"Ours school boasts academic excellence, athletic prowess, and progressive arts."
Students enrolled 980
Hours 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
School leader Jim Skrumbis, Head of School
Transportation options Yes
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

11052 Independence Avenue
Chatsworth, CA 91311

School website
(818) 882-8121
(818) 882-8218
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Sierra Canyon School address.

4 stars
Based on 55 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

October 28, 2014
Before faulting this school for failing to meet your child's needs, it is more important to find out what those needs are before enrolling her here. That being said, I am the father of a second-year student at SC and sending my child here was one of the best decisions we have ever made. As a gifted student with numerous musical accolades, my daughter used to snooze through her public school lessons while maintaining straight A's because the teacher was always going over the same material while spending the majority of her time on those who couldn't "get it." After her transfer to SC, this was no longer an issue since her teachers seem to adhere to their lesson plans. Although she is still getting her straight A's, she now she has to work a lot harder than ever before to earn them, especially with the competition around her. Granted, being in MS, she has classes such as Algebra 1 with high school jocks in attendance. However, her teacher hardly ever slows down for them and briskly breezes through the material. And I thank him for that-- for not wasting my money and my child's time. Thank you, Sierra Canyon.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2014
As a former parent, I must say that at first I was thrilled with the school. Then our family had a financial nightmare that forced me to reconsider sending my kids there. The Finance Director offered to waive the interest on tuition. I found out from several other families when I was still debating what to do that they already had that deal. I heard from another former family that they were taken to small claims court over a small balance (around $1,000) after one of the parents was in a horrible car accident. When I transferred my children to another school I found that they were okay in their knowledge, but they were not able to get their work done in a timely manner. After talking to their teachers and my children, I found that they all had too much hand-holding at SCS. If I'm going to fork over $25k per child, I want a good education AND I want them to learn how to get their work done without constant assistance. From what I've heard from current parents who I am still friends with, the school is more interested in all of the famous and athletic families they can get. And don't even mention the multi-million dollar sports fields that we helped fundraise for that's empty!

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2014
I am in process of looking for my two kids for the 2015 school year and was told about Sierra Canyon by a friend. I can't believe how right she was to send me here. I toured both the elementary and high school and found the facilities to be beautiful and inviting. I guess the thing that impressed me most was that every child or student that we came in contact with seemed really happy and was so polite and welcoming. This is definately a school at the top of my list.

- submitted by a community member
May 21, 2014
Sierra Canyon affords students the opportunity to pursue their passions. Students can start clubs, voice their opinions in student government, and teachers always have open doors and are excited to engage in conversation and debate. Although the academics are challenging, the school environment is not too competitive. I love being part of such an accepting community.

- submitted by a community member
May 20, 2014
As a student at Sierra Canyon, I know I always feel comfortable to be myself. It is a place of community where the students are so welcoming, which creates a comfortable environment for both new and returning students. Teachers are flexible and willing to work with you whether you have a question, an issue, or if you just want to talk- they're always there for you. The small class sizes allow for students and teachers to have a close relationship and a connection that's unlike most other schools. Also, the food is so good and the snack and lunch times are perfect lengths!

- submitted by a community member
May 15, 2014
This school is great I'm a student here. All the bad comments about the school are not true! Those are the idiotic kids who didn't take school serous. This school offers some of the best education in California , it's $30 thousand for a reason.

- submitted by a community member
May 09, 2014
This school sucks, i go here currently and its absolutely terrible. The education is alright but some of the teachers are very rude and disrespectful. There is a teacher who actually insults their students and calls them idiots. Mostly, lots of the kids are very very rude. There are some nice people who are really sweet but mainly is guys who make fun of you and make disgusting sexual comments. Then there's the girls who whisper about you and the school is so cliquey. do not go here, please. i'm switching to public school next year and i hope you dont go to this school because you'll be miserable

- submitted by a community member
April 29, 2014
The math program was substandard- No progressive program--My child was not prepared for college math--lots of puffery coming from the administration-

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2014
I disagree. As an alumni parent of a student who just graduated from college, I can attest to the fact that our daughter was more than adequately prepared for her university experience. In fact, she did well in both business and science classes at university. Both math and science are prized at Sierra Canyon. Last year, one of their students was named an Intel Scholar, sometimes referred to as the student Nobel Prize. For students at Sierra who, like our daughter, struggle with math, the teachers were great about making themselves available for additional, personalized instruction. Bottom line is that there is excellent teaching going on there, and the kids are well prepared.

- submitted by a community member
April 15, 2014
Fantastic! I really love this place! The arts curriculum, the community feel and the overall facilities make this a special place. They are currently building more for their baseball program and constantly looking to improve. The teachers are very approachable and parents are welcome at this school, which I cannot say was the case at my previous school. My child feels at home and has grown so much and matured that I am amazed. As a current parent, I recommend that you all take a tour and figure out whether or not this school is what you are looking for. For us, it has been everything and more.

- submitted by a parent
April 09, 2014
Terrible school! Not much more than a public school on a beautiful campus. The school has steadily declined over the years. This school used to be elite and a privilege to attend. There used to be an admission process that the school would strictly adhere to. Not anymore. The class sizes have increased. SC claims to have a 9:1 student teacher ratio. This is not true. Most classes are way over this limit. Not only has the class size increased, the staff have been decreased. A school that once had incredible supervision, has a poor excuse for supervision. There no longer is a science specialist and many other things that once made this school a wonderful place. The education is mediocre at best. The students above grade level get a decent education while the kids at or below grade level are given good marks while they are not mastering the curriculum. Most students have outside tutors so they can actually learn something. The curriculum is just recycled year after year. The administration panders to the wealthy and the rules are not enforced for children of the rich and famous. Some of the worst behaved kids attend this school. SC only cares about sports and money.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2014
Absolutely AMAZING! This school have everything you need and more! Such a breathe of fresh air in the world of education. This school's culture is centered around the family environment. It's hard to say what Sierra is "known for" because all the elements are there. They send their students to the best colleges in the nation, have fantastic state-of-the-art sport facilities, incredible art programs and much more. I'm so incredibly grateful I found this school for my family. Thank you Sierra Canyon for putting my faith back into school systems. You do it right!

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2014
When I brought my first child to Sierra Canyon, I was amazed at the amount of space; the environment was expansive, with a great del of grass and blue sky. Then upon hearing the "pillars of character", I was thinking; 'okay their heart is in the right place', but it was upon seeing the smiles on the children's faces and hearing the little gap-toothed recitations as un-coached answers to the admissions director's random questions that I was sold. I was not wrong. My daughter has recently graduated as an academic all-american and is attending a premiere research facility in the UC system. I have a second child who's matriculated to the upper campus where my first child actually started the new swim team. She asked, and Sierra delivered: if you need it, they will do it. That's a can-do attitude. In regards to the 11th grade literature list that someone mentioned below; that person is patently wrong. I know the list, and can attest that the Springsteen poetry was presented in contrast and addition to Leaves of Grass, Death of a Salesman, Two Trains Running, Gatsby, Scarlet Letter, Dickenson's poems and two others. The Faulkner was part of the TENTH grade list. Take a tour! It's great.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2014
The teachers are great and most of them really care about their students. However when problems arise the administration's handling of problems is marginal at best with respect to the lower school. They are very quick to blame the child and parent and even in the face of evidence to the contrary still blamed the child. This was psychologically abusive to our child!! They tried to say our child was the problem and that our child had all these problems as diagnosed by their "specialists." When we had our child tested outside their "specialists" turned out our child is actually very, very smart. Some families are afforded accomodations and are able to make their own plans that work best for their children while other's are not and that depends on whether you work there or not or how much money you have. As far as bullying that other's describe that is the absolute truth!!! Administration does look the other way depending on whether your family has money to give to the school or if the child's parent work's there. Way too much bully behavior goes unchecked there be sure your child can hold their own before considering Sierra.

- submitted by a parent
December 14, 2013
Was a former student here. A number of teachers were given positions due to nepotism and long-time relationships with the owners, with the result being that academic quality and teaching techniques are mediocre (public school level, really). The school spends a lot of money to make the buildings and grounds look impressive, but neglect what should really count. Just as an FYI a lot of people I graduated with have gone on the Pierce College and Cal State Northridge, with less numbers going to UC schools and a few to USC. (I can count may one person who went to an Ivy League school, and it was on an athletic scholarship.)

- submitted by a community member
November 13, 2013
I am a parent to a child in the Lower School, and we have been very pleased with the campus, teachers, administration, and academics. My child transferred from a different Independent school and it was amazing to see how much more he learned and progressed at Sierra Canyon. The learning environment is divided into "like learner" groups, which is fantastic as the children are placed into a level that is appropriate for their development. The students take very interesting field trips, including overnight ones, which really allow the classes to bond. My child's teachers have all been incredibly caring, qualified, and devoted to bringing the best in the students; we are delighted with our choice to attend Sierra.

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2013
My daughter says she loves Sierra Canyon despite sharing a few negative incidents. I thought I could trust this school but will reconsider if the "Character Counts" program isn't respected. I've told her to focus only on learning, ignore bullies but stick up for anyone who is picked on so that they have a witness on their side. We'll look out for the problem families. Thank you for the valuable information. I'm sorry to hear what you went through. Bullies are a dime a dozen. Creative bright polite happy kids are so rare.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
In response to the parent who posted on October 20, if you're unaware of the bullying problem at the school, I suspect your child is not sharing with you, which is not surprising - my child was expressly told by an administrator to NOT share with me bullying incidents that occur at school. The kids are well aware of the pervasive nature of bullying at Sierra Canyon. A while back, my child received a phone call from a former classmate apologizing for the bullying my child endured. Just recently I was chaperoning a party and a little girl came up to me - she knew who I was - she told me she was aware that my child was bullied, and she was very sorry. She proceeded to share with me that she, too, was forced to leave Sierra Canyon because she was being bullied and administration would not deal with it. Further, a teacher at Sierra Canyon shared with me that she had to withdraw her child, also because because of bullying. The only reason bullying is such a problem at Sierra Canyon is because administration looks the other way. If the bullies were seriously reprimanded, they would stop. Instead, the victims are forced to withdraw in the interest of their physical and emotional safety.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2013
Sierra is just awesome.... Just awesome... I love it.... It is like a family... Our headmaster is just the greatest.

- submitted by a teacher
October 22, 2012
CAUTION PARENTS i am a former student from sierra, (K-7) and it does not prepare you for real life!!! The math program is messed up. Even if you get a C you can pass the class. At public schools, you have to get a 85% that shows that you actually know the material!!! ONCE AGAIN do not go to this school. It is is WAY too overpriced.

- submitted by a community member
September 27, 2012
As a parent whose child went through entire program, I will address the comment @ "Their math skills are streets ahead of their public school friends and neighbor kids", If only that was true. I would not feel as though I wasted thousands of Dollars. It is Absolutely False. My Student feels the school did not prepare for college Math. @ Comment regarding Chemistry teacher---This is correct. The teacher was Lost; the entire class was spending hundreds of dollars on tutors. @The red flag to your comments are "tutoring kids." Perhaps the kids you tutor are the problem------- The Majority of my Students friends at Sierra opted for tutors.

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2012
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William Arthur Ward Beautiful 37 acre campus. Outstanding faculty, councillors, and coaches with depth, teaching savvy,, and hearts in the right place. Sierra Canyon recruits the cream of the teaching and coaching world. Incredible staff. Credentials and advanced credentials from Harvard, Yale, Tolstoy, Colgate, Stanford, and many other great Universities. Teachers that would be successful at anything they did. No attitudes here,, the focus is on education and building character with bearing in a magnificent, friendly and helpful learning environment. Outstanding academics, athletics, theatre arts, dance, sciences, social energy, field trips,, it's all here, and it's all superb. Our 7th grader excels in Sierra Canyons learning atmosphere and loves it here. No issue getting up and rolling to class in the morning. May be tough to get enrolled. Worth the effort if your child is a good student and of good character. Not for children with learning disabilities. Sierra Canyon School cues up your childs best years in front of them.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2012
To the tutor that mentioned Civil War knowledge: Our Sierra Canyon educated kids would love to discuss the Civil War with you. From " the Confederate high watermark at the Angle in Gettysburg, south to Harpers Ferry, all the battles up to and including Antietam, from Fort Sumter west to Vicksburg, up the Shenandoah Valley, all the way to Fords Theater." -Those are my kids words, not mine. Their math skills are streets ahead of their public school friends and neighbour kids. My daughter is a math professor at CSUN and is very impressed with Sierra Canyons mathematics dept. She was well into then beyond Geometry by the 7th grade on the strength of Sierra Canyons excellent teachers and program. She got a math scholarship out of it all the way to her Doctorate. Jack Londons soul walks the halls of this school and you can hear his heart beating in the library if you just warm YOUR heart a little I invite you to take a tour. Call the school and they will be glad to accommodate you, and you'll be impressed by the outstanding kids and faculty you meet. The red flag to your comments are "tutoring kids." Perhaps the kids you tutor are the problem,, not the school. Hence being tutored.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2012
I was a student at Sierra from 2nd-8th grade. I always loved it - the fieldtrips are always absolutely incredible. The staff is your second family and the academics are very, very challenging. I was in the honors program and all my teachers were incredible. Unfortunately, it is highly overpriced and the kids are extremely privileged on the whole. The high school has far more expenses to pay with "Peak Week", books, and tuition in general. On the whole, I would not take anything in place of Sierra. It was a great elementary school. I now attend a more reasonably priced and reputable high school - Chaminade. The dynamic is very different and I love it.

- submitted by a community member
November 17, 2011
We have been at the Sierra Canyon lower school for 3 years now, and we are thrilled with our experience. It has a very warm and "family" feel from the founders of the school (who come by rather often), to the administration to the staff. It's a great group of kids. They are respectful, accepting of diversity and have an overall good time while learning at an incredible speed. The kids do not seemed overwhelmed or stressed out. The food they offer is fresh and high quality, they have an in-house garden that parents and kids foster. If desired, there are a plethera of parent involvement opportunities. There is no pressure, but the opportunities are endless and it's fantastic. This school is willing to make change based on feedback like I have never seen. Everyone's voice is heard. It's unreal. We have found our home and have no plans of leaving!

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2011
A warning to all the parents. My duaghter broke her right arm with 2 broken bones on the right hand. The reason: there was no one there to tell her not sit on the fence. Not even a phone call after I took her to hospital to see how she is doing. All they care is collecting money thats all. I wished they could just call and feel sorry for what happened to my daughter. The phone call I receive was from their administrator after I complained and informed them that she had a broken hand. Her escuse was that she was busy with paperwork and couldn't make a call to see what happened. I am usually not a person who complains I just care about your children being safe and all I am telling you is please be careful. You don't know what my daughter had to go through with her injury.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2011
This is a very very good school. Academically they out perform a lot of other better known schools. The school is building out the sports programs - after that will be the arts programs. The administration is 100% open to feedback and there is a true open door policy. They are a young school and do need to raise money and have parental involvement to build out the facilities, finish the non-academic programming and build up the parent-school infrastructure.. Being a young school means that parents can have a lot of impact with what is going on. Given the tuition (lower than Oakwood, Buckley, Viewpoint, Campbell Hall), this is a very good value for the money.

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2010
Our daughter has been at Sierra Canyon School since 1st grade. We are extremely happy with the school's teaching philosophy and the supportive staff and administration. They treat my child as if she was their own. The academics are outstanding and with the new athletic director, the sports teams are solid and at the top in standings. College counseling support is tremendous. The merger of the upper school and lower school is complete and it feels great. An upper school gym is being built and soon there will be a multi-purpose building on the lower campus. We couldn't be happier at Sierra Canyon!

- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2010
For the parent who asked about Ingenium Charter School, here is their web site, IngeniumSchools.org. Hope this is helpful for you -- so many folks are having the same challenges with tuition.

- submitted by a community member
July 31, 2010
An excellent school that provides a perfect foundation for college. We sent our child here from a public school. The attentive and supportive teachers are great and he is thriving. The only drawback is the constant need to pay for "extras" like books, trips and tons of other things throughout the year that can really add up, on top of the high tuition. But even with that, we feel this is the best chance we can give our child for a successful future so it's worth it in the end.

- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2010
What every school should be like.....Unbelievable grounds and program is second to none..All 3 of my kids have thrived!!!

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2010
This is a wonderful school. My husband and I love it; however, we simply can no longer afford the tuition. A new charter school (Ingenium Charter School in Canoga Park) is opening this fall. It seems to have the same educational philosophy--learner centered and based on academic and not age levels--does anyone have any information on Ingenium Charter School? We would like our children to continue with the Sierra system!

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2010
This expensive school has lacked direction for the past four years. With the opening of the new high school and new management, they have bled the lower school families of funds and resources. The aides are not qualified and some of the teachers are employed out of nepotism and not ability. This year Science specialists were cut, nurse hours were scaled back, and supervision has dwindled. The school has focused on athletics and the new high school for the past three years with drastic negative effects. For such a high price, there is no indoor gym, auditorium, and cafeteria. When it rains, the children must walk to the lunch line and cary their trays back to their classes to eat, even kindergardeners! The campus often floods and the pick up and drop off is often chaotic. Academically, there are a few bright stars with the faculty, but not nearly enough.

- submitted by a parent
March 15, 2010
My child moved to Sierra Canyon a few years ago. He loves the school!!

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2010
My daughter has been in this school for 4 years. The tuition is so expensive for what they could offer the kids. First they have a poor P.E. program. They sometimes go to Mason park to run 3-5 lapse for or sometimes will just run around the campus. They have no gym so varsity basketball and voleyball teams go to Powerhouse gym to practice. Academically, it's not so challenging bec. some of the teachers are so lenient in their HW as if they don't want to stress out the kids. The kids are nice and my daughter enjoys the people in school.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2010
We moved our daughter to Sierra Canyon from another school in the area and we couldn't be happier ! She can't wait to get to school every day. The teachers are amazing, they know how to inspire the kids to do their best without making them feel any pressure. Most of all they make it fun and creative. If you are anywhere in the valley you should look at Sierra Canyon first.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2009
This school is very overpriced for what you receive. I can afford the tution however they have unqualified teachers assistants teaching academic centers in the class room. Very important centers including reading, writing, and mathmatics. They have a beautiful field however no gym. They have promised a gym for years and it has never come to be. My feeling is that it will never be built especially since the new owners and administrators have placed all there focus on thier new upper school. They have laid off all of there long time Physical Education teachers and coaches that were highly skilled and loved by the students. The new administration is pouring all the funds and thier efforts into there new campus. They are running the lower school into the ground. I would not recommend this school to any one.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2008
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- submitted by a teacher
no rating January 31, 2008
Although the school has a very expensive tuition, it is well worth the price. Not only have I learned a lot at this school, but I have enjoyed it too. What more could I possibly ask for? Also, the high school building looks like it could be a college! Everyone I know that is currently enrolled in the high school exceptionally happy. Sierra Canyon has been my home away from home for almost all of my life. If you thought disneyland was the happiest place on earth, think again.

- submitted by a student
January 15, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
September 28, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2006
Our kids attended this school for 6 years. We were happy with the elementary school, but felt that eventually the value was lacking. When it seemed that a gym might finally be built, focus switched to the new high school. For the relatively high tuituion cost, we felt the administration should have made these items more of a priority. I agree that the school is stronger in its lower grades and falls a bit short in 4th grade. 5th grade seemed to pick-up. The good teachers in the lower grades are very caring, which is a trait we had hoped would extend to the administrative level, but did not always seem to do so.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2006
This is a great school up until the 3rd grade. After that, the curriculum suffers from too many busy-work projects and not enough grammar and reading. The E-K thru 3rd grade teachers are some of the finest, but if your child is not a traditional learner, administration has little patience or desire to be creative. I've had both - traditional learners and one who wasn't. And while the annual fairs are certainly fun, they take up far too much class time and teacher resources. Hopefully the new owners will make some capital improvements and force some attitude adjustments at an administrative level.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2006
Sierra Cyn is a fast paced, high achieving, academic focused school. It is also fun! Most programs are knowledge based. Each school year has a theme, this year was Medieval Times (period focus)next year Base Camp Planet Earth (environment focus). Students learn from early kindergarten (EK) that character counts and it works. Very few altercations between students. Most teachers are amazing however when they aren't the school remedies the situation. Students are placed in like paced learning centers. Those who succeed are of average to high intelligence and willing to work. They are kept busy and exposed to many stimulating experiences both academically and physically. Parents have plenty opportunity for involvement and safety is a high priority. Cons? Surrounding neighborhood doesn't realize what a gem this school is for the community, it's tucked away in horse country! As of this year they are EK-12! Scholarships available. It's Great!

- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2006
Excellent facilities. Focus on academics in early-kindergarten are mixed with socialization in a way that encourages the children to learn and be excited to attend school.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2006
The quality of the academic programs is top notch. This school is designed for the highly motivated academic achiever student. There are many extra curricular activities. Parents are highly involved in this school. I highly recommend it to anyone who's child fits with this school. Its pricey so if you can afford it its great.

- submitted by a parent
December 08, 2005
High quality academics, very challenging yet concerned about the general welfare of the student. Lots of extracurriculars. Some parents very involved, others not.

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
May 02, 2005
Great school, very diverse population of kids, warm and safe learning environment. Relatively affordable for a private school. As of Sep, 2005 a school that kids can attend from pre-K to 12th grade. Each grade has at least three levels of difficulty, and children are able to move up a level if their performance warrants it.

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2004
Great elementary school! Kids are devided into 3 levels at each grade level for math and English: at the grade level; at the next grade level; at the next grade level advanced. Wonderful teachers. Pleasant and safe environment

- submitted by a parent
November 16, 2004
Set on a beautiful campus, this is an outstanding school in all areas. The staff as a whole are highly qualified, and the academic program is excellent. Children excel in a warm and caring environment.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2004
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- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2004
We moved our children from public school and are thrilled with their new sense of drive and self motivation! We couldn't be happier.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 26, 2003
Sierra is an amazing school. One of the best we have ever seen!

- submitted by a parent
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Sierra Canyon School
11052 Independence Avenue, Chatsworth, CA  91311
(818) 882-8121
Last modified Sierra Canyon School is a Private school that serves grades PK-12
Sierra Canyon School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 57 reviews. Top