Mount Madonna School

  • Mount Madonna School is committed to providing a unique and meaningful educational opportunity for each child.
  • Our primary mission is to integrate intellectual, social and creative learning within the context of supportive human relationships.
  • We are dedicated to helping our students become aware of the range of their creative talents and how those talents can be applied in developing a life of positive meaning and purpose.
  • To fulfill this mission, our school is committed to giving individual attention to each student as we pursue our program of Academic Excellence, Creative Self-Expression, and Positive Character Development.

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School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Prekindergarten-12
Year Founded1979

Student Body

Total Students185 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 43%
Students by GradeMount Madonna School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers37 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio5:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size15 students
Number of AP Courses8 courses
Advanced CoursesAP US History, AP US Government and Politics, AP Comparative Politics, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Physics: Mechanics, AP English Literature and Composition,
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineDec. 17 / Feb. 24 / rolling
Tuition NotesTuition varies by grade.
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorBenna Dimig


Total Sports Offered3 sports
SportsCross Country, Track and Field, VolleyballCross CountryTrack and Field,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.1 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Model United Nations Model United Nations,

School Notes

  • We are a community of learners. We support our students to become caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity.
  • We believe that a meaningful life is characterized by personal achievement and the ability to work effectively with others in service to society.
  • We Value:
    • Academic achievement made visible by a personal commitment to learning that balances both comprehensive understanding and in-depth inquiry in multiple disciplines.
    • The integration of intellectual, emotional, social and creative learning.
    • A learning environment that encourages meaningful relationships based on self-acceptance, empathy, respectful and honest communication.
    • The transformative power of immersion in the creative process that includes cognitive learning, teamwork, direct experience, reflection and mutual appreciation.
    • A close relationship with nature that inspires experiential learning, a commitment to environmental stewardship and a sense of well-being.
Our Philosophy: We pursue our mission and values through the integration of Academic Excellence, Creative Self-Expression and Positive Character Development. This integration brings depth, meaning and enthusiasm to learning. Academic Excellence We offer a well-rounded academic program that meets the highest standards of college preparedness.

Our multi-faceted curriculum is based on the development of:
  • Cognitive learning including critical reading, writing and speaking skills, scientific and mathematical investigation, research and problem solving.
  • Experiential learning including outdoor education, performances, life labs, service learning, interviews, domestic and international travel.
  • Reflective learning including self-inquiry, journaling, dialogue, presentations, collective problem solving and creative projects.
These learning processes engage students, encouraging curiosity, building self-confidence and supporting the discovery of their gifts and talents.

Creative Self-Expression: We integrate creative arts and academic pursuits with the belief that each enriches the other. Creative self-expression is part of all academic coursework. Experiencing the creative process allows students to overcome perceived limitations and opens the possibility for intuitive intelligence to emerge. All students study acting, voice, dance, fine arts, creative writing, and participate in performing arts. Our productions illuminate the value of the collaborative process where individual effort and a willingness to sacrifice for the greater whole result in an inspiring and fulfilling experience. The personal benefits of this creative process extend far beyond school into almost every facet of adult life.

Positive Character Development: We recognize that each student's character is influenced both by the explicit curriculum in our course offerings and the implicit curriculum expressed in the daily life and experience of our school community. In all that we do, we encourage our students to take responsibility, to practice self-discipline, exercise leadership, and to serve and care for one another.

We focus on learning that brings forth thinking and discussions of ethical relevance. We strive to create opportunities for students to engage in open and honest communication through such programs as service learning, student governance, life skills classes and student guidance.

We work closely with families and access a variety of professional resources to encourage a thoughtful exchange of ideas around the many issues that confront youth in our modern society. We encourage older students to mentor and care for younger students through school wide activities such as theater productions, buddy programs and athletic events.

Our faculty and families are dedicated to positive values such as empathy, honesty, cooperation, fairness and kindness.

Our Environment: Mount Madonna School is located on 355 acres of forested mountaintop property overlooking the Monterey Bay. We are hosted by Mount Madonna Center, a community founded on the principles of yoga and dedicated to non-harming, self-development and service to society. The values of the Center and the beauty of the natural environment provide a supportive and inspirational context in which our learning community thrives.
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School Reviews

5  5/17/2016
We are so happy we overcame the distance and sent our daughter to this amazing school. This is our daughter's fourth year at Mount Madonna and she doesn't want to miss a day. There are some fantastic teachers that really know how to engage and encourage the kids to learn. I wish I could go to school here.
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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Santa Cruz County, CA is $8,794 for elementary schools and $24,040 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Santa Cruz County, CA is 82% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).