School Details

Ocean Alternative Education Center

984 Bostwick Lane Suite 6, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
(831) 475-0767

(out of 10)

Public Grades K-8 93 students 20 students/teacher (CA avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade


California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Live Oak Elementary School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Ocean Alternative Education Center is a public middle school in Santa Cruz. The principal of Ocean Alternative Education Center is Mary Sauter and can be contacted at 93 students go to Ocean Alternative Education Center and identify primarily as Multiracial; White, non-Hispanic; and Hispanic. 13% of the 93 students here have subsidized lunches. The student to teacher ratio at Ocean Alternative Education Center is 20:1. Tierra Pacifica Charter School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Multiracial 9% %
White, non-Hispanic 60% 40%
Hispanic 5% 49%
Unspecified 23% 3%
Black, non-Hispanic 1% 3%
Native American or Native Alaskan 1% 0.9%
Asian 1% 2%
Filipino 0% 2%
Pacific Islander 0% 0.4%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 13% 45%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (3 years ago)

    Pros - Many field trips for students/parents. - One-day-a-week class-like experience. Activities can be educational; however they're not meant to be in place of homeschooling. - Support system is there. You must invest time being an active participant at Ocean to get it. Also if you make friends w/ other parents your child will have built-in friends w/ the other parents' children. - Offers a slight stipend at Kaleidoscope for consumables. - The proof required is extremely easy to get and they support any kind of homeschooling. Cons - Chaotic and disorganized. Teacher advisor forgot 3 appts in the past 4 years. Classes chaotic. - Most field trips not infant/toddler appropriate. With an active infant/toddler you won't be able to partake in the different trips unless one of the teachers or parents agree to look after your older child. - My child was receiving mean-girl treatment and staff did nothing. Was told they don't choose sides and did not keep the girl doing it all away from my child (which was the only thing I requested the staff to do). 5 stars for the activities 1 star for the staff not keeping my child safe. Averages out to 3 stars.

  • (4 years ago)

    If you want to homeschool but are looking for a lot of support and community check out Ocean Alternative! They offer field trips school plays Spectra Art and non-academic classes. This is our fifth year homeschooling and we can't imagine doing it without Ocean Alternative!

  • (4 years ago)

    I've taught in many schools over 30+ years and Ocean Alternative is by far the best experience I've had with students families and staff. Focus is not only on learning but also on student uniqueness talents and being active in a multi-age community. As a teacher/consultant I love being a part of our Ocean home school community!

  • (4 years ago)

    Ocean Alternative Education Center is a great mix of classroom time and homeschooling time. There is a wide variety of families that participate in this program- everything from families who travel year round to families that have their kids at school every week. We love the multi- age classrooms and having so many teachers in the classrooms afford a rich and varied experience for the kids. The art programs are wonderful and the field trips are always a treat. This program is a great mix of school time and homeschooling and the resource center is pretty incredible! I ve always appreciated the support understanding and encouragement from the teachers. There is an understanding that every family knows what is best for their kid and when the parents need support the teachers are right there offering whatever help is needed. Highly recommended!

  • (9 years ago)

    Ocean Alternative has been great! Caring teachers respectful teachers and a positive warm enviornment. Can't say enough good things.

  • (10 years ago)

    Ocean Alternative is a great program. The woman in charge is very knowlegable and is dedicated to students and families. Whe was an advocate for my son who wanted to play middle school soccer while homeschooling a right that he had living in the school district. While the middle school principal said 'absolutely not' the OAEC administrator was very professional in handling the situation. My son was able to play and made the middle school team as a 6th grader and was able to continue his social contact with neighborhood friends. I had three children that participated in the OAEC. I found the staff very professional qualified dedicated and helpful. We are no participating in the program but overall it was an outstanding experience that I would highly recommend to any parent who is thinking of homeschooling. The guidance from the staff as well as the programs were excellent.

  • (11 years ago)

    The director Priscilla Smart provides enthusiastic inciteful intelligent caring highly skilled creative and always-fair leadership to the teachers parents and children. This school is tightly run -- read that to mean perfectly planned and coordinated but not at all stuffy -- offering a full range of complementary courses and activities to students who learn their core subjects at home. Students benefit from well planned and expertly taught math science writing art movement P.E. foreign language cultural studies field studies newspaper production and many other workshops family nights and field trips. If you want your child to relax and be accepted and if you want expert support in home schooling give Ocean Alternative a try. If you have said to yourself time and again -- 'there's no perfect answer for my child's educational issues ' give this school a try. Its hard to be dissatisfied regardless of where in the full spectrum of learning capability and interest your child falls.

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Overall score

(based on 9 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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