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Thank you for considering
Santa Ynez 
Valley Family School

“As adults, we had a set of experiences in school that define for us what learning is supposed to look like, and in most cases, our past experience still shapes how we think about school. And these preconceptions often prevent us from clearly understanding how very different the experience of schooling must be for our children.”

- Tony Wagner

Author, “Most Likely to Succeed”

Expert In Residence,

Harvard University Innovation Lab

SYV Family School is a supportive learning community that:

  • Understands everyone has something to teach and encourages children to learn from each other

  • Knows that collaboration is necessary for solving future problems and designs opportunities to practice this art on a daily basis

  • Empowers children to become more active learners through choice

  • Values asking questions, experimenting, and taking risks to solve problems

  • Gives students the time and space to explore

  • Requires knowledge to be applied, demonstrated, and expressed; not merely assessed

  • Provides a warm, welcoming place where it is safe to take risks and be yourself

  • Recognizes children develop at their own pace and delivers a flexible curriculum to meet the needs of each student

  • Hears and respects children’s voices and ideas

  • Places equal importance on academic as well as life skills

  • Knows intimate teacher/student relationships are essential for children to reach their potential

  • Allows teachers the freedom to develop and modify curriculum based on the needs of their class

  • Believes in thinking, and that knowledge is best acquired by doing; not rote memorization

Come see how SYV Family School’s academic and life skills curriculum can benefit your child.

Our Admissions Process

1. The first step in our admissions process is to inquire.

2. The next step in our admissions process is to come for a tour. We release our tour schedule at the beginning of the school year and schedule tours from October through January. Tours are for adults only. 

3. After you have attended a tour, we will send you access to our online application where you can apply to SYV Family School. There is a $50.00 application fee due at the time you submit an application. 

4. Come March, we will schedule a time for all applicants, eligible for the upcoming school year, to visit SYV Family School. For Preschool & Kindergarten applicants this will be about an hour visit, usually on a weekend day. For 1st-5th grade applicants this will be two consecutive days of visiting from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00pm in a classroom of their peers. 

5. We let all prospective families know their admissions status for the upcoming school year by mid-March. 

Upcoming Admissions Dates 

2023-2024 Tour Dates

  • October: 3rd, 7th, & 25th

  • November: 4th, 14th, & 29th

  • December: 8th, 16th, & 19th

  • January: 16th, 19th, 20th, & 24th

Meet the Admissions Team

Julianne Tullis-Thompson

Head of School


Beth Simas

Administrative Assistant

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