A Holistic K-8 Charter School

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 the core principles of Public Waldorf Education aligned to the state standards.

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

monterey bay students holding hands
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
  • Experiential Learning
  • 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


Our History


The School is Founded

Parents and teachers, inspired by the Waldorf model of education, founded Monterey Bay Charter School. The original Kindergarten was located in Monterey and 1st-6th grades were located in Marina and subsequently in Seaside with a small but growing enrollment. Until 2005, MBCS was a title program of the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District and offered a homeschool component.


New Campus in Pacific Grove

The school moved in 2001 to its current location, a former Pacific Grove elementary school campus. Although the buildings are quite old and in need of refurbishing, there is a large, grassy playground spilling into a forest of coastal live oaks and Monterey pines. School festivals and assemblies are held in the beautiful outdoor areas of the playgrounds.


An Autonomous Charter Status

In 2006, the school was given its first autonomous charter status by the Board of the Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE). During the school year 2006-2007, MBCS faculty and staff began the rigorous process of creating standards-based benchmark assessments to track student progress. The new charter brought about a significant change in the function and governance of the school. The school’s charter with the County eliminated the homeschool component and articulated the school’s new responsibilities for accountability with the Office of Education.


New Campus in Seaside

In the fall of 2007, the two Kindergarten classes were moved to Seaside as the school grew beyond the available space in Pacific Grove. As part of the school’s goal of diversity and accessibility, the school is working to re-locate to the Seaside/Marina area and reunite the Kindergarten with the grades.


Successful Public Charter School

The school currently enrolls 425 students and is growing to 500 with three Kindergarten classes and two classes per grade from 1st to 8th. With an API score of 887, the school has proven successful with stringent State and County testing and accountability standards.


The County Board of Education

At its annual review of the school, the County Board of Education commended MBCS in successfully providing a charter school alternative to the County’s students. In February, 2012, the Board of Education applauded the school on its achievement and approved a new five-year renewal to the school’s charter. 


Another Successful Charter & Accreditation

The school was subsequently approved for another five years from 2017-2022 with the Monterey County Office of Education. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) approved another six year accreditation term.

School Overview

Additional Information:

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 (2012-2020).
Class Size
Monterey Bay Charter School has one Transitional Kindergarten class and two kindergarten classes. In the grades, there are two classes in grades 1st-8th. Class sizes are as follows:

  • Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten: 24 students per class.
  • First grade: 28 students per class.
  • Second through Fifth grade: 30 students per class.
  • Sixth through Eighth grade: 32 students per class.

Class teachers typically stay with the same class over several grade levels, enabling a strong understanding of the students and their progress.

Specialty Classes
MBCS provides classes in several specialties that reflect the core principles of Public Waldorf Education. Orchestra, Handwork, Woodworking, Games (P.E.), Strings, Theater, Javelin, Archery, and Forging, are taught by teachers with specialized training in these subject areas. See the Program Description for more details on classroom subjects.

Special Education
Our focus is to provide each student with high quality, effective specialized academic instruction and related support services to support each learner in achieving their full educational, emotional, vocational, and social potential. The type of support each student needs, and how it is delivered, is determined through evaluations/assessments and in collaboration with parents and the school’s IEP Team (Individualized Education Program).

More for information about our Special Education Program, please visit this website.

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.

For further information on the school’s State testing results, please see the link below:

How We Are Funded
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.

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