Santa Cruz County History - Libraries & Schools



Chronological List of Santa Cruz County Public Schools
by Margaret Koch

[The following article is Appendix B, pp. 171-188, from Going to School in Santa Cruz County: A History of the County's Public School System by Margaret Koch. ©1978 Margaret Koch. Used with permission.]

The following list is an attempt to give the reader an idea of the chronology of public schools that have existed within the county's school system since its inception in the 1850s to the present (1978).

The main reference sources used were the school personnel directories published by the County Office of Education every year since 1888. For the years prior to 1888 we had to rely on secondary sources, of which there are very few, and which sometimes did not agree with each other. The problem is compounded by the fact that many of the records prior to the turn of the century have been lost or burned. Many were destroyed when Watsonville High School burned down in 1901.

The personnel directories had some shortcomings as reference materials: the early ones fail to give the names of individual schools that existed within the Santa Cruz and Watsonville Districts--the two districts that had more than one school within their boundaries; the early directories also do not give the locations of the schools, and fail to note when a school was moved or rebuilt.

Another problem arises in establishing the exact date that a particular school began. Sometimes many months, or even years, might pass between the establishment of a school district or the passage of a school bond and the actual opening of the school. Sometimes classes were held in homes or churches before the schoolhouse was built. In general, the dates listed here represent the year in which the school opened its doors--the year in which its name first appeared in the directory.

The reader should keep all the foregoing in mind when reading this list, realizing that, although much effort went into insuring its accuracy and completeness, there are bound to be a few errors in it.

DATE SCHOOL COMMENT
1857 Mission Hill First public school house in county. Preceded by classes held in homes and churches. Santa Cruz City School District offices now stand on original site. Moved to King Street in 1931. Now a junior high school.
1859
but see comment
Watsonville Primary Started in 1853 in Methodist Church South. Then, in 1859-60, located on second floor of home of teacher L. D. Holbrook on E. Lake Ave. Schoolhouse built 1864 on E. Lake Ave. (then Fourth St.). Expanded 1866. In 1909 the building was moved 60 ft. and a new Primary School built on old site. Lasted till 1924.
ca. 1859
1871 became
(1965
Oak Grove
Corralitos
Bradley)
Name change to Corralitos in 1871. In 1946 Corralitos absorbed Eureka, Hazel Dell, Las Manzanitas, Brown's Valley, Redwood, and Green Valley. In 1965 Corralitos became part of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, and Bradley School on Corralitos Rd. in Watsonville took the place of the old school.
1860 Branciforte Part of Santa Cruz City School District. First located on Soquel Ave. present building, on Branciforte, built 1915. (Branciforte Junior High on Poplar built in 1931.)
1859-60 (?) Pescadero This was outside the county, on the coast north of Davenport, but at the time was administered by Santa Cruz County.
1861 San Andreas Corner of Buena Vista and San Andreas. Annexed to Freedom in 1946.
1860 (?) Soquel First on west side of N. Porter Dr.; then south of Soquel Dr. near bottom of west hill. On present site since 1865 (?). Present building built 1922, with later additions.
1863 Carlton Rebuilt 1899. Annexed to Salsipuedes in 1946.
1863
1875 became
San Lorenzo
Felton
Rebuilt 1894. In 1946 joined with Ben Lomond and Zayante to become San Lorenzo Union Elementary.
1863
1910-11 became
Union
Pleasant Valley
Rebuilt 1910, when name became Pleasant Valley. At Hames Rd. and Pleasant Valley. Closed in 1915, and its students went to Corralitos.
between 1863
and 1865
Grant
(or North Santa Cruz)
Part of Santa Cruz City District. Rebuilt 1881, 1914. Closed June, 1966.
1864 Happy Valley Still in existence as one-school district though building has been rebuilt several times. 3125 Branciforte Dr.
1864 Powder Works Located where Paradise Park is today. Closed in 1899-1900. Students went to Grant and Mission Hill.
1865
1875 became
El Jaro
Seaside
First school on coast near Waddell Creek; second school on Gianone Hill; third school built 1907. (Does not appear in directories between 1900 and 1907.) Suspended July 1962. Students went to Pacific.
1865 Bay View At Mission and Bay. Three-story building built 1876. Fought battle to avoid incorporation with Santa Cruz City District, but finally lost in 1892. Still in existence.
1865
1875 became
Petroleum
Laguna
Annexed to Santa Cruz City District in 1935.
1866 Roache Various reconstructions--1903, 1929, 1936. Annexed to Freedom 1946. (Named after Mrs. William Roache who taught school in her parlor in Pajaro Valley in early 1860s.)
1867 Aptos Various reconstructions. Third building became Aptos Hall. Fourth building erected in 1929. The old Valencia School was absorbed into it in 1930, and La Selva in 1941-41. Now Aptos Junior High. Became part of newly formed Pajaro Valley Unified School District in 1965.
1867 Mountain Reconstruction in 1932. Still going strong as one-school district. On Old San Jose Rd. in Soquel.
1868 Summit Joint district of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties. Apparently not in session in 1931. Absorbed into Loma Prieta Joint Union District in 1950.
1868 Boulder Creek Various reconstructions. High school built in 1905 for $8,245. Bear Creek joined it around 1921, and Sequoia in 1924. Elementary school still exists. Became part of San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District in 1950.
1868 Green Valley Split off of original Oak Grove District. Second school built 1898-99. Continued until 1946 when it was annexed to Corralitos. Located at 1080 Green Valley Rd., Watsonville.
1868 Railroad Reconstructed building of 1900 now quarters for field laborers on Silliman Ranch. Annexed to Salsipuedes in 1946.
1868-69 Beach Ca. 1895 old Watsonville District took it in. Closed in 1903, by order of the District, then re-opened. Ceased operation in 1913 or 1918--record unclear.
1870 Agua Puerca At Scott Creek in 1870. Then moved to Davenport. Suspended 1941.
1870 Vine Hill On Glenwood Rd. Building rebuilt in 1883. Suspended 1937. (New Vine Hill School build in 1963, part of Scotts Valley Union School District, on Tabor Dr.)
(name resurrected 1963)
1871 Casserly On Casserly Rd. in Watsonville. Rebuilt 1822. Annexed to Salsipuedes 1946.
1871
1932 became
1936 became
Hill School
Rob Roy
La Selva Beach
School had three names during its history. Went out of existence in 1941-42, when it merged with Aptos.
1872 Live Oak Various reconstructions and additions: 1914, 1922, 1926, 1935, 1941, 1949, 1951, 1956 (old building demolished). Still going strong. On Capitola Rd.
1872 San Vicente Absorbed, along with Ocean View, into newly formed Bonny Doon Union, 1947.
1875 Jefferson Closed, absorbed into Santa Cruz City District, in 1946.
1875 Larkin Valley A bit of a mystery. Apparently established in 1875, but does not appear in first directory of 1888. Appears in directory of 1901 (the year the second building was erected)--but for one year only, disappearing in 1902. Then appears again in 1916 directory, and continues until 1946, when it was annexed by Freedom. Did it have another name in earlier days?
1875
(possibly 1879?)
Brown Suspended 1950. On Bear Creek Rd. (Not the same as Brown's Valley.)
1876
1894 became
Newell Creek Ben Lomond Another building constructed 1933. Ben Lomond absorbed into San Lorenzo Union in 1946.
1877 Watsonville Grammar E. Lake and Sudden. Modernized in 1909, enlarged after 1916. Some high school courses offered there in 1890s before Watsonville High was built.
1879 Amesti Rebuilt 1912 on Green Valley Rd., and again in 1946 on Amesti Rd. in Watsonville, when it was annexed to Freedom. Became part of Pajaro Unified District in 1965. Still going strong.
1879 Bald Mountain Third school built 1924. Absorbed Cave Gulch in 1927-28. Closed in 1962.
1879 Rocky Ridge Apparently established around 1879, but probably lapsed before 1888, because doesn't appear in any directory.
1881 Highland Second school built 1915. In Skyland area. Unionized with Loma Prieta Joint Union District (Santa Clara) in 1950.
1881 Burrell Joint district of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties. Absorbed into Loma Prieta Joint Union District in 1950.
1882 Laurel Note: this is not the Laurel School that belonged to Santa Cruz City District. This one, a country school, closed in 1948 and students went to Scotts Valley.
1882 Zayante Second (?) building erected 1921. Closed in 1946, annexed to San Lorenzo Union.
1884 Hazel Dell Suspended in 1944. Area annexed to Corralitos in 1946.
1884 Calabasas Various reconstructions. Became part of Freedom District in 1946, which then became part of Pajaro Valley District in 1965. Now on Calabasas Rd. in Watsonville.
1884 Eureka Closed in 1946 when annexed to Corralitos.
1884 Ocean View Closed in 1947, absorbed into new Bonny Doon District.
1884
(possibly 1896)
Oakdale First? second? Building built in 1896. Unionized with Aptos in 1947.
1885 Glenwood Burned down 1905; students attended class temporarily in butcher shop and private home. New school built in 1920. (Martin District carved out of Glenwood in 1905.) Glenwood closed in 1951. Students went to Scotts Valley.
1886 Loma Prieta (Note: this is not the present Loma Prieta Continuation High School in Santa Cruz.) Disappears from directories in 1901. Reappears in 1950 (same school?) as joint district of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties, at which time it absorbed Summit, Highland, Burrell, and Hester Creek.
(Note: the next eight schools are listed in the county school directory for 1888--the first directory published--but their date of establishment is unclear.)  
before 1888 Valencia Disappears from directory in 1931. New Valencia School, part of Pajaro Valley Unified District, built in 1968.
("resurrected" 1968)
before 1888 Sequoia Closed 1924. Later dismantled and material used to build addition to Alba School.
before 1888 Bear Creek Closed 1921. Absorbed by Boulder Creek in 1924.
before 1888 Scotts Valley Second building 1923, third 1940. Absorbed Valley View in 1938, Laurel in 1948, and Glenwood in 1951. Now a junior high school at 8 Bean Creek Rd. in Scotts Valley.
before 1888 Brown's Valley (Not the same as Brown.) Closed 1919.
before 1888 Castle Rock Closed 1899.
before 1888 Glen Haven Closed 1914.
before 1888 Hazel Brook Closed 1914.
1888 Fruitvale Annexed to Freedom 1946, apparently closed at that time.
1889 Central Small school in mountains, toward Los Gatos. Second (?) building 1911. Suspended temporarily 1914-15, and again in 1942-43. Closed for good in 1965.
1889 Dougherty Closed 1919.
1889
1917 became
Vega
Aromas
Joint district of Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Counties. Name change in 1917. In 1965 became part of Pajaro Valley Unified District.
1890 (?) Sunnyside Closed 1900.
1891 Las Manzanitas Joint district of Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Counties. Suspended 1943.
1893 Redwood Closed 1919.
1894 Watsonville High Built at Third and Marchant. Previous to this, high school classes were being held in grammar school. Burned to ground Nov. 8, 1901. In 1902 second building (called "West Building') built on same site. In 1916 "East Building" built. Used as site of Cabrillo College when it was getting started, 1959-61. Since condemned. New building, 250 E. Beach.
1895 Fairview In mountains toward Saratoga (?). suspended 1914-16, then finally closed for good in 1919.
1895 Santa Cruz High Built on Walnut Ave. Previous to this, high school classes were held for about 20 years on fourth floor of Mission Hill Grammar School. High school burned to ground Oct. 1, 1913. Second (present) building, 1915, erected on same site.
1895 Alba Suspended 1941.
before 1895 Gault Date of establishment unclear--first appears as separate listing under Santa Cruz City District in 1895 directory, but may have been in existence before that. Second (?) building 1931. Still going strong, on Seabright.
before 1895 Laurel Date of establishment unclear--first appears as separate listing under Santa Cruz City District in 1895 directory, but may have been in existence before that. Second (?) building in 1930. Closed in 1974-75 because of Field Act. Now community center. Note: this is different from the other Laurel School that existed in the Scotts Valley area.
1896 Cave Gulch Closed in 1927-28 and merged with Bald Mountain.
1903 Olive Springs Closed 1911.
1905
1920 became
Martin
Valley View
Carved from Glenwood in 1905. Name change 1920. Unionized with Scotts Valley 1938.
1906-07 Hester Creek Suspended temporarily 1943-45, re-opened in 1946. Absorbed into Loma Prieta Joint Union District in 1950.
1906-07 Pacific In Davenport, still existing as a one-school district. In 1962 took in students of suspended Seaside School. At present (1978) new building is under construction to replace old one, condemned by Field Act.
1906 to 1909 Gas House Not really a schoolhouse; a building rented temporarily from the Watsonville Power & Light Co. to relieve overcrowding in Watsonville schools.
1907 Ferndale Unionized with Salsipuedes 1946.
ca. 1915 Garfield Park Part of Santa Cruz City School District. Closed 1965.
1916 (?) W. R. Radcliff Appears to have been called "Watsonville Elementary" or "Rodriguez Elementary" in earlier days (it stands on Rodriguez St.). Addition, 1928. Became part of Pajaro Valley Unified District in 1965. Now a bi-lingual school. Still going strong.
1928-29 J. W. Linscott On Elm St. Part of old Watsonville District. Pajaro Unified District, 1965.
1928-29 Mintie White On Palm St. Part of old Watsonville District. Pajaro Unified District, 1965.
1931 Branciforte Junior High On Poplar St. in Santa Cruz. Part of Santa Cruz City District.
1938 E. A. Hall On Brewington Ave. Part of old Watsonville District, 1965.
1946 Freedom On Holly Dr. in Watsonville. Absorbed Fruitvale, Roache, San Andreas--schools that closed--in 1946. Freedom District, formed in 1946, included Freedom, Amesti, and Calabasas Schools. All these taken into Pajaro Valley Unified School District, formed in 1965.
1946 Salsipuedes On Casserly Rd. in Watsonville. Absorbed Carlton, Casserly, Ferndale, Green Valley, Railroad. Salsipuedes taken into Pajaro Unified District in 1965.
1947 Bonny Doon On Pine Flat Rd. in Bonny Doon. Absorbed Ocean View and San Vicente Schools.
1946-47 San Lorenzo Union On Highway 9 between Felton and Ben Lomond. Absorbed Ben Lomond, Felton, and Zayante Schools. Became part of San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District, 1950.
1950 T. S. MacQuiddy Elem On Martinelli St. Part of old Watsonville District. Pajaro Unified District, 1965.
1952 Capitola Elementary Monterey Ave., Capitola. Part of Soquel Union District.
1954 H. A. Hyde Elementary Alta Vista St. Part of old Watsonville District. Pajaro Unified District, 1965.
1954 (?) Thornely School for the deaf. On campus of MacQuiddy Elementary.
1959 Del Mar Middle Merrill Dr., Santa Cruz. Part of Live Oak District.
1960 Rio Del Mar Elem Pinehurst Dr., Aptos. Part of old Aptos District. Pajaro Unified District, 1965.
1960 Westlake Elementary High St., Santa Cruz. Part of Santa Cruz City District.
1961-62 Soquel High Old San Jose Rd., Soquel. Part of Santa Cruz City District.
1962 Cabrillo College 1962 is date when present campus opened, but the college began in 1959, using building of old Watsonville High School.
1963 Vine Hill Elem. (new) Tabor Dr., Scotts Valley. Part of Scotts Valley District. Bears name of old Vine Hill School of 1870.
1964 Brook Knoll Elementary Tree Top Dr., Scotts Valley. Part of Scotts Valley District.
1965 Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary Winkle Ave., Santa Cruz. Part of Soquel District.
1965 Bradley Elementary Corralitos Rd. in Watsonville. Part of Pajaro Valley Unified District. Built on site of old Corralitos School. (See Oak Grove, 1859.)
1965 Hall Elementary Sill Rd., Watsonville. Part of Pajaro Valley Unified District.
1965 Mar Vista Elementary Soquel Dr., Aptos. Part of Pajaro Valley Unified District.
1965 Rolling Hills Junior High Herman Ave., Watsonville. Part of Pajaro Valley Unified District.
1965 (?) Pajaro Elementary Salinas Rd. in Watsonville. Became part of Pajaro Valley Unified District in 1965, but date of construction unclear.
1965 Natural Bridges Elem Swift St., Santa Cruz. Part of Santa Cruz City District.
1965 Farm School School for mentally retarded students of high school age. Operated by the County Office of Education. Near La Selva Beach.
1966 Quail Hollow Elem Marion Ave., Ben Lomond. Part of San Lorenzo Valley Unified District.
1966 Duncan Holbert School for orthopedically handicapped. Operated by the County Office of Education. Actually was started in 1956; school held in temporary quarters until 1966 school was built, on campus of Rolling Hills Junior High in Watsonville.
1966 De Laveaga Elem Morrisey Blvd., Santa Cruz. Part of Santa Cruz City District.
1966 Green Acres Elem Bostwick Lane, Santa Cruz. Part of Live Oak District.
1967 Capitola Intermediate Monterey Ave., Capitola, on campus of elementary school. Part of Soquel Union District.
1968 Harbor High La Fonda St., Santa Cruz. Part of Santa Cruz City District.
1968 Valencia (new) Aptos School Rd., Aptos. Part of Pajaro Valley Unified District. Bears name of old Valencia School that existed in 1880s, and that apparently lapsed in 1931.
1970 Loma Prieta High A continuation high school, located on La Fonda St., adjacent to Harbor High. Part of Santa Cruz City District. The continuation program itself, however, began about 1967 in another location.
1970 Aptos High Freedom Blvd., Aptos. Part of Pajaro Valley Unified District.
1972 Renaissance High A continuation high school. Arthur Rd. in Watsonville. Part of Pajaro Valley Unified District. The continuation program itself, however, began about 1966 in another location.
1976 Struck Communication Center School for handicapped students. On campus of Green Acres Elementary School. Operated by the County Office of Education.

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