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Welcome to Ocean Alternative

We hope this website gives you an idea of how our program works and the activities we offer to homeschooling families. If you are interested in registering your child or visiting our school, please complete the New Student Information Survey.

What's Happening at Ocean?

For a larger version of our school calendar, click this link.



October 31 - Monday Singing Club

November 2 & 16 - Wonderland Order Deadline

November 3—Fall Buddy Day

November 3 - Deadline to sign up and pay for Academy of Sciences.

November 4 - Audition day for Chaucer's Flying Circus

November 11 - Veteran's Day - SCHOOL CLOSED

November 18 - Parents Night Oout

November 21 - 25 - NO CLASSES - Staff PD

December 8 - Talent Show & Share

December 22 - Winter Buddy Day


These are subject to change. Please, refer to the calendar for up-to-date information.

Staff Email

Bell, Deb
Burrows, Justin
McGrath, Zelda
Sauter, Mary
Sifry, Elana
Wood, Joy

Parent Mentors

We have some of our wonderful & experienced homeschooling parents who are happy to share experiences, brainstorm ideas, and mentor. Need support?  Call or email one today.


Heddi Craft—(mom of 5th & 8th grader, and Ocean grad)


Carol Bowles—(mom of 8th grader)  


Carolyn Angell—(mom of 6th grader and Ocean grad) 


Rebecca Paten—(mom of 2nd & 5th grader and Ocean grad)  


Elana Sifry—(mom of 3rd grader and Ocean grad) 


Alberta James—(mom of 2 Ocean grads)  


Jen Bruno—(mom of K, 3rd & 6th grader) 



Our Address:

984-6 Bostwick Lane

Santa Cruz, CA  95062

(831) 475-0767

(We are located on the Green Acres Campus in Live Oak)

Here is a link to a map of our school

Escrip for Schools

Escrip is an easy way to raise money for our school.  All you have to do is go to escrip.com and assign your Safeway or Vons purchases to Ocean Alternative Education Center. You also need to renew your membership each year.  If you have family members out of the area, there are many other merchants that partner with escrip.  That's all it takes!

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Thursday, October 27th  



Theater, 2016-2017

The Ocean Alternative THEATER page is up and running!

We will again offer a 1st-8th grade play for very committed actors. This play will have an audition day on Nov. 4, from 10-12.  

Complete this form  no later than OCTOBER 27 if your child(ren) are interested in participating in this theater option. This option is NOT available to Kindergarteners.

This show will require that actors attend the audition day, all rehearsals, any extra rehearsals we might call, and that they will be here for the tech rehearsal on March 6, dress rehearsal on March 10, and the two performances on March 10. There is a fee for this option that can be offset by reducing curriculum/materials provided by Ocean. No family will be turned away because of the cost.

Actors will receive their scripts and parts before Winter Break and are expected to begin learning lines before initial rehearsals begin in January.  

For this intense theater option, you must complete the interest form by October 27 and attend the audition day on November 4. 

Thursday Art and Staff Workshops continue

This Thursday is our last project with Debbie Wu.

Please send in empty paper towel tubes this week by Thursday.


The following week (Nov. 3) is FALL BUDDY DAY, 1:00-3:00!

Please let us know a.s.a.p. if your child will NOT attend Buddy Day.


Check out all the details on the new Thursday Page!

Lakota Club coming on Thursdays

Shannon (Raven's mom) is offering to teach Lakota language and culture again this year.  The day and time is Thursday (tentatively starting November 10) from 12 to 12:45 pm.  Students staying for Spectra class will have time to eat a little snack before 1:00.  Online students are invited to participate.  There is a donation request of $5 per class. 

 We would like to get a sense of the interest of the class.  Shannon plans to teach different material than last year so both new and continuing students are invited. Please sign up by November 3 so that we can determine if the Club will be offered.

Site Council - Looking for new members!

  The next site council meeting is Tuesday, October 25 from 6:30-8:00 pm.  We will be welcoming our new Site Council Members and making plans for the school year. We are looking for new parents to contribute ideas about school events & activities.   Even if you want to just find out what it is all about, please join at the meeting. Childcare is available upon request.

Film Festival, 2016-2017

Let's bring our festival back to life this year. If you are interested, please complete the Film Festival 2016 Survey

Curriculum Available

Come check out our new Singapore Math books for grades K through 6.  The curriculum has a textbook and home educator guide for check out and a consumable activity book.  Several of our families have used them with their kids and like how the concepts are presented.  We also increased our supply of Life of Fred math books including 3 Prealgebra books.


Lastly, every student has an IXL Math account, look for details in your box.

Drop off/Pick Up Policy


Drop Off/Pick up Policy: Just as a reminder, for safety reasons, student drop off/pick up is in the Green Acres parking area (go straight instead of turning into District Office/Tierra Pacifica/ Preschool lot). If you need to see that your student is getting to class or need to come on campus, please park in parking spaces available in either lot. (District Office or Green Acres) 


Also, we ask that you honor the drop off and pick up times for each day. If you have special circumstances please check with Sue in advance. The staff uses the time before and after school to set up, clean up and have meetings with families. If you arrive to school early, please plan to stay with your child. Thank you for your cooperation.


Monday  9:30 to 1:30 (We ask that all parents walk your child in)


Tuesday 9:15 (Classes start at 9:30) to 1:30 or 2:30 (for students in Garden Club/Minecraft Club)


Wednesday 9:15 (Classes start at 9:30) to 1:30 or 2:30 (for students in After School Classes/Leadership events)


Thursday (Spectra Art starts Oct. 6) 

Groupers, 11:30 to 1:00 (except Buddy Days), 

Sea Squirts & Urchins, 12:45 -3:00.


We also encourage families to use the site as a hub or hang out after school hours and only ask that you supervise your own children.

Parent Book Club FIRST MEETING Nov. 1 6:30 in SCIENCE ROOM

Deb is starting a book club for Ocean Parents where we will read and discuss books about learning and homeschooling. If you are interested, please fill out this survey!

The first book will be:
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Deschoo ...more

 Parent Volunteers Needed

Ocean needs representatives for several school/ district committees. If interested please contact Mary.

  • Site Council - contribute ideas for school events - New families encouraged!
  • Offering a class to teach students a skill or passion (any time commitment okay)
  • Thank you goes out to the families that signed to volunteer at our 1st day celebration.  Teachers/lead parent will be in contact with you soon.

October Newsletter Available


Come to the first Garden Club meeting.

We'll start with a Family Work Day to get the garden ready to plant!

Friday, Oct. 28, 1:00 - 3:00

All students and their families are welcome.


Garden Club will meet one or two Fridays each month from 1:00 - 3:00.

Schedule coming soon.


Monday Singing Club

Music and Singing in English and Spanish with Joy!

Mondays after school, 1:30 - 2:30.

All ages welcome.  Please sign up.

Beginning Oct. 17th.


Please pass the word on to anyone you think might be interested in this option.

Ocean Online is our new digital independent study program. Ocean Online uses a blended learning model, combining the ...more


Go to Grouper Class Day page 

2016-17 Field Trips

Please go to the Field Trip page for all the details

What Is Ocean Alternative?

Student User Name & Password

If your student is a 3rd grader moving up to Tuesday class or a new 3rd through 8th grader, please complete this survey.  We use Google Accounts quite often in our Tuesday and Wednesday classes, and each student needs to come up with a user name and 8 digit password.  

Common Core Testing Information

Formative Assessment pdf. 

Here is how to get to the tests:

* go to caaspp.org

* click on “practice and training test” green tab

* click on “student interface practice & training test”

* keep the student info as guest and click on the “sign in” tab

* select grade

* select the type of test

* you can look at the different designated supports—Mary will have a list of designated support descriptions for a reference

* please use this site to practice, look at test questions, different grade levels, designated supports, etc.


Practice Test Portal

Answers to tests

*Informational Essay Rubric,

grades 3-5 

*Opinion Essay Rubric,

grades 3-5

*Narrative Writing Rubric,

grades 3-8

*Explanatory Essay Rubric,

grades 6-11

*Argumentative Essay Rubric, 

grades 6-11 



TA resources - hover over this tab-click on Resources-Practice & training tests. Scroll down page to find grade and test. It gives the answers and/or rubrics used to grade questions. Use the 2014 answers.


The tests themselves are personalized because the test is adaptive, meaning that the questions they pose are dependent on the accuracy of the previous answers—they'll select the next question based on the answer to the current question, selecting either more basic or more advanced questions, adapting to the student.


The practice tests are personalized because you can get the answers and sit together to see what's on the test, to help them to understand the problems. You won't get a report of the practice test, so this is the way to know how it's going for your child, or for you, should you opt to try out the test yourself!


Released 2015 Test Questions


Parent Guides and Roadmaps to Common Core Math by Grade Level

Parent Guides and Roadmaps to Common Core English Language Arts by Grade Level

There are times when the practice sites are down for maintenance.  If you are not able to log in the site will be unavailable for a short time.

CAASPP-California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress

TOMS - Test Online Management System (student demographic and staff information)

SBAC- Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium