Marsha Kotlyar Estate Group  |  License #01426886  |  805-565-4014

A High Standard of Education

Public schools

The Santa Barbara County Education Office serves 20 public school districts with approximately 70,000 students in Santa Barbara County. The 20 school districts in Santa Barbara County range from Carpinteria in the southeast corner to Guadalupe and Santa Maria-Bonita in the northwest corner. The largest unified (TK-12) district in the county is Santa Barbara Unified, with almost 15,000 students. The largest elementary district (TK-8) is Santa Maria-Bonita, with almost 17,000 students. The largest secondary district is Santa Maria High, with more than 8,000 students. By way of comparison, the smallest unified district is Cuyama, with just 786 students. The smallest elementary district is Vista del Mar, with 51 students; the smallest secondary district is Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District, with 926 students.

Here are the school districts within the areas we serve:

Carpinteria Unified

The Carpinteria Unified School District (CUSD) provides public education services to students in the Carpinteria Valley, with district boundaries reaching south to the Ventura County line and north to the community of Summerland. The District, serving approximately 2000 grades TK-12 students, has six schools – one comprehensive high school, one middle school, and four elementary schools. Five of the 6 schools are located within the Carpinteria city limits. One elementary school is located in Summerland.


The Montecito Union School District is a public elementary school district with one school serving children in kindergarten through sixth grade. In 1998, the school was awarded the State of California's "Distinguished School" status. Montecito Union is governed by a five-member board of trustees and administered by a district Superintendent, a Chief Academic Officer, and a Dean of Students. Enrollment has risen from 264 students in 1983/84 to over 400 students today. The school boasts of a school-wide teacher/pupil average of 1/18 students in grades K-6 with a certificated teacher and a three-hour instructional assistant in each of the classrooms. In addition, the school's staff includes specialists in art, music, physical education, technology, Spanish, and library. 


Cold Spring School is a TK-6 public school that serves approximately 180 students in a small classroom setting. The faculty consists of a Superintendent/Principal, 12 classroom teachers, a Music Specialist, an Art Specialist, a Technology & Garden Specialist, a STEAM Specialist, a Reading Specialist, a PE Specialist, and 11 instructional assistants. The faculty is supported by a Chief Business Official/General Counsel, a Business Office Coordinator, an Executive Assistant/HR Director, an Office Assistant, and a Maintenance/Operations Supervisor. In addition, Cold Spring has professional artists and musicians who provide instruction in visual arts, ceramic sculpture, instrumental music, film, and drama. 


The mission of Hope School District is to develop in children the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to instill a lifelong love of learning and to become productive and contributing individuals in a changing society.


The mission of the Santa Barbara Unified School District is to ensure the educational success of all students through high expectations and a commitment to excellence and to empower them to reach their full potential as responsible, ethical, and productive citizens in a diverse and changing world. Santa Barbara Unified School District contains 21 schools and 12,849 students.



Crane Country Day School is a co-educational Kindergarten-8th Grade independent school located on 11 beautiful acres in Montecito, CA. Founded in 1928, Crane delivers an experiential education characterized by a thoughtful balance of academic challenge and creative expression. Their time-tested tradition of active and collaborative learning challenges students to think critically, find their voices, and care for one another and the world around them. At Crane, they understand that how they teach is just as important as what they teach.

1795 San Leandro Lane, Montecito | 805-969-7732


Laguna Blanca School is an EK-12 co-educational, college preparatory day school. Building upon its 80-year tradition of academic excellence with new and innovative teaching methods and programs, Laguna Blanca provides students with a supportive community that promotes deeper learning and values student balance and well-being. With its thriving experiential learning, LEGO, STEM, and art programs, competitive athletics, and state-of-the-art athletic facilities, the school offers a variety of ways that students can succeed.

EK-GR. 4: 260 San Ysidro Road, Montecito | 805-687-2461

Grades 5-12: 4125 Paloma Drive, Hope Ranch


Montessori Center School has celebrated 50+ years of providing excellent Montessori education to children in the Santa Barbara area. At Montessori Center, children 18 months through 6th grade experience the joy a Montessori education affords. With an exceptional and well-trained faculty, low ratios, enriched facilities, and numerous specialist programs, MCS is able to serve the needs of 21st-century learners. MCS offers onsite after-school care, foreign language, music, PE, art, garden, and multiple after-school enrichment programs.

401 North Fairview Avenue, Goleta | 805-683-9383


Founded in 1976, Santa Barbara Middle School is an independent, coeducational day school for grades 6-9. Through students’ immersion in stimulating Academics, Creative Arts and Sports, Community Service, Career Studies, and Outdoor Education, SB Middle School prepares students for their future by providing a defining educational experience. The school is based on mutual respect, teamwork, and a unique understanding of the adolescent years. SB Middle School graduates are admired for their intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, creativity, and “ca-do” confidence. Their motivated graduates excel in the Honors and AP programs in high school and go on to attend the best universities across the country and abroad.

1321 Alameda Padre Serra, Santa Barbara | 805-682-2989


Cate School combines the academic rigor of East Coast prep schools with the adventurous spirit of the West Coast. Sure, you could sum them up as a college-preparatory boarding school in California, but that fails to capture the spirit of the place, the community, and the culture. Founded in 1910, Cate is a four-year, coeducational college preparatory boarding school in Southern California. They look for exceptional and motivated students who want to immerse themselves in a challenging educational experience fully.

1960 Cate Mesa Road, Carpinteria | 805-684-4127


Bishop Diego Garcia High School is a Catholic, Independently governed college preparatory high school dedicated to teachers who realize the hidden potential in every student. The 16-acre closed campus boasts exceptional athletic facilities for students to compete in 19 different sports. With a strong community presence and more than 100 years of excellence in Catholic education, Bishop Diego has much to offer students of all faith traditions.

4000 La Colina Road, Santa Barbara | 805-967-1266 X118


Building on a 78-year tradition of excellence, Riviera Ridge School supports the whole child and shares their journey as they grow in all areas. Their dedicated, professional faculty knows how to inspire a thirst for knowledge and a growth mindset in every child! At its heart, Riviera Ridge education is student-centered. At every level, junior Kindergarten to 8th grade- students learn and grow in respectful, encouraging, and safe surroundings. Individualized attention, careful monitoring of progress, and constant communication with parents ensure that each student’s needs and aptitudes are recognized and addressed.

2130 Mission Ridge Road, Santa Barbara | 805-569-1811



As a public community college dedicated to the success of each student:

Santa Barbara City College welcomes all students. The College provides a diverse learning environment and opportunities for students to enrich their lives, advance their careers, complete certificates, earn associate degrees, and transfer to four-year institutions.

The College is committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive, respectful, participatory, and supportive community dedicated to the success of every student.

In 2013, Santa Barbara City College was awarded the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.


UC Santa Barbara is a leading center for teaching and research located on the California coast - truly a learning and living environment like no other!

Current UCSB faculty includes 6 Nobel Prize laureates, 1 Fields Medalist, 39 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 27 members of the National Academy of Engineering, and 34 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[19] The faculty also includes two Academy and Emmy Award winners and recipients of a Millennium Technology Prize, an IEEE Medal of Honor, a National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and a Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.


Westmont was ranked 108th in the U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Colleges 2019" list of liberal arts colleges.  In 2016 Forbes ranked Westmont No. 236 out of the 660 best private and public colleges and universities in America. The Templeton Foundation has recognized Westmont as one of the nation's top 100 colleges committed to character development.

Westmont offers 26 majors and has a student/faculty ratio of 12 to 1, with 96 percent of tenured and tenure-track faculty having earned terminal degrees. The average class size is 18 students. The students come from 25 states, 11 countries, and 33 Christian denominations. The four-year graduation rate is 87 percent.