Small Schools and COE
Santa Cruz County has ten independent school districts. Bonny Doon, Happy Valley, Mountain, and Pacific School Districts are small, single school districts within that group. Because of their small size and limited resources, these single school districts rely on the County Office of Education (COE) for help in many different areas.
Each single school district has a Superintendent/Principal at the helm. The Superintendent/Principals also take on the roles of Special Education Director, Chief Business Officer, Facilities Manager, etc… Because of this wide range of responsibilities, the COE provides us with additional support when needed, particularly with school finances. Each single school district is assigned a financial analyst to help us manage our budgets. Although the Superintendent/Principals are responsible for making all budgetary decisions, the COE financial analysts provide accounting support and prepare the interim, unaudited actuals, and yearly proposed budget reports.
The COE also helps us with professional development and technology support, when needed. This year, the COE has provided all four “smalls” with teacher and administrator training in the use of Data Director, a comprehensive online tool for keeping track of student data in order to better analyze student performance and use this performance data to guide lesson planning and better differentiate to meet individual student needs.
In addition to support from the COE, the Superintendent/Principals from the four smalls meet once a month to collaborate and work together towards continuous school improvement. We are lucky to have close, supportive working relationships through which we share ideas and resources. Our teachers also get together at least twice a year to collaborate and work toward a common goal.
The small school districts in Santa Cruz County have a history of strong academic achievement and support within their respective communities. Because we are small, we are able to focus on the specific needs of the children in our communities, and we have the autonomy to make decisions about their education based on what we feel is best for them.
At Bonny Doon School, we are grateful for the support of the COE, as it enables us to better serve our families.
If you have further questions about single school districts or our district in particular, please call or email us anytime.