Cristal's Blog

The Santa Barbara School District

January 4, 2019

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Below view of happy children embracing each other and smiling at camera to show Santa Barbara School District

Many of my customers ask me about the Santa Barbara School District, the main public school district that serves Santa Barbara and Goleta. I am happy to answer that the Santa Barbara’s public school district is highly rated; with 15,453 students in grades K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 24 to 1.

Schools are just one of the many factors that home buyers consider when searching for a new abode. It ranks high along with location, the size of the house, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, layout, fixtures, condition, and neighborhood.  A very good school district, as we have here in Santa Barbara, with a great reputation and high test scores, can help a child as he or she progresses through the grades and ultimately goes on to college. The kids that attend these highly regarded schools will ultimately have stronger fundamentals, be better prepared, and have higher peer group expectations. The right school will help them compete as they establish themselves as young adults and beyond. Isn’t that what every parent wants for their kids?

The Santa Barbara School District

The motto of the Santa Barbara Unified School District is: “Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day.” Santa Barbara’s educational tradition, which began in 1866, is one of the oldest in the State of California. Rooted in the 18th-century Spanish era, the Santa Barbara education system is a reason graduates have gone on to become community, state, and nationally recognized leaders for several decades now. And that reason is the excellent education they get when they live here.

Mission Statement

You can learn a lot from an organization’s Mission Statement. Check out what’s important to the Santa Barbara Unified School District:

“The mission of the Santa Barbara Unified School District is to ensure the educational success of all students through high expectations and a commitment to excellence and to empower them to reach their full potential as responsible, ethical, and productive citizens in a diverse and changing world.”

After School Programs

Another reason kids rule in Santa Barbara is the many interesting after-school programs offered by The City’s Parks and Recreation Department. We’re talking about a variety of top-quality after-school programs. Whether your child wants to join a sports league, is looking for help with their homework, or needs a creative outlet, Santa Barbara has kids covered. Here’s a quick look at some of the interesting programs offered:

RAP: Recreation Afterschool Program

This popular, fee-based afterschool program provides homework assistance, recreation activities, sports, crafts, and special programs to 1st–6th graders. The program is available at Adams, Monroe, Roosevelt, and Washington Elementary Schools.

RAP begins immediately following the regular school day and operates until 5:30 pm. Experts are dedicated to keeping your child active and engaged with healthy, enriching activities while parents finish their workday. The goal is simple: to provide a supervised, fun program where children can make new friends and hang out with current friends in a relaxed afterschool environment.

RAP is intended to offer families convenience, affordability, and safety. Just knowing that your child is working on homework and being cared for by highly-trained program staff can help parents keep their mind on their work. Each RAP site has between 3-6 program leaders and one site director with a staff to student ratio of 1:20.

Hip Hop Camp with Everybody Dance Now!

This is a professional-designed program for ages 8–12. Santa Barbara is a chapter of the national youth-led network Everybody Dance Now! The network provides affordable hip-hop dance programming to youth, using dance as a tool to cultivate self-esteem and establish healthy lifestyles. “When I dance, I feel like I can do anything. I feel confident and I feel like anything is possible,” says Stephanie, an Everybody Dance Now! participant. Classes are held at the Carrillo Recreation Center.

Little boy smiling leaning on golf back, isolated on white
Junior Golf Camp at Santa Barbara Golf Club

Kids age 7–14 are invited to join the Santa Barbara Golf Club for a fun week learning the great game of golf from local professionals. All four camps are perfect for the beginner or intermediate golfer looking to improve their swing, fundamentals, course etiquette, and overall golf knowledge. To register, download the registration form at or visit the Golf Shop at Santa Barbara Golf Club.

Kids Cook! Junior Chef Camp

Is your child age 9-12 a fan of cooking competition shows? Does your child love spending time with you experimenting in the kitchen? If so, Kids Cook! Junior Chef Camp is exactly what you need to add to your summer plans. This four-day culinary arts camp gives children the skills they need to start cooking and building confidence in the kitchen. Campers learn the joys of preparing fun (and yes, healthy and nutritious) food from Chef Donald Hardin of Jolly Brothers Catering as they receive age-appropriate instruction on kitchen and food safety, cleanliness, preparation, and presentation. To ensure safety and to make sure each child gets plenty of individual instruction, sessions are limited to 12 campers per week at the Westside Neighborhood Center.

For other kids programs including Junior Lifeguard, full and half day summer camps and more, check out the Parks & Recreation Activity Guide for this Spring and Summer.

Santa Barbara also offers loads of attractions and outdoor opportunities to satisfy kids of all ages. Check out my blog, New Year’s Resolutions: Facts, Trends, and Santa Barbara Specific, for details on some of Santa Barbara’s exciting things to do with your children.

My clients appreciate the fact that I’m an expert in my community and keep abreast of what’s happening in the market, why it’s happening, and what it all means. Plus, I pride myself on simply and effectively communicating to my upscale clientele about what’s happening in the market and how it directly impacts them. For more about me and my background, check out my bio.

Inspired by this information about the highly rated Santa Barbara School District and other kids programs? Considering a move? If so, check out the buyers and sellers sections of my website, then give me a call at +1 805.886.9378 or email me at


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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch