12/17/2018 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

9 Schools You Need to Know About in Southern California

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Known for its popular beaches, Hollywood-level celebrities, and cornucopia of ethnic eateries, Southern California might not be top of mind when thinking about offering a variety of world-class schools with unique missions and methods of learning — but it should! Whether you're looking to work in a school environment near all the action in downtown Los Angeles or something with more of a relaxed and rural feel, the independent schools in Southern California offer something for everyone.

There are “SoMany” reasons to love living and working in SoCal, but here are nine that particularly stood out for Placement Counselors Katie Jenks and Haley Middlebrook during their visits to our client schools in the area.

TIP: If you're thinking of looking for a new teaching or administrative position in California, you don't want to miss our THREE Hiring Conferences in the Golden State. We're holding FORUMs in Los Angeles (February 8), Long Beach (at the NAIS Annual Conference February 28-March 1), and San Francisco (March 15).

1. Viewpoint School in Calabasas has an official Monarch Butterfly Waystation on campus. The mission is to provide food sources and habitats to butterflies, while also incorporating natural history and science into the curriculum.

2. At Thacher School in Ojai, all freshmen are paired with a horse on campus and required to ride for the entire year. The campus is filled with riding trails, and freshmen go on a weekend horse packing trip in their first year. This approach helps students with self-confidence, patience, and responsibility.

3. Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles used to be two separate schools: Harvard School for boys (founded in 1900) and Westlake School for Girls (founded in 1904). In 1989, they merged and now have around 1,600 students in grades 7-12.

4. Located in Los Olivos, Dunn School’s unofficial mascot is the Earwig! Legend has it that Dunn School had a barn on the property when it was purchased, and when the door opened, earwigs streamed out.

5. Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica opened their Equity & Justice Institute this fall. Through their work, the Institute will “bring new opportunities for service and innovation to students while developing and supporting meaningful community action with partner organizations.”

6. The library at Harbor Day School in Corona Del Mar is the coziest! Complete with a working fireplace, students can snuggle up to giant stuffed animals, lounge on massive cushions, and pick out one of the 15,000 volumes of books to read. If cozy isn’t their thing, students can tinker and create in the MakerSpace area.

7. Pressman Academy’s downtown Los Angeles location by the busiest intersection in the country has a great escape: a rooftop playground and garden are an oasis for students and staff alike.

8. Curtis School’s campus sits on 27 acres tucked in the Santa Monica Mountains on famous Mulholland Drive. With views of the entire Los Angeles valley and Spanish-style architecture, the campus is a California dream.

9. Ad Astra School was founded by Elon Musk and is part of the SpaceX campus. Formed less than five years ago, the structure of classes is not separated by grade level and the students don’t receive grades. They are encouraged to innovate and create, aligned with the company’s values.

Feeling the call of the Golden State? Be sure to reach out to your Placement Team to discuss your geographic preferences so we can be sure we're referring you to schools in locations that interest you. And check out our other features about schools in Texas, Atlanta, Florida, Vermont, and North Carolina.

Not a current candidate with us but want to get a job search started? Apply today–our personal job placement services are completely free and now is the best time of year to get started with us before the hiring season starts in January. Check out these FAQs to learn more!

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