Sequoyah School is an independent, K-12 progressive day school located in Pasadena, California.
Founded in 1958, our school is committed to an education that "challenges the mind, nurtures the heart, and celebrates human dignity."
Through Sequoyah`s project-based curriculum, language arts, mathematics, social studies, Spanish, science, and the visual and performing arts are all taught as related subjects in the elementary and junior high program.
Teachers guide students to be able to work independently and collaboratively and to make inspired connections between disciplines.
Sequoyah`s high school students learn to apply their knowledge and skills in advanced college preparatory coursework and interdisciplinary field studies emphasizing global perspectives and cultural competency.
Sequoyah School is named after the Cherokee leader and silversmith who invented an alphabet for his native language. The Sequoyah community honors and reflects the ethnic, cultural and economic diversity of Southern California.
Sequoyah is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.
- Top Ranked CA School
- Grades: Kindergarten-12
- Students: 378 students
- Yearly Tuition: $29,000
- Acceptance rate: 35%
- Average class size: 12 students
- Application Deadline: Dec. 10 / Jan. 20
Sequoyah School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for:
School Membership(s)School Assoc.
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 48%
Students by Grade
Academics and Faculty
Total Classroom Teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
List of Courses Offered
& Climate Change, Acting & Directing, Capitalism, One Book: Cloud Atlas, SAS Allegory & the Novella, SAS American History: Liberation, SAS Biology, SAS Calculus, SAS Chemistry, SAS Higher Mathematics, SAS Music Production, SAS One Mod, SAS Physics: Asteroid Avoidance, SAS Spanish 4 & 5, SAS The U.S. Constitution: Rights and Liberties, SAS Visual Arts Seminar, SAS Women, SAS World in a Cell
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
Tuition and Acceptance Rate
Dec. 10 / Jan. 20
Yearly Tuition Cost
High School Tuition: $33,000
% on Financial Aid
National avg.: 85%
Total Sports Offered
Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
Club or Organization:
Chess, Middle School Debate Team, Study Hall
Arts and Music Programs:
Chess, Middle School Debate Team, Study Hall
Arts and Music Programs:
- Sequoyah School is an independent K-12 progressive day school in Pasadena, California, where children thrive in a diverse community, appreciated for their individuality and supported by a progressive approach to learning.
- K-8: The Sequoyah curriculum emphasizes deep understanding of concepts and mastery of skills. Children are introduced to reading, writing, and math through experiential learning, and are given time to explore their interests through research and play. Students learn to collaborate in small, mixed-age classes with teachers who pay close attention to each child`s developmental readiness to learn. Sequoyah students are expected to take an active role in their learning- even our youngest students set goals and periodically reflect on their process and progress.
- High School: In the high school classrooms, you will find teachers challenging students to use their growing knowledge and skills to solve essential questions at the heart of contemporary challenges-to see connections, develop meaningful relationships, and construct shared understanding. Our high school students develop initiative and self-direction through college preparatory coursework and field studies emphasizing global perspectives and cultural competency. Independent study and collaborative efforts culminate in a junior-year social impact project and a senior-year internship.
Profile last updated: 10/28/2020
The impressive credentials of Sequoyah's faculty caught our attention when researching high schools. Now, with two kids attending the high school, we know that these brilliant teachers not only inspire intellectual curiosity in their respective fields but also inspire our kids to connect and apply their coursework to other subjects, social issues, and their community. Our kids are being empowered for life beyond high school through Sequoyah's unique programs. The SIP program is developing the skills my kids need to address and help solve real-world problems. We are blown away by the depth of knowledge with which our kids can speak about issues such as clean energy or gender equity. Likewise, we are amazed at the thesis-level work our kids produce through Talking Leaves. Our kids are happy in Sequoyah's non-stressful environment and they are being well prepared for college and adult life, we can't ask for more.
Sequoyah is everything you dream of as a parent. The value towards diversity, nurturing the heart and human dignity is something you don't find in schools today. The community itself is amazing. Parents, staff and children are beyond welcoming, accommodating and friendly. It really is like a big family. As a progressive school they value diverse backgrounds and accept all walks of life. Curriculum and events are all geared towards becoming upstanders and making the world a better place. One of the things I love about this school the most is the Communication within itself and towards us as parents. Nothing ever gets lost or forgotten. As a parent, you are kept up to date in all school operations. Lead teachers write out a thorough progress report every quarter along with the specialist teachers. You are always aware of your child's progress/any areas they need extra assistance on. If something is required from the parents, they give you and offer any tools you might need. There's a person for every one of your needs and concerns. Someone is always available. The workshops they offer have helped my husband and I learn so much and apply our knowledge. I was curious how much my learning my kinder gardener was going to experience with all the extra playtime, gardening, etc. Within 60 days my child was reading addresses, adding/subtracting, learning Spanish, and evolving rapidly at a social, emotional level. They really do learn through play. Never received one complain from my child all year long. Sequoyah not only values but nurtures the social emotional aspect of the child. Sequoyah values NATURE. One of the most attractive traits of Sequoyah is their Field Studies. The hiking and camping trips are some of the best coordinated trips I've seen. Every grade has specific age appropriate trips. There is no hidden agenda here, they really just help children develop empathy, love and acceptance towards their peers and community. The high school students seem so well rounded and already great community leaders. If you are considering progressive private schooling for your child/children Sequoyah should be on top of your list. Check them out. Take a tour I promise you'll fall in love. The campus is beautiful and so is the community Sequoyah has to offer.
Our family chose Sequoyah because we felt it was the best choice for our daughter. We wanted her to be in a school that would not only challenge her to be an independent, creative, and free-thinking individual, but a school that integrated diversity, community, being a citizen of the world and fostered social, emotional development. These are not easy tasks to accomplish, but in the first year we have been there, our daughter has demonstrated insight into world topics, empathy toward others, recognizing her feelings and those of others. We have observed this in the older students as well when we are on campus. They appear inquisitive, helping, and stand for justice. We love knowing that our daughter has older students as role models. Diversity was another important issue that we wanted for our daughter. Compared to other private schools we toured, Sequoyah seemed to have the most representation across race, class, and culture. It was important for us to see it and not just be a point of discussion, but to see and experience the representation. As a progressive school, the academic schedule does not follow a traditional approach; however, her ABC's and 123's are being paired with sustaining the environment, social justice and teaching emotional responsibility.
I have a daughter and son with very different personalities and learning styles, and both have thrived at Sequoyah over the past six + years. The school encourages students to be independent, creative, responsible, and curious. It's been wonderful watching my kids and their peers become self-assured learners who actively engage in issues and activities that matter to them. A few things about Sequoyah that stand out for our family are (1) its thoughtful field studies/camping program, and (2) its genuine commitment to progressive education and socio-economic diversity. In field studies, kindergartners prepare for their first school camping trip by taking practice hikes and studying the plants and animals they will encounter. Then they spend three days exploring the Anza Borrego desert, learning how to set up camp, and sleeping under the stars. By the time Sequoyah students are in Junior High, they have learned how to plan for the food and equipment needed on much longer camping trips, how to cook for their entire group, and how to navigate unfamiliar territory in forests, deserts, and on islands. Through this program, students gain confidence, learn the importance of preparation and teamwork, and become knowledgeable and respectful custodians of their natural environment. Sequoyah's long-standing commitment to socio-economic diversity was a primary reason we chose to send our children to the school. Sequoyah was founded in 1958, when Pasadena schools were segregated and emphasized standardized learning and conformity. The school's founders envisioned something different a place where children would stretch themselves to their fullest capacities through a "leading out process, not a pouring in." And the initial Statement of Values explicitly called for children and adults of diverse backgrounds. The school continues to make considerable efforts to build and sustain a diverse community of learners, families, staff, and educators.
I have two children in 6th and 8th grade who've been at Sequoyah since kindergarten. I wanted them to attend a school where they would have the chance to actually have a childhood and develop a love of learning. I'm very happy to say that they've both gotten this from Sequoyah. They don't see education as something that is done to them; they are not passive learners. When they are studying a topic, they look at it from all angles and often apply what they are learning in school to conversations at home and actions in their everyday lives. It's been a joy to watch them become excited and passionate about what they're studying. For them, what they are doing at school has meaning, and their amazing teachers help to make the material relevant-this allows the students to develop a deeper understanding of what they're learning. My children feel seen at school and are being taught to see different perspectives, and they still have time to be children.
Sequoyah is an incredibly welcoming environment. My experience began with an immersive camping trip with the rest of my grade and the one above me. This way, I felt like all my peers were in the same position as me, and I felt more comfortable with getting to know people. I look forward to all of my classes, seeing my friends and participating in sports, fine arts, and theater. Sequoyah school is well structured, and supportive. I know that I can ask my teachers and friends for help or just to talk. This school teaches students about not only good studying techniques, but leadership, community, respect, creativity and ownership. I am confident that Sequoyah has prepared me well for the rest of my life.
i read a review from 2016 from a parent (ethan) that I enthusiastically confirm is true today.. The school is filled with teachers that want to teach and are given the support to do it well. I love the commitment to human dignity that helps mold the culture of the school. The little kids feel supported and noticed by the bigger kids. The older kids feel a responsibility to help the little ones. This translates to respect for their school and all the individuals in it..The students are given so much opportunity to use their creativity to learn. They work hard on their projects and are proud when they show off their work to me at class shares or during a conference with a teacher. They are proud of their school and work hard to keep it special.
Sequoyah is more than just an incredible school. It is a place that teaches what it means to be both self sufficient and an indispensable part of a community. The way this affects the kids (poise, focus, confidence, empathy, resolve, humor, kindness, zeal) is amazing to see. There are so many things that contribute to this at Sequoyah. I haven't read the reviews yet on this site, but I imagine many are well discussed? One of my favorites is the way the kids are regularly intermeshed amongst age levels, in both structured and unstructured ways. Besides the obvious feeling of community this promotes, it gives the kids such a richer learning environment (academically and socio-emotionally) than they would have had otherwise. I like to think that this helps the teenagers (it's K-8) not feel so jaded and withdrawn as tends to happen. I''ll never forget my surprise at seeing the whole junior high class taking part in the huge circle for human rights day, holding the hands of 6 year-olds and singing songs - not a rolled eye in the house. This is because they are authentic in their kindness toward their school community and their world.
This school does progressive education right. It's not the anti-technology, hippie school people might assume it to be. My daughter is now entering the 6th grade here, and although her time is not wasted doing busy work, the curriculum is rigorous, but always appropriately challenging for her. My daughter is a kid who could easily do very well at a school like Poly, however, the reasons she has thrived at Sequoyah have much more to do than her test scores. At Sequoyah she is challenged to think deeper and broader about subjects or ideas. She is challenged to engage her peer groups in discussions where ideas may very well differ from hers. She is taught discipline without harshness. Last night at back to school night, her teacher summed it up for me. He said, "Although at Sequoyah we push creativity, it is important for our students to learn discipline. Every artist still needs discipline to be able to successfully accomplish their goals and continue to grow in their practice." Self Confidence is another very important part of the teaching here. The school has many different methods they use to challenge students to practice and grow as self confident, self sufficient individuals. The administration is incredibly involved in the students well being. I am always pleasantly surprised at how well the director, admissions director and academic director know my daughter's strengths, capabilities, and personality.
Sequoyah is the most nurturing, creative and supportive academic environment while challenging students to achieve their best work. It is a wonderful school for children who are creative, self-starters and motivated but equally for children who are not, as they blossom into self-confident learners who are also empathetic and self-sufficient. The teachers are very warm and caring and work closely with the students and their families on every level. I just wish they had a high school.
I have three kids who are, of course, three very different learners, and Sequoyah works for each of them. The school meets them where they are and engages with their interests. This approach supports their high self-esteem and curiousity, giving them a lifelong love of learning. We feel the utmost respect and support from the engaged teachers and staff at every turn. Our kids love to go to school and are learning well.
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