Our Program

Santa Lucia School draws philosophically from Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools and from holistic, nature-based, and peace education curriculum.

Like Montessori schools, we have multi-age classes: primary, grades 1-3; intermediate, grades 4-6; middle school, grades 7-8. This helps us accommodate different rates of development and have children of different ages learn from, and mentor, one another.

Students are placed in small classrooms (16 students per classroom) with two teachers. Students attend school Monday through Thursday, and have a take-home Independent Study packet for Friday home study. Field trips are scheduled monthly as are special interest classes and nature studies.

Since its humble beginnings in a converted garage 30 years ago, Santa Lucia School has been providing a holistic,  educational alternative for families in San Luis Obispo County, California.  Our school, which now sits on 5 pastoral acres in rural Templeton, CA, embodies the principles of our natural surroundings. Download our information packet here to learn more!

Celebrating life through constant contact with the natural world allows a deep love and respect for nature to develop. Our classrooms, outdoor spaces and frequent field trips illuminate the wonder of the world outside. Providing experiences in nature forms a sound physiological foundation, within and without. Here on our beautiful campus students are encouraged to both explore and reflect. Learning is a way of living.  All children start life intrinsically motivated to explore the world around them. They have a healthy appetite for challenge. They are born with fullness of spirit and talent that will develop and unfold over the course of a lifetime.

Since 1985 the goal of Santa Lucia School has been to instill a love of learning in an atmosphere offering supportive guidance, a connection to the natural world and our greater community, and peaceful conflict resolution. It is a cooperative environment where parents, teachers and peers work together to bring forth and appreciate the very best in each child.

Santa Lucia School blends the best of many educational models to foster a child’s innate gifts and love of learning. In addition to lessons in traditional academic core studies, Santa Lucia prides itself on establishing a strong foundation built on the following:

 Small Class Size Peace Cranes3

A low student/teacher ratio ensures individualized attention. The student body consists of family groupings of Primary, Elementary and Middle School classes.  There are two teachers for approximately 15 students in a mixed-age class environment for each classroom.

For the Primary classroom you’ll find 16 students in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade.  In the Elementary classroom, you’ll find 15 students in 4-6th grades. In the Middle School, you’ll find 15 students in 7-8th grades.

Balanced Academics

Academic skills go hand in hand with the realms of fine art, music, drama and Spanish. Subjects are taught imaginatively and artistically through multi-sensory experiences.

Our thematic approach allows basic skills of numeracy and literacy to be continually practiced while students study Monthly themes and curricula in-depth.

For example, during the Renaissance Study in the Elementary classroom, teachers and students dressed in period costumes, took part in Shakespeare readings, performed biographical sketches for the class, created beautiful poetry, dined on an authentic feast they learned how to cook themselves, recreated Da Vinci’s inventive machines to solve typical problems during that time period, studied the stars in the same style as Galileo, and enjoyed a Michelangelo painting lesson.

Real Life Experiences   DSC_0039

The community is used as a valuable resource. Experts in various fields are frequently invited to share their knowledge with the students. In addition, the school weaves traveling education and local field trips into the core curriculum.

Students have enjoyed learning about rare and unusual animals and plants, taking part in watching theater performances at local venues, doing hands-on chemistry and physics lessons, and so much more.

Independent Study

Students are in school Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, the school creates a take-home study packet called Independent Study.

Quality family involvement is a value we support.We encourage active parent participation in the children’s education, both in the classroom as volunteers, as well as through the Independent Study assignments completed at home on Fridays. All students are expected to take home what they’ve learned during the week and share it with their families to further their growth and education.

Education of the Heart538

The school experience becomes supportive of the full embodiment of a child’s life when the educational environment recognizes the importance of their spiritual and emotional development alongside their intellectual development.

Students enjoy learning about cultures around the world through rich learning environments that include monks from Tibet, rangers from national forests, and so much more.

Integrated Curriculum

Integrating social studies with language arts, science and mathematics helps bring academic skills to life so students may immediately apply what they are learning.

These elements and subjects are often taught together so students gain a firm understanding of the skills they are developing while maintaining their love of learning that will last their entire lifetime.

Be sure to download our information packet
for more details about the school and enrollment information.