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Our Schools

The Soquel Union Elementary School District is home to five schools in the Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Soquel areas. We have four elementary schools: Main Street Elementary School, Soquel Elementary School, Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School and Opal Cliffs School. We have one middle school, New Brighton Middle School.

Our focus for all students is to receive a rich education both academically, as well as through the arts. We strive to educate the whole child. We have created a nurturing environment at all of our schools that will allow our children to reach their highest potential.

Our schools are highly involved in building excellent relationships with our surrounding communities. Volunteerism is at an all-time high. The tremendous support that our schools receive from parents is exceptional.

To learn more about our sites, please click on one of the links below.

Christina Hadreas, Principal

Brittany Birchall, Assistant Principal

250 Washburn Ave

Capitola, CA 95010

(831) 464-5660

Our middle school is dynamic because the staff has been able to balance academic rigor in an environment that is rich in nurturing the adolescent child. When you visit New Brighton you will quickly become aware of the wonderful interactions that take place between student to student, adult to adult, and student to adult. The school flows with positive energy and the excellent educators are able to provide a very demanding academic program for all students.

Eric Witter, Principal

2700 Porter St

Soquel, CA 95073

(831) 464-5655

The excellent staff at Soquel Elementary School has committed itself to receive some of the highest professional training offered to educators today. It is most impressive to be a member of a staff where decisions regarding curriculum and instruction are embraced and aligned (K-5) with every educator at the school. The transformation of the instructional program has been led by this highly talented and trained staff. The collaboration to improve the instructional program among staff members is exceptional.

Nicole Killian, Principal

3400 N Main St

Soquel, CA 95073

(831) 464-5650

One of the strengths of Main Street School is their staff's ability to seek different levels of instruction to benefit the educational program for all students. Main Street School is leading the way in creating opportunities for teachers to specialize in areas like Math, Language Arts, and Science. It takes a tremendous amount of collaboration and a willingness to invest a significant amount of time to be able to specialize as a Science teacher for all fifth-grade students. It is exciting to observe the unique learning environment that occurs when teachers are able to specialize.

Carlo Albano, Principal

8005 Winkle Ave

Santa Cruz, CA 95065

(831) 464-5670

Fax (831)-476-5827

The rich interaction that is shared among all staff members at Santa Cruz Gardens has enabled this school to create a wonderful educational program that is highly supported throughout the community. It is absolutely terrific to support various teaching models that are tailored for the students at Santa Cruz Gardens. The staff believes strongly in educating the whole child via mindfulness, social skills, art, dance, and music. The strong sense of a united philosophy in educating all students is to be commended.


Dr. Jessica Kiernan, Assistant Superintendent of Education & Opal Cliffs Principal

4510 Jade Street

Capitola, CA 95010

(831) 464-5630

There are times and circumstances which ask us to re-imagine our learning models, and this is that time here in our Soquel Union Elementary Schools District community. The TK-8 Opal Cliffs Home-based Learning Model was designed to meet the needs of families for whom a typically scheduled virtual or non-virtual day is not the optimal fit. In looking at potential solutions, there were very few samples of exact models that truly met our school community’s interest. As such, our staff was able to draft a learning option that is foundationally student and home-centered and flexible. 

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