Spanish is taught Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. Students develop their ear and accent through conversation, singing, and consistent practice. The small class size ensures individual attention and practice.
Lars Johanesson and Adriana Villalon
Students start with weekly lessons in the recorder in 1st and 2nd grade and move on to instruments like the clarinet, flute, saxophone, violin, cello, piano, drums, and even the ukelele and show off their skills in our annual spring concert.
Lars has had 15 years teaching experience and specializes in silver flute, Irish flute and baroque flute. Lars has studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Royal Conservatory of Hague in Holland.
Adriana has over 20 years experience as an instrumental music instructor. As a violinist, she has always tried to incorporate music into her teaching when possible and specializes in music therapy.
Lena Pine-Campbell and Julia Blymen
In their weekly art class with Lena, students will work with a variety of media over the school year exploring their creativity and imagination creating original works including masks, pottery, arts & crafts, and painting and drawing.
In painting with Julia, students learn the elements of visual arts and principles of design such as color, space, composition, and movement studying original works of fine art and then exploring those elements further at their own easel.
Julia Blyumen studied art and design at Moscow State University of Printing Arts (formerly Vkhutemas, the Bauhaus parallel) and in private studios. Julia is a designer and a researcher of emerging technologies and interactions, with the current focus on visualization of quantitative information and context.
Anne teaches songs, dance songs, and games from around the world. Through a lively program that integrates movement, singing and musicianship skills, she helps the children to develop their innate sense of melody and rhythm with joy, instilling in them the confidence in their ability to create beauty in the world through music. Children showcase their vocal skills at our annual spring concert.
Anne graduated from UCSC with a BA in Music, and has devoted her life to the arts. For the past 20 years she has been involved in Waldorf education and most recently received her MA in Waldorf Education. She has been teaching and performing music and dance in the Bay Area for the past 30 years and enjoys working with all ages.
Dance and Theater Arts
Dance and Theater Arts allow students to explore all areas of the theater: acting, dance, movement, and creation, with the goal of building confidence, body awareness and coordination, self expression, and arts appreciation. This year dance and movement will be broken down into sections:
- Dance as fitness
- Dance as art
- Dance for self
- Dance for others
- Dance as a social activity
In addition, the Santa Cruz Children’s School community puts on an original musical theater production every other school year.
History of Leadership
The K-6 history curriculum at Children’s School builds community by engaging all the school’s students with the same area of inquiry at the same time. While the level of instruction changes from group to group, all grades study the same subjects and themes, which creates a shared experience and allows students of all ages to discuss what they’re learning. The focus, while meeting CA state standards, will expand from local governments, state, national, and final global government models.
Tara Firenzi has been teaching history since 2003. Her experience includes ten years teaching AP World History at Pacific Collegiate School, where she also served as Chair of the History Department, and Dean of Faculty. She majored in history at UCLA, and earned a masters degree in History from Stanford. She is credentialed by the state of California to teach both history and physical education, as well as holding an administrative credential. Tara is also a tap dancer, and dance instructor, who teaches at several different studios in Santa Cruz County.
This year students are focusing on sustainable, edible gardening. They are not only learning how to care for a garden and the joys of growing their own healthy food but they also raised the money, solicited donations, and put in the labor to double and beautify our garden space.
Kate Jaffe is a Lead Mentor and the Founding Director of Santa Cruz Kids In Nature. She has a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Natural History and Environmental Education and is a certified California Naturalist through the CNP and UCSC Arboretum.
Physiology and Nutrition
Students will learn how different organs and body systems work as well as how to respect and care for the biological processes of their body in physiology. Students will also focus on nutrition and how to nourish their body through healthy, balanced meals including preparing their own healthy snacks.
Dr. Meghan Dowling graduated as valedictorian with Summa Cum Laude honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in 2011 and practices at Austin Family Chiropractic.
As a supplement to the creative writing skills program, the SCCS Cruz Kids Chronicle is designed to give the children greater understanding of how to communicate their stories in a succinct and ordered way. 5th and 6th grade students learn to research, write, edit and lay out their article, taking great pride in the final publication. They are encouraged to pitch feature ideas and to research their stories using the library and internet.
Starting in 2015-16, younger groups will each take turns creating a themed insert for one of the editions. This opportunity will introduce younger students to journalism and give them a taste of the opportunity they’ll have as they move to the oldest group.
Mariah Roberts is responsible for production and design of the School Newspaper and Story Anthology compilations. She has a Masters in Education, is certified as an Education Specialist and also works as a designer who specializes in public art installations.
P.E. and Teambuilding
Deric McLean, Eisha Carroll, and Aaron Drake
Physical education is an important part of the student’s weekly education. Exercise, sports, and active games play an important role in maintaining physical health as well as supporting the students’ social and emotional development.
Starting in Kindergarten students start with simple games that progress in complexity over time to develop skills like turn taking, sportsmanship, and following directions. These skills are incorporated into age-appropriate team building games that support all aspects of their education, both on the field and in the classroom. With an emphasis on cooperation, kindness, and sportsmanship students are also introduced to the rules and proper techniques of sports and activities like soccer, volleyball, disc golf, and more.
Literacy and Math Coach
Rachel Surkis Annon
Rachel Surkis Annon has been teaching in Santa Cruz County for nearly twenty years. With an M.A. in Education from UC Santa Cruz, and credentials as a multiple subject classroom teacher and an early childhood educator, she has taught toddlers to teens. Currently, she works as a Certified Educational Therapist. In 2009 Rachel joined the staff at Developmental Learning Solutions. Since then, she has provided individualized support, utilizing methods and materials specific to the goals and style of each learner. She works closely with students, families and schools to create sustainable success, as well as foster confidence and a love of learning.
After school workshops and short term classes
In addition to our year-long enrichment classes we offer a variety of workshops both during school hours and as part of our after school program. This year we have offered Chess, Art History, Capoeira, and a Makers’ Workshop, and look forward to more.