Annual Giving Campaign-Building From The Foundation Up!

A letter from the Founder and Director, Pam Cayton.

Tara Redwood School is not only special for the extraordinary natural environment, but also for our unique education…an integrated curriculum of Montessori and our international program, Creating Compassionate Cultures (CCC) CCC is a whole child program developed at the school since its inception, more than 30 years ago. It draws from latest scientific research and ancient wisdom traditions such as mindfulness. We are a Universal Education partner program, and interns from around the world visit and learn from our model.

This year has made it clear that the time has come to accommodate more preschool and elementary children on the 108 acres of redwood forests and sunny meadows bordering Nisene Marks State Park in Santa Cruz.

We appeal to you to become part of this vision and
Offer any amount you can to expand our classrooms and Help us make this dream come true, for the benefit of many more children now and in the years to come.

Thank you!

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Our School Mission

Tara Redwood School uses a global curriculum with its original framework known as the 7 Steps to Knowledge, Strength and Compassion developed over a period of  30 years.

The school’s program is a blend of Montessori and Creating Compassionate Cultures (CCC) methodologies. We engage children to develop strong academic foundations, rich in the sciences and emotional intelligence. We also value the importance of the performance and creative arts as an integral part of a child’s early development.  The CCC pedagogy provides an education for the heart and mind with unique social emotional components that nurture children’s innate positive qualities while empowering them to make a positive impact on the world through their thoughts and actions.

Our educators strive 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.

Tara Redwood School During the Pandemic

Dear Friends,

Tara Redwood School has opened its doors for Fall and Spring this September. We have created a safe space that complies with  safety regulations for students at all class levels up to first grade.

We follow the guidance and adhere to the CDPH (County Dept of Public Health).

Half of the classroom spaces are held outdoors under a gorgeous Redwood  tree canopy.The other half of the time class instruction is held indoors. We have supplied our classrooms with every necessary precaution advised to us by health officials,  like air purifiers and ample ventilation.

Our school and teachers continue to adapt, stepping up to provide an abundance of quality education material and support to see our children through the academic year and beyond. Our online program, when needed, excels in balancing indoor and outdoor studies as students are guided to continue to practice daily mindfulness activities like yoga, meditation, creative arts, music and life labs with global studies and academics. We do our very best to offer affordable high quality education and welcome families from a variety of demographics. Welcome to all of our new and returning families to Tara Redwood School.

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Outdoor Mandala Class Space

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 offer a toddler program (20 mo. & up), preschool and kindergarten to 1st grade all nestled in lovely indoors and outdoors classes in the forest. We are excited to have just recently transitioned our 2nd to 6th grades to the Redwood Campus. Due to the current pandemic, we are taking a break from the upper elementary grades so to focus on our PK to 1st grade in person education. Our plan is to develop the rest of the classrooms during summer of 2021.

 Now Enrolling for 2021-2022!

Tara Redwood School offers a unique curriculum amidst 108 acres of playground forest and creeks .

Mostly outdoors with small size class groups.

Youth Programs begin as early as 20 months!

Early care and after school care available upon request.


Call Today!


**We follow updated guidelines from Santa Cruz County Public Health Department and from the Superintendent of Schools in order to best protect staff, students and families.

Ages 2 - 3

Part time/Full Time

8:45am – 5:00pm


Ages 3 - 5

Part time/Full Time

8:00am – 5:00pm


TK - 6th Grade

    Tk-1st grades  |   2nd-6th grades

9:00–2:45  | 8:30–3:00


CCC Parent Classes Every Thursday on Zoom!

CCC workshop

This series of 8 interactive classes via Zoom will:

•Explore the ideas and philosophy as applied
to your own life and your role as a parent.
•Introduce parents to the unique program
developed at Tara Redwood School over 30 years
•Leave with ideas and tools
to integrate these practices at home.
•Learn some of the ways this pedagogy is
integrated into the program for your children.

Join Pam every Thursday for this introductory 8 class workshop on the CCC's steps and values.

October 8th–December 3rd. 2020



Upcoming Events

  1. CCC Parent Class

    December 3 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  2. Winter Break

    December 18, 2020 - January 1, 2021
  3. No School-Teacher prep for new semester.

    January 4, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  4. Welcome Back! School resumes.

    January 5, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  5. No School- In observance of Rev. M.L King Day

    January 18, 2021

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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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