About Us

A Holistic Approach

In 1998, parents and teachers, inspired by the Waldorf model of education, founded Monterey Bay Charter School. In 2006, the school was given its first autonomous charter status by the Board of the Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE). Monterey Bay Charter School is a tuition-free public school using Waldorf-inspired methods integrated with State standards, and emphasis on a solid academic foundation, artistic expression, and social / emotional development. A holistic, arts-integrated approach to learning emphasizes the child’s relationship to the natural world thereby promoting respect for the environment and humankind. The goal is to nurture the whole child with the objective of enabling students to become self-motivated, competent life-long learners.

As a County-wide charter school, students come from all communities including Seaside, Monterey, Marina, Pacific Grove, Carmel, Big Sur, and Salinas. Committed to educating the whole child, the school endeavors to foster the unfolding of each child’s full potential.

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Authorizer: Monterey County Office of Education
Memberships: Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, Charter School Development Center

Our Mission

Inspire Joyful Learning and Courageous Living!

“The heart of the Waldorf method is that education is an art – it must speak to the child’s experience. To educate the whole child, his heart and his will must be reached, as well as the mind.” -Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)
Our Values
We are a Head Heart Hands community
  • Community
  • Artful Methods
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Integrity
  • Self-awareness
  • Diversity
School Overview

What is a California Charter?

Charter Schools were established as part of California State Education Code 47600.This part is known as the “Charter Schools Act of 1992.” Section 47601 states:

“It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this part, to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure, as a method to accomplish all of the following:

  • Improve pupil learning.
  • Increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils who are identified as academically low achieving.
  • Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.
  • Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the schoolsite.
  • Provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.
  • Hold the schools established under this part accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes, and provide the schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.
  • Provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools.”



Subject Classes

School Overview

This is what we offer:

Budget - Average Daily Attendance
The state of California funds schools/districts such as MBCS based on student attendance, also known as Average Daily Attendance (ADA). ADA is calculated by dividing the total number of days of student attendance by the number of days of school taught during the same period. A student with perfect attendance generates about $9,000 in State ADA revenue for the school. When attendance drops for any reason, revenue dips accordingly. Charter schools receive the least amount of ADA funding from the State of all public schools. The school relies on parent fundraising to close the gap between State funding and the full cost of the program.
Charter and Accreditation
MBCS is an independent charter school approved by the Monterey County Board of Education (MCOE). California charter schools may be chartered for periods up to five years. MBCS received its first charter in 2005. In 2011, the school was awarded a six-year year accreditation jointly from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the California Department of Education (CDE). MBCS Accreditation Report to WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) MBCS Charter Renewal was approved February 15, 2012 by the Monterey County Board of Education for five years (2012-2017).
Class Size
The school has three Kindergarten classes, two classes in grades one through seven, and one class in grade eight, with a second grade-eight class coming in the 2019-2020 school year. Class sizes are 24 students for each Kindergarten , 26 students for each class in grades one through four, and 27 students for each class in grades 5-8 class. Class teachers typically stay with the same class through the course of several grade levels, enabling a strong understanding of the students and their progress.
Specialty Classes

MBCS provides classes in several specialties that reflect the Waldorf-methods curriculum. Music, Handwork, Spanish, Games (P.E.), Strings, Theater, and Choral Singing are taught by teachers with specialized training in these subject areas. Middle School Electives are available to sixth to eighth graders (Choir, Orchestra, Fine Arts, Woodworking, Technology/STEAM, Environmental Science and Yoga). See the Program description for more details on classroom subjects.

State Testing
As a public school funded by the State, MBCS is subject to State requirements regarding testing in addition to other mandates. Students in grades 3-8 participate in Common Core testing and periodic benchmark testing is done to track each student’s progress. Academic Performance Index* (API) score for 2012-13 was 862. Common Core resut

*State standardized tests in English, math, science and history determine a school’s API score.

In 2013-14, California changed to “Smarter Balanced Assessments” and MBCS participated in the State’s Field Test, which used computers for the first time to test 3rd-8th grade students. This field test will not provide scores or other outcomes to the participating schools. Smarter Balanced is an assessment system aligned with a common core of academic content standards for English language arts/literacy and mathematics.

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Subscribe to
Special Event Notices

Subscribe to MBCS special event notices (5-6 flyers per school year). Each flyer contains an unsubscribe link so you may opt out easily at any time.