problems. Questions lead to conversations not just quick answers. Our child has learned to advocate for herself and isn t afraid to speak up when she doesn t understand something. And the academics have been solid. Each year builds on concepts and skills from the year before. As 7th graders the kids are studying world religions ancient cultures and algebra; they are working on their science fair projects and conversing with each other in Spanish. She is totally on track for her transition to high school. And lastly as parents of a now middle schooler we have a new appreciation for the K to 8 environment. The middle schoolers get to be mentors AND they also get to still be kids in a place where it s actually ok to go and just play at recess no matter what grade you are in. If you are considering a private or independent school definitely check Gateway out.

  • (8 months ago)

    Gateway is an extraordinary school deeply focused on enhancing academic and social-emotional growth. We have three kids at the school. Teachers and administrators look broadly for ways to enhance the quality of the program. Each year Gateway brings in a prominent neuroscientist to give a daylong workshop with teachers on the latest learnings which are then translated into actionable changes in the school day. Mindfulness was introduced to help children learn to pause and make a deliberate decision about what to do with their strong emotions. The new Discovery Center is a product development and design lab that helps even young elementary kids to think about creating something of quality that people other than parents would want to buy. Gateway has a treasured set of long time deeply experienced yet flexible and active teachers. It has also brought in teachers from around the country and world and with strong credentials. So there's a brilliant music teacher who recently worked in Asia and an Arts teacher and a Design teacher from Rhode Island School of Design. Curiosity and love of learning are alive at Gateway. We couldn't be happier with our choice!

  • (8 months ago)

    I have enormous respect and love for this school! My two kids transferred from public schools at different points and both thrived from day one. The teachers and staff went out of their way to make our kids and us feel included. I didn't realize when they joined that the middle school was so strong but our children (now excelling one in high school and the other in college) were very well prepared for their next steps both in terms of academics and in terms of knowing themselves and feeling confident in their abilities and interests.

  • (8 months ago)

    I love seeing the smiles on my kids' faces when they run across the playground to greet me at the end of the day! My child now in middle school is a confident and dedicated student. He is challenged by his teachers to push himself academically and in the nurturing environment that Gateway offers he has room to have fun and still be a kid. I love that the middle school children still love to play! Thank you Gateway for your strong academics your nurturing faculty and your hands-on and rich curriculum that makes learning so much fun for our children!

  • (10 months ago)

    After 12 years of watching my children grow up in a school that has cared not only for them but for our whole family I couldn't be more thankful. The faculty and staff at Gateway School are amazing. Best K-8 education in Santa Cruz.

  • (11 months ago)

    Gateway school is blessed with an outstanding faculty. Every day my children attend school I am confident that they are receiving the best in K-8 education. Over the several years they have attended Gateway I have observed the respectful caring and committed relationships the faculty have with the students. I have also witnessed my children's growing passion with learning. Gateway's individual approach to learning supports all students and has allowed my children to explore their passionate interests in math and history at advanced levels.

  • (1 year ago)

    We want to clarify some inaccuracies in the 6/8/13 review. While it is true that our library and technology spaces will be reconfigured neither of these programs will be eliminated. The newly configured "Discovery Center" will combine our library and technology programs into an integrated learning center/ multifunctional space to facilitate students researching creating and collaborating. It will allow students to learn digital ethics and to explore subjects more deeply. Books (physical & digital) remain important means for children to discover new worlds and spark imaginations and will continue to be part of our program. This media / information/ research/ technology center will help students to be prepared to navigate the modern information age. To clarify about staff changes a couple were related to the reorganized Discovery Center while the others were driven by the normal cycles of life of our teachers - ie. retirement parenthood and relocation. We communicated these in our weekly electronic newsletter throughout the process and will continue to do so on all important news and information regarding the Gateway School community. --Gateway School Official Response

  • (1 year ago)

    WHAT IS GOING ON AT GATEWAY???????????? This past Monday my daughter came home from school and told me about the Library Club giving a tea party for Merle the librarian. She informed me that the schools great little library is closing they are getting rid of all the books and the librarian has been told she can no longer work there. My daughter loves going to the library hearing stories the library club and checking out books every week. After talking to other parents yesterday I found out that both music teachers are leaving as well as the very best kindergarten teacher and the technology teacher. This seems serious to me. Why are these great teachers leaving? Why aren t parents being told of these changes? What is wrong? All this makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and I am wondering about the future of the school.

  • (1 year ago)

    I have a Gateway graduate now in high school and two children currently enrolled at Gateway. As a former educator I know that Gateway's educational philosphy is fine tuned in accordance to how students learn best. The curriculum is taught with a student oriented and thematic approach. The students are working 'hands on' and are fully participating in their learning. Gateway is academically rigorous but not accompanied by an undo amount of stress. I marvel at Gateway's ability to maintain full-time program specialists for their life lab science program music art spanish P.E. and computer lab. As a parent I truly appreciate Gateway's 'culture of kindness ' and the caring staff and teachers. I have seen all of my children become focused confident and motivated learners as well as caring compassionate and well rounded individuals. Gateway enjoys top level leadership from it's Head of School. I have seen amazing efforts over the last five years to make both the elementary and middle schools the best schools in the Santa Cruz area.

  • (1 year ago)

    I am a 25-year K-12 educator author and school leader serving on Gateway's Board of Trustees and that's my lens for this review. Many schools aim (and claim) to teach "the whole child." Gateway's teachers actually do it thanks to their very small class sizes an intimate school community where people know and genuinely care about one another and an instructional program that enables students to be successful in a wide range of learning opportunities art Orff music their incredible Life Lab garden character education service access to the ocean a few blocks away for hands-on science and more. The instructional programs support all kinds of learning styles; Gateway's Mindfulness training provides children with the ability to focus and live in the moment -- talk about a gift considering the media saturation digital overstimulation and frantic pace of life for children today. The middle school is a hidden gem too. If you believe in deepening understanding rather than "accelerating " if you value childhood and discovery if you seek a school where everyone knows your children and takes responsibility for nurturing them then you should seriously consider Gateway.

  • (1 year ago)

    The integrated curriculum experiential learning and strong sense of community are what impress us most about Gateway. Rather than talking about life in the old days third graders get to experience it by going to Wilder Ranch dressing up in clothes of that period grinding corn into cornmeal and making cornbread and soup on a woodburning stove! Rather than simply hearing about or reading about our water source the students take a field trip to San Lorenzo River where a hydrologist teaches them onsite about the local water source. Those are just a few examples of the learning environment but equally important is a culture that nurtures partnerships between parents faculty and children of the school. The Head of School Book Club helps direct us to resources on parenting child development bullying and social media. More importantly it allows us to come together as a community to discuss these topics. The opportunity to dialogue contributes to a stronger sense of community and collaboration which in turn helps us to address issues on the playground in the classroom and at home.

  • (1 year ago)

    We came to Gateway initially for all the reasons the school is promoted small classes (usually 14-17 kids per class) challenging academics specialty classes such as art music and the amazing Life Lab program. We have stayed at Gateway for 5 years for the above reasons and also because of the supportive community for children and parents that is created by the Head of School and staff. Their goal of providing a top notch and nurturing education in a kind environment has been met every day my children have attended Gateway. Another bonus is the Mindfulness curriculum that Gateway has embraced. My children have developed a greater understanding of their emotions giving them more control of reactions and ultimately better ability to concentrate and learn. Gateway also demonstrated tremendous leadership by bringing Mindfulness and advanced neurological-based educators to Santa Cruz and made the workshops available at no cost to all educators in the area. After an exhaustive review of over a dozen schools we couldn't be happier with our decision.

  • (1 year ago)

    We just attended Gateway School s Middle School Information night. We ve been a Gateway Family since kindergarten and are now looking toward the new adventure of Middle School. I didn t think we could be any more impressed with the school than we already were but must say the Middle School night just raised the bar again. The quality of Middle School teaching depth of academics and commitment to seeing these kids through what is undeniably one of the most difficult and awkward times of life was really impressive. This school is such a gem in our community.

  • (1 year ago)

    We could not be happier with Gateway School. Several years before our son was to enter kindergarten we considered schools all over California and finding Gateway anchored our decision to move to Santa Cruz. My priorities were to find a school that would challenge our son so that he would never become bored or disengaged and to find a close-knit community to be a second home for him and our whole family. Gateway knocks those criteria out of the park and provides so much more--a responsive administration and motivated faculty eager to learn from leading scientists about how our children learn best. A focus on character development from K-8 in a nonreligious context that kids can relate to. A love of nature and the knowledge of how to grow and harvest food from the Life Lab garden. Gateway strikes the perfect tone providing all the advantages of a private school without the snootiness and inertia than can afflict many private schools.

  • (1 year ago)

    The most helpful thing I can suggest to parents undertaking the search for an elementary school is to first educate yourself about education. The more you know about learning & the developing brain the easier your decision will be. We were very happy with Gateway but didn't fully appreciate how amazing it was until we heard Deborah Stipek (Dean of Stanford's School of Education) give a presentation. She emphasized the importance of a strong foundation for life long learning & success. When she discussed the key elements of a truly effective education (competency autonomy curiosity & critical relationships) a light bulb went off! We realized that our child who was so happy at Gateway was getting a phenomenal education! Compare this level of education to comparable accredited schools in the Bay Area & you'll quickly realize that Gateway is an incredible value. We made compromises in order to send our child to Gateway. We consider the investment we made in her educational foundation to be THE BEST decision we could have made. She not only learned she learned how to learn. She is now excelling at a public high school & uses skills acquired at Gateway every single day.

  • (2 years ago)

    Our child attended Gateway from K through 5th. We had two teachers that were unable to manage the class (with only 13 kids). Worse there was constant teasing and bullying. The administration was unable to correct the situation. The administration talks about providing a supportive nurturing environment but fails to deliver in my experience. We had several teachers that were very good academically but were unable to provide any social structure or guidance to the kids. We had high hopes for the school but were constantly disappointed.

  • (2 years ago)

    My children are happy and absolutely thriving at Gateway School. I have been so impressed with my children's teachers each year. I love that Gateway has dedicated specialists for art music life lab Spanish - so that over the years my children have been able to build relationships with those specialists in addition to their teachers. I love that Gateway has an engaging curriculum where history language arts math art music are integrated across themes making the learning that much more rich and a social emotional learning curriculum that incorporates mindfulness practice. The students at Gateway are kind to each other and they demonstrate an amazing level of self-confidence. I remember meeting a fourth grader at an Open House tour when I was shopping for schools and I was so impressed by his poise. He showed maturity beyond his years and I could tell that he was having fun in his classroom. Whatever my children choose to do or become later in their lives I want them to love learning - and I feel that at Gateway they love to learn!

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Nearby