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Welcome to your high school.


Costanoa students benefit from small class sizes and strong relationships with staff members. We focus on developing the following habits: "Use your mind well. Do the right thing. Work hard." Costanoa has a diverse student population that includes about 100 students in grades 10–12. Curricular offerings include English Language Development and special interest courses like garden science, careers, ceramics, and weight training. Costanoa is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and is a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools.

Costanoa is part of the Branciforte Small Schools and resides on the historic Branciforte Small Schools Campus at 840 North Branciforte Avenue, Santa Cruz, California.

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Our Vision

All students have the confidence and skills to pursue their post-high school goals.

Our Mission

We cultivate a community where we are safe, valued and accountable to each other.  Together we engage, educate and empower students to be their full selves - academically, socially and emotionally.

We personalize education for every student. Four schoolwide learner outcomes (SLOs) guide our work at CHS. These four SLOs serve as the foundation of our schoolwide action plan, the key component of our 2015-16 Single Plan for Student Achievement. Single Plan for Student Achievement 2021-22

Our Curriculum

General Knowledge Achievement and Critical Thinking

Students will develop background knowledge and critical thinking skills to make cross cultural, historical, and human connections that can be applied to real-life experiences.


Reading Achievement

Students will be academically competent individuals by demonstrating reading comprehension growth during their enrollment at CHS.

Writing Achievement

Students will be academically competent individuals by demonstrating growth in their individual writing skills while enrolled at CHS.

Math Achievement

Students will be academically competent individuals by demonstrating advancement of their math and algebra skills while enrolled in CHS. 

Core Values

Success • Learning • Safety • Healthy Relationships • Respect for Self and Others • Diversity • Biliteracy • Equity • Happiness • Aesthetically Pleasing Environment

During the senior year students are required to do an extensive and in-depth senior project.


Costanoa is affiliated with the Coalition of Essential Schools. The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) is at the forefront of creating and sustaining personalized, equitable, and intellectually challenging schools. Essential schools are places of powerful learning where all students have the chance to reach their fullest potential.

The CES Common Principles, based on decades of research and practice, are a guiding philosophy rather than a replicable model for schools. This research and practice reflects the wisdom of thousands of educators who are successfully engaged in creating personalized, equitable, and academically challenging schools for all young people. The CES Common Principles describe the core beliefs and characteristics of Essential Schools and work in tandem with the CES Benchmarks, which describe resulting practices that successfully bolster student achievement.


School Accountability Report Card (SARC)

Every school in California is required by state law to publish a School Accountability Report Card (SARC), by February 1 of each year. The SARC contains information about the condition and performance of each California public school.

Costanoa High provides an alternative academic pathway, where students from 10th-12th Grade can set their own pace while making time for life or work. Our alternative high school provides smaller classes, more direct time with staff and a shorter day to give students more agency over thier time.

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