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Santa Barbara, CA
Students enrolled: 245
Before care: No

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1795 San Leandro Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

School website
(805) 969-7732
(805) 969-3635
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Map of Crane Country Day School address.

June 01, 2015
Crane Country Day School has been wonderful for my children and our family. After graduating from Crane my children are thriving in high school - fully prepared academically and socially. Crane prepared them for the honors and AP courses offered at the high school level and they are both active in sports teams. Our entire family has made lifelong friends at this school. I thank the wonderful teachers, and administration, who helped educate our kids in such a creative and academic environment from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade. Thank you Crane!

- submitted by a parent

October 29, 2014
We have homeschooled, thrust our kids in schools around the world and attended Crane for 8 years. The thing I love the most about Crane is that my children are known. The teachers are incredibly attentive and deeply care about our kids. The attention they give our boys in advisory, families, and on a daily basis is simply extraordinary. There are moments of sweetness like assembly. You realize that life is a privilege-a pretty amazing moment in our crazy world. Crane often makes me and my family stop and think about what really matters. Yes, Crane is filled with wealthy families and politics (this is an area that needs deep discussion) but it is also filled with a huge heart and a drive to do the very best. Over all, I see amazingly dedicated teachers and a commitment to progressive education. I want my kids to be prepared with critical thinking, flexibility, visual literacy and ingenuity. I think Crane has that going on.

- submitted by a parent

May 04, 2014
I am a real parent and will write as honest and unbiased a review as I can. We have an actual gifted child, and for 4+ yrs we have tried to get some changes and have been told "No" at every turn. It's been very frustrating since this school does give support to learning challenged kids. All of the special treatment that the '4th grader' (written about below by a supposed crane parent) has been given has not been offered to my child or any of the others I personally know. In fact the very things listed have all been brought up by me... The idea that the librarian sets aside separate books is laughable! Our child has read college level books for years and is told to pick books from a list for 8-10 yr olds in order to do book reports. The reports have no room for creativity and must strictly adhere to answering questions even if they don't apply to the novel. Then, they must be a specific # of sentences, or else loss of grade points! You ask why we have stayed; 1) the public school to is not an option where we live 2) there are other opportunities which ARE great such as the Spring Study week, the beautiful safe campus, teachers who are warm and caring, school plays, garden

- submitted by a parent

May 03, 2014
I completely agree with the last post. The headmaster and board are after big bucks. There seems to be one admissions criterion; how much can you donate? Grade inflation runs rampant, and the teachers who really are mostly great, are left on their own to deal with behavour issues and low ability without support of the parents or admin. They are so busy with this, they seem to resent kids on the gifted end who want differentiated work. It's also true that there is really no experiential learning anymore...they tossed that out and just memorize lists all week, every week...the sense of entitlement is very high and many of the kids think that they are in charge. Honestly, there is just no room for someone who does not fit in a box, or thinks outside of it. Most kids with high ability are mis-labeled and end up unhappy, unchallenged and bored. There are cliques for sure, and for girls it's a rough middle school experince. This is not a school where it's cool to be smart.

- submitted by a parent

May 01, 2014
I wrote a review two weeks ago, addressing the lack of ability with which Crane can educate the gifted, but also how much emphasis the headmaster puts on fundraising and hanging out with the richest families. Somehow, SOMEHOW(?) it was removed and all of a sudden a review about how great gifted kids are treated appears with a host of others...after years of no new reviews. WHAT A JOKE...at least a dozen families with gifted kids are fleeing this year alone, due to rote, redundant and repetitive teaching to the test! Moreover, since they let in anyone who can pay and donate, the teaching level has gone down and down...which is not the fault of the mostly wonderful teachers who are the silver lining. Crane loves to shove things under the rug...student behaviour, lack of diversity, why teachers are fired...and that a small cluster of super rich run the school with a private board which meets in secret, and to which no regular person is allowed. This school needs a makeover, and instead it is building a new parking lot...priorities! There needs to be a real psychologist, a nurse and honestly the teachers would live in less fear of the board and the head if there were a new one!

- submitted by a parent

May 01, 2014
At Crane my daughter is surrounded by loving teachers and immersed in joyful learning. She tests as gifted, and I wondered if a small school would be able to offer her enough challenge. But her teachers invite her to go farther and deeper in every lesson. She writes every day; the librarian sets books aside for her; the math specialist creates problems that take days or weeks to solve; there s real lab science and studio art every week. Some other highlights are the summer-reading challenge, where kids read anything they love and earn rewards like lunch with the head of school; Spring Study Week, for which teachers create experiential workshops around an annual theme; and the social-studies simulations at each grade level (for example, the Fourthie-Niners Gold Rush unit). The teachers at Crane are the best: professional, imaginative, and totally committed to creating a sense of community. Plus my daughter can run like a wild creature on the beautiful campus at recess: even though she s heading into the tween years, at Crane she can still be a kid. Crane tuition is a big sacrifice for our family, even with a substantial scholarship, but I can t imagine a better gift for my child.

- submitted by a parent

April 30, 2014
Apathy is at an all time high at Crane right now. And it starts at the top, with an administration that is more concerned with raising money to build new buildings (an indoor gym in central California!?!?!) than it is with investing in the kids. The curriculum emphasizes rote memorization and a one-size-fits-all approach to education. The administration is checked out and it filters down to the teachers and parents. The community atmosphere that they "sell" is gone. In the old days, there were too many volunteers for field trips and school events. Now, It's nearly impossible to find volunteers to help out. The school couldn't even get families to donate items for a food drive this spring. Pathetic.

- submitted by a parent

April 24, 2014
I don't even know where to begin when it comes to talking about Crane! We have been part of this school for over 6 years and all I can say is that it just keeps getting better every year. The teachers are amazing and so dedicated to what they teach. When you walk into a classroom you immediately see the hands on experiential learning that is taking place. The kids are always so involved and excited to be there. Global awareness and service to others are clearly visible all over campus. The diverse community of parents, teachers and students are so welcoming that I really do feel like they are my second family. The Staff and Teachers know every single child's name! Also, what is very unique at Crane is that all of the students interact with one another. The 8th graders with the kindergartners, the 2nd graders with the 6th graders and so on. This empowers the older kids to be great role models and really take on leadership roles. I can go on and on about all of the greatness happening at Crane, but there probably wouldn't be enough room here. My older daughter is now 17 and I can tell you that she still comes back to Crane every chance she gets.

- submitted by a parent

April 24, 2014
My two children simply love getting out of the car and going to school every single morning! They find school fun, engaging, challenging at Crane. When I pick them up at the end of the day and listen to their chatter about what went on at school that day , I find myself wishing I were their age again and that I could go to Crane School! It seems like every day brings something new and exciting for them. My children have so much more confidence than I ever did at their age and I believe it comes from the respect they are given as members of the Crane community. They feel free to speak up at daily assembly, to be in a play, to go out for a sport, to present at the science fair and this week, my daughter did a poster presentation on her favorite animal at a fair during lunch time. I love this wonderfully supportive community!

- submitted by a parent

April 15, 2014
We've been at this school for more than 5 years and, I have to say, things are going downhill fast. There are some amazing, passionate teachers, but the work that goes on in the classroom these days is NOT experiential. Incidences of creative expression are few and far between. Worksheets and lessons with rote memorization have replaced the hands-on learning of years' past. Don't be wooed by the gorgeous 11 acre campus. The classroom learning is no better than the public school up the street. The administration puts much more effort into raising money for new buildings than it does on improving the curriculum and differentiating the learning for all students.

- submitted by a parent

February 20, 2014
As amazing as the K-5 experience was for both of my children, the 6-8 has been even better. The academics are top-notch, encouraging critical thinking and independence. The faculty in Upper School have created an environment that is rich in content but also keeps the fun-factor. My oldest was well and fully prepared for a rigorous High School, and continues to thrive thanks to the confidence he gained and the joy he experienced in his middle school years. The school encourages students to have a balanced life: academics, sports, arts, outdoors, and free time are all part of the program for students. Thank you, Crane!

- submitted by a parent

February 16, 2014
Crane is magic. The great curriculum that all schools strive for is simply a given here, kids graduate on to the esteemed Cate school or thrive in public, blah blah blah. The real benefit, the reason if you have the money you won't think twice about spending it, or the reason you'll eat dog food to afford it, is the Experiential Learning, which is more than just setting learning outcomes and making it engaging to get there. One example: a week every year, they stop everything and have Spring Study week, with a different theme (one year it was Leonardo Da Vinci, another it was water) and all day every day there are awesome, educational experiences around that theme. The experience of Gretel Huglin Ridge and her art program is itself a complete education in art, collaboration, self reflection, design thinking, and any other subject that might tie into her ever-changing program. Crane will challenge your child at every turn, but the kid is so involved in the Crane experience, it's not perceived as work. Your child is known and celebrated-- i can't count how many times i've been stopped by staff with great, telling stories about my child. we moved and i miss crane constantly.

- submitted by a parent

January 06, 2014
Crane is an amazing school that balances rigorous academics with creative expression, enabling kids to work hard and play hard. The teachers are experienced and passionate and they truly know their students. My daughter has been attending the school for 8 years and has never once complained about having to go to school. Kids learn by doing so that the learning is active, engaged and often a lot of fun.

- submitted by a parent

October 18, 2012
Amazing school! We are SO impressed and it's only the 2nd month. My two children have just joined the Crane family (4th and 6th grades) and couldn't be happier. The students have embraced them. The faculty has been incredibly attentive, making sure their transition was smooth. The support systems are plentiful--the advisors in Upper School, homework club, the parent association, etc. We changed schools primarily for my daughter entering 6th grade and are so grateful for all of the wonderful friends she has already made. The girls are kind and super supportive of each other, especially evident during volleyball games! It is refreshing how sweet natured and innocent they are, as well. We were truly nervous moving our son into 4th grade, as he wears a hearing aid and has had several facial reconstructions. Not one child has so much as batted an eye at him. He is a class favorite. That speaks volumes about the character of these children! We can't say enough good things about Crane!

- submitted by a parent

June 17, 2011
Mean girls, poor math, the only great thing about this school is kind teachers and pretty campus. very very difficult to enter a grade 1st and up without being bullied if you have been there since kindergarden no problem you will do fine, but other than that mean people!

- submitted by a teacher

February 26, 2009
I do not think you can say their Math program is weak now. Last year's 8th grade MathCounts team placed third regionally and advanced all the way to the State level, with the two top scorers placing 2nd and 5th in a region that spans Newbury Park to Goleta. Considering that they assembled a team of four from a class of 34, and were competing against schools that have hundreds or thousands of kids to pick from, I would say that the Math program is more than good enough. I think this reputation dates from more than a decade ago before our current Headmaster arrived. My son, who was at Crane for all nine years, is now acing all his classes including Math (well, except for Art) at his high school, which is ranked among the top 20 prep schools in the country.

- submitted by a community member
no rating
January 30, 2009
Fabulous faculty and administration at this jewel of a school in Santa Barbara. You can tell that they really care about the kids. The top notch academic program is filled with specialties such as Art, Drama Science and Sports. The grounds are amazing with lush green fields for the students to play on. You have to see it to believe it.

- submitted by a parent

February 19, 2008
Great school, with wonderful programs in Spanish and Science. Yes, the math program is a little behind, but the school makes up in it's amazing Science program. Their Spanish program, makes sure every student is at a level where they are still comfortable but still learning new things. They have wonderful art teachers, and a great library for all ages.

- submitted by a parent

September 01, 2007
'Love of learning' is what Crane is all about. We've had three children go through Crane and I can say it's one of the best investments we've ever made.

- submitted by a parent

March 29, 2007
Crane is an amazing school. We looked at many schools in SB/Goleta/Montecito, both public and private and we could tell from the start that Crane was special. Our children love school (our oldest has been there for 6 years and the other for 2 years). The teachers, administration and families are all very nice. Plus well behaved children and top notch classes. All around an amazing educational community.

- submitted by a parent

February 21, 2007
This has to be one of the best schools in Santa Barbara. Just schedule a parent tour and see for yourself. The teachers and administration are awesome! Students are offered a broad curriculum that includes specialized teachers for Spanish, Science, Art, Computers, Music, Drama, and P.E. My child looks forward to going to school every morning with excitement. They also offer scholarships to low income families as they strive for diversity, which is a plus.

- submitted by a parent

February 22, 2004
A great school! Definitely your best choice. Teachers are great. Has a great curriculum.

- submitted by a student

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About this school

Crane Country Day School is dedicated to providing an experiential education characterized by a thoughtful balance of academic challenge and creative expression. We thrive as a community that builds character and confidence, while celebrating the joy in learning.

February 12, 2014


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Last modified: June 01, 2015

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Crane Country Day School
1795 San Leandro Lane, Santa Barbara, CA  93108
(805) 969-7732
Last modified Crane Country Day School is a Private school that serves grades K-8
Crane Country Day School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 29 reviews. Top