Manzanita School & Institute

Situated in Topanga`s Santa Monica Mountains, Manzanita is an independent, college-preparatory, WASC-accredited school serving children in grades Forest Kindergarten through 12th.
More than a school, Manzanita was founded in 2013 as a community of educators, students and parents dedicated to bringing positive change to the world through teaching the wisdom from the beginning of human history through to the innovations of our modern times.
Manzanita is a school for today inspired by timless ideas.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • School Type: Alternative School
  • Grades: Kindergarten-12
  • Enrollment: 144 students
  • Average class size: 14 students
  • Application Deadline: Dec. 15 / Jan. 15
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

Manzanita School & Institute ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

Sports offered

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Kindergarten-12
Year Founded

Student Body

Total Students
144 students
Student Body Type
Students by Grade
Manzanita School & Institute Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
22 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
14 students
Number of AP Courses
1 course
Average SAT score
(Out of 1600)
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
Dec. 15 / Jan. 15
Tuition Notes
Tuition rates start at $28,493 for Kindergarten. $30,867 1-2nd grade. $37,990 3-8th grade. $39,100 9-12th grade. Tuition includes the meal program and the cost of the annual all-school camping trip.
% on Financial Aid
Admissions Director
Eva Sanchez-Calixtro



Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
4 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
After School Program: Oak Tree Club (Aerial Arts, KinFlow, Basketball & Swimming Classes, Supervised Child Care)

Arts and Music Programs:
Ceramics & Aerial Arts, Music Classes (i.e. Instruments & Choir), Performing & Visual Arts

School Notes

  • Manzanita's model is guided by mentorship and grounded by deep connection with nature to unlock the intrinsic gifts within our adolescents. At Manzanita, the symbiotic approach to learning is practiced. By offering a cross-disciplinary curriculum and blending academic subjects with spending considerable time in our "outdoor classroom" and the arts, our students gain lasting and resonant knowledge and capacities to become empowered, free-thinking adults.
  • Every young person has something unique to offer the world that must be awakened in their adolescence; Manzanita is committed to guide each child meaningfully to discover and develop their personal gift.
  • Manzanita's program is informed by the following SIX GUIDING PRINCIPLES:
    • INTRINSIC GIFT: In a true mentoring relationship, based on connection and questioning, the unique genius within a young person is consistently awakiening and growing.
    • MENTORING RELATIONSIHPS: Each connective moment between a mentor and a young person represenets a vital link between ancestors and future generations.
    • SYMBIOTIC EDUCATION: Symbiotic Learning is a dynamic, instructional model that interweaves the connections of our science and humanities curriculum.
    • COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY: When the gift in a young person awakens, she considers the whole and applies herself passionately in service to other and the world.
    • INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCE: The full expression of one's gift requiqres interpersonal competence in interacting with others.
    • RIGOROUS EFFORT: When one's gift is leveraged with regor, it will grow in purpose and capacity to effect positive growth.
  • The Guiding Principles are actively supported by our commitment to engage students to purposefully connect with Nature as well as to emphasize the importance of teaching Social Emotional Learning. Both are vital to creating a healthy and safe learning environment.
  • Healthy farm-to-table and locally-sourced snack and lunch program.
  • EXPEDITIONARY PROGRAM- Multi-day camping and back-packing trips to locations of natural and cultural interest relevant to classroom curriculum
  • Our graduates have a 100% college aceeptance rate, most receiving robust scholarships.
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

What sports does Manzanita School & Institute offer?
Manzanita School & Institute offers 11 interscholastic sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Dance, Flag Football, Gymnastics, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Ultimate Frisbee and Volleyball. Manzanita School & Institute is ranked as one of the top 20% of private schools in California for most sports offered.
When is the application deadline for Manzanita School & Institute?
The application deadline for Manzanita School & Institute is Dec. 15 / Jan. 15.
In what neighborhood is Manzanita School & Institute located?
Manzanita School & Institute is located in the Old Topanga neighborhood of Topanga, CA.

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • School Type: Alternative School
  • Grades: Kindergarten-12
  • Enrollment: 144 students
  • Average class size: 14 students
  • Application Deadline: Dec. 15 / Jan. 15
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Los Angeles County, CA is $16,607 for elementary schools and $21,500 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Los Angeles County, CA is 83% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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