History and Founding Principles

Coast Redwood High School is a hybrid high school program that supports independent learning, and an online/blended learning environment that serves students in grades 9–12. Established in 1997 by several parents who had an idea for a high school that supported creativity, and collaboration, found a teacher from the Los Gatos/Saratoga School District, Mrs. Kay (Sonntag) Mendoza. Together, both parents and Mrs. Mendoza designed the framework of an alternative hybrid high school program individualized for students residing in the San Lorenzo Valley and outward to families residing in the greater Santa Cruz County and Santa Clara County.                                                            

Currently, CRHS employees a staff of 4 dynamic philosophical like-minded teachers, an academic counselor, a mental health counselor, a resource specialist teacher, office support staff, registrar, and an administrator.

As tuition-free-public school, and a school of choice, SLVUSD Charter School brings an accredited public homeschool education into the homes of students throughout Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County, Monterey County, San Benito County, and Santa Clara County.

SLVUSD Charter (25) School is authorized under and in partnership with the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District. This Charter School is the 25th authorized Charter in California and was established in 1993. Coast Redwood High School, one program under the SLVUSD Charter School umbrella, was established in the 1997-1998 school year. SLVUSD Charter School is not affiliated with nor should be confused with; the district-sponsored Ocean Grove Charter School or the K12 Online Education School program.

The SLVUSD Charter School is one of the five district site-based schools in the district. Coast Redwood High School sits off of the SLV High School main campus near the athletic fields, as a separate school. Coast Redwood High School is an independent study and hybrid program which is provided for 9-12th-grade students and families who prefer an individualized approach to education, combined with the support of school district resources.

Through the decades, CRHS has evolved and moved with the flow of the education landscape and needs of families. We are committed to enacting an educational vision that could be sustained. The mission that emerged from our founding continues in some form into today’s second decade. As a collective, the teachers became dedicated to academic excellence for all children and developed school-wide learning outcomes that included social-emotional, character, creativity, brain science, and more. We developed practices and curriculum to inspire and support intellectual inquiry and development.

Our Tenets

- When we applied the tenet that removing fear and emotional blocks releases hidden talents we became dedicated to creative self-expression. We created opportunities for students to face their fear, explore and process their emotions, and take risks within a safe and supportive context.

- When we applied the tenet that learning to live virtuously creates the possibility of happiness we became dedicated to positive character development. We established explicit and implicit opportunities to practice self-development.

- When we applied the tenet that communicating honestly in a spirit of compromise solves problems we became dedicated to establishing multiple venues for dialogue and collaboration.

- When we applied the tenet that cultivating positive relationships builds resilience in individuals and mutual support in the community we became dedicated to developing meaningful personal connections throughout all levels of CRHS.

- When we applied the tenet that respecting and supporting nature is a human duty we became dedicated to sustaining the environment, our land and its variety of habitats. This is carried through from The Nature Academy, Coast Redwood Middle School, and the Quail Hollow Integrated Arts Program, as well as NBOG (Nature-Based Outdoor Group).