Tara Redwood School uses a global curriculum that follows an original framework known as the 7 Steps to Knowledge, Strength and Compassion developed over a period of  30 years. It is a blend of Montessori and Creating Compassionate Cultures (CCC) methodologies to offer children a strong academic foundation, rich in the sciences and emotional intelligence combined with the arts. The CCC pedagogy provides an education for the heart and mind with unique social emotional components that nurture the children’s innate positive qualities while empowering them to make a positive impact on the world through their thoughts and actions. Our school strives to offer a stimulating learning experience through daily outdoor immersion in our Redwood Campus which is situated on 108 acres of redwood forest in Soquel. We offer an integrated, environmentally conscientious approach to learning about the world around us and within us.

Our commitment is to provide education for awakening the wish and confidence for each child to make a positive difference in the world.


Tara Redwood School During the Pandemic

Dear Friends,

We are all well aware of the current events impacting not only our small community but the entire planet. The influence which Covid–19, social distancing and shelter-in-place has had on each of us has been, and continues to be, felt by all of us in a varied ways,
For some it has resulted in tragic upheaval and for others, it has been a mix of disaster and self-discovery.

Sadly, the situation has also effectively ended the normal school year, thrusting parents and teachers alike into distance learning scenarios which few, if any, of us were prepared for.That said, our school and teachers have continued to adapt, stepping up to provide an abundance of quality education material and support to see our children through the academic year and beyond, as the world continues to change.

As a small, non-profit school, Tara has taken a substantial hit financially. Many parents have had to stop tuition payments due to economic hardship and the disruption of normal operations, especially at the pre-school level. Further, we have had to cancel all of our biggest fundraising events for the year, including our annual auction, for which our dedicated parents have already donated precious time and resources, only to see it cancelled and the much needed proceeds, on which our school depends, left unrealized.

We do our very best to offer affordable education with assistance for families needing financial support, so that we may further extend access to our outstanding curriculum-one which is whole-child focused, with small class sizes, filled with daily mindfulness activities like yoga, meditation, creative arts, organic farming, music, life labs and so much more.

We have very kindly been offered a matching donation of up to $10,000 !!! So any and all donations will effectively be doubled! 
We would greatly appreciate any support you can offer financially to keep our wonderful non-profit up and running.
It is with your generous pledges that Tara Redwood School has had its doors open since 1989.

Please help us continue for many more years.

We are grateful for all the auction donations we have received from many Santa Cruz and international businesses. We will keep you posted for a future opportunity to bid on these great prizes.Including the awesome classroom projects created by our talented students and educators.
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Giving Tuesday has come and gone, but our needs are still here. As we look to meet our goal of $30,000 for 30 years of Tara Redwood, we'd like to extend the campaign to be more inclusive.

If Tara Redwood is important to you,

Please take a few minutes to register and enter up to 10 names and email addresses of friends and family that value the impact Tara Redwood has on the lives of your children.

We thank you so much for your support. We kindly ask all our supporters to consider making a donation in any amount to supplement the needs of our non profit school.    

 Your pledges facilitate scholarships, special enrichment programs and continued mind & heart education.

We now have a platform that will allow you to enter the names and email addresses of friends and family to ask them to support our special school.

    Thank you for supporting Tara Redwood School and for sharing our passion to raise compassionate children.

Register & Share !

Or donate directly here.


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Now enrolling  for 2020–21 school year.


We will begin school tours as soon as we can.

Meanwhile, check out our virtual tours of the Village Campus and of the Redwood Campus Preschool.


Redwood Campus: 831-462-9632    Village Campus: 831-475-0201

Youth Programs begin at 20 months

Early care and after school care available

Ages 2 - 3

Part time/Full Time

7:30am – 5:30pm


Ages 3 - 5

Part time/Full Time

7:30am – 5:30pm


TK - 6th Grade

    Tk-1st grades  |   2nd-6th grades

9:00–2:45  | 8:30–3:00


Our Values

Santa Cruz Private independent school.

Tara Redwood School has a program founded on these basic values:

1. Insight

To develop a deeper understanding of our unlimited potential awareness of the effects of our actions on oneself, others and the environment.
Insight to understand our emotions in order to exercise the freedom to make skillful, compassionate and helpful choices.

2. Authentic Speech

Speaking words that are helpful, kind, encouraging and complimentary.
Refraining from speaking words with ill intent i.e., divisive speech, lying, gossip, harsh speech, name-calling, belittling, and exclusion.

3. Kindheartedness

Showing respect and compassion for all living beings (creatures great and small).
Taking responsibility for helping others whenever possible.
Being mindful not to harm  others.

4. Generosity

Practicing generosity and sharing our material belongings, our knowledge, our time and resources.
Not taking that which has not been offered or does not belong to you.

5. Tolerance

Practicing patience, respect, acceptance and forgiveness of differences
Not responding with anger, jealousy, pride or resentment


We offer a curriculum with an emphasis on academics and the creative arts.

Our open classroom style allows children to fully explore and pursue their special areas of interest. Tara Redwood School integrates:

  • Mindfulness
  • Stimulating mathematics and language curriculum
  • Creative arts
  • Music program
  • Ceramics
  • Life lab with access to our own organic  farm and garden
  • Weekly excursions to the forest for 1.5 hours minimum
  • Yoga
  • Performing arts
  • Geography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Coding
  • Environmental Studies

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Our Campus

Nestled in 108 acres of sunny, serene redwood forest adjacent to Nisene Marks State Park, Tara Redwood School provides an unparalleled learning environment of peace and beauty. We have two preschools and a toddler program (20 mo. & up) nestled in the forest.  We have a second campus for our TK-6th grades  students in the heart of Soquel Village. Students from the Village campus have weekly frequent excursions to the Redwood Campus for nature  immersion activities.

Download your own copy of the   2019–2020_Calendar_

Upcoming Events

  1. Half Day – Preschool Play

    May 29 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
  2. Preschool Play

    May 29 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
  3. Village Half Day

    June 5 @ 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
  4. Element Explorer’s Play

    June 5 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  5. Half Day-Last Day of School

    June 12 @ 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
  6. Teacher Work Week

    June 15 - June 19

Alumni Testimonials


"Some of my earliest and most cherished memories come from my years spent at Tara Redwood. The foundation that I received there was unlike any that I could possibly imagine. At Tara, I was able to flourish, and enhance my capacity and interest for knowledge,spiritual and mental well-being, and ambition. From the environment, to the teachers, to my fellow students I was able to find a home at Tara Redwood a place to grow and learn about life. Most importantly, Tara Redwood has taught me about compassion a characteristic that has been so important to me, and helped me with human connections throughout my life. "

Alex Ivany

Documentary Film Editor for 13th & Skin in the Game.

October 6, 2018

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