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Santa Cruz County Office of Education Photo montage
Alternative Education Schools

Ponderosa High School and Career Training Center

Articles about our program:

Students Help Beautify Lighthouse Field
Article in Habitat for Humanity Summer 2013 Newletter
Ponderosa Boat Works Sails Through Summer School
Perfecting Their Craft: Ponderosa Boat Works students learn about sailing from stem to stern
High school students build paths, leadership skills at Pogonip and also KSBW news item on this
Alternative Education Students Gain Career and Life Skills through Ponderosa High School’s Boat Works Program
Two Alternative Education Programs Partner with Habitat for Humanity
Ponderosa High School's first year
Construction Technology Pilots at Ponderosa and Natural Bridges High Schools
Ponderosa High School students' community service learning at Evergreen Cemetery
Some Ponderosa High School students participating in the 2011 Forestry Challenge

Ponderosa High School is designed for students 15 and older (and in 10th grade) seeking education and employment training in “green” careers while earning credits toward high school graduation.

Students Gain:

  • Knowledge about environmental issues and solutions
  • Employment skills training and internships in growing green careers to increase employability
  • Instruction in written and spoken communication, presentations, and leadership skills to encourage participation in local community decisions
  • Education in local ecology, local history, local economics as well as other high school graduation requirements

Ponderosa High School students are enrolled in both Alternative Education and ROP. In addition to taking high school graduation requirements, students will participate in ROP classes, where they will learn:

  • Monterey Bay ecology and watershed education
  • Green construction methods and materials
  • Computer applications and CAD
  • Green Energy technologies
  • Organic gardening, sustainable agriculture and marketing practices
  • Green career information and assistance with enrollment in post secondary programs

In addition to their work in the classroom, students will listen to guest speakers, be taken on field trips, be involved in community service projects, and participate in short and long-term internships in green businesses and agencies.

Career education and work experience are important parts of the program. Students will develop an employment portfolio including documentation of their internships and field placements, resume and letters of recommendation.

Students will also be taught public speaking skills, computer skills and leadership skills to allow them to better participate in local conservation efforts.

Schedule: Mon, Tues, Thurs, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Weds 9:00-12:30 p.m. Academic classes
Fridays 9:00—1:30 Internships, field trips, community service

For more information, contact Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Alternative Education Programs, at 466-5728

School-Wide Goals

In Alternative Education, we become more...
Literate -    Knowledgable, life-long learners.
Ethical -     Kind to ourselves, others, and the world.
Empowered -     Prepared to create our futures.


From the County Office of Education, go down River Street and make left turn onto Highway 1 South. Follow Highway 1 South and take exit on left to Highway 17. Follow Highway 17 to Mt. Hermon Road exit. Take Mt. Hermon Road to Graham Hill Road, make a right turn. Take Graham Hill to Highway 9, make a right turn. Take Highway 9 to Glen Arbor Road, make a right turn at the light. Go Straight through the stop sign. Follow Quail Hollow Road til you get to Marion Avenue, then turn left. The school will be on your left.

Also visit the Alternative Education Programs Career Center.

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Santa Cruz County Office of Education  |  400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060  |  831.466.5600  |  Fax: 831.466.5607
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education provides quality educational programs and services to a diverse community.