Santa Cruz City Schools

Branciforte Small Schools

Designed to create and sustain alternatives to traditional public school models, Branciforte Small Schools is a campus with a unique set of needs. The schools are built to provide instruction in which childhood and adolescence are celebrated, children and youth feel connected and respected, and each individual works toward his or her personal best academically, emotionally, socially, artistically, and culturally. In practice, it means creating and managing many different schools on one campus, with dedicated space for each. This is particularly challenging with an historic building still requiring a great deal of modernization and repair. Under the last bond, we have been able to build new modern campuses for some programs, as well as a shaded lunch area and inclusive new play structure. Future work is hoped to bring a lot of refurbishment to the elementary school which occupies the lowest levels of the main building.

As we work to improve all classroom environments, Santa Cruz City Schools is committed to sustainability and moving toward our goal of Net Zero emissions campuses. All modernization projects included in the Facility Master Plan Update shall include the following sustainability components:


840 North Branciforte Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062


Enrollment: N/A




46,778 SF


4.143 Acres

  • LED lighting to replace inefficient fluorescent
  • dual pane windows to replace older single pane
  • new high efficiency HVAC systems with increased outside air intake and CO2 detection
  • responsible roofing to reduce heating and cooling energy and to reduce radiant heat
  • increased insulation
  • use of locally sourced and recycled materials.
  • added solar structures where possible
  • Safety

Within the Facility Master Plan Update, safety and security improvements have been evaluated and the following components have been included for future implementation

  • security fencing and gates
  • supervised campus entries 
  • site visibility
  • door hardware & remote, smart locking systems
  • window treatments 
  • a robust security camera system for each school.

Future Projects

Interactive site plan for upcoming projects


Projects related to this campus.