Soquel Union Elementary School

Superintendent's Message
Henry J. Castaniada

Superintendent Henry J. Castaniada

The 2014-15 School Year Was a Perfect Partnership

It is hard to believe that we are completing the 2014-15 school year. Throughout this school year our children and staff have benefited tremendously from the incredible support that was demonstrated by our parents. We were able to create dynamic learning opportunities through our talented staff and through the investments of our parents who sponsored activities, donated their time, attended fundraisers and were proactive in supporting the daily instruction of our students. As Superintendent I am extremely grateful to work side by side with an outstanding staff and a tremendous parental support community. Having the opportunity to visit our five schools, Santa Cruz Gardens, Soquel Elementary, Main Street, Opal Cliffs and New Brighton Middle School throughout this year was definitely my highpoint. In summarizing the 2014-15 school year, here is a view of some of the highlights at each of our five schools.

Main Street School
Main Street School has created enrichment activities for both students and staff. The highly talented staff was awarded four grants from the Cotsen Foundation this year. Special activities for students that occur during the day, as well as after school, were in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Their wonderful Life Lab will embrace the next generation of science standards for Common Core. The expansion of Reader’s and Writer's workshop has enabled staff to become more effective in the area of intervention. Next year the staff at Main Street is excited to implement strategies learned from Silicon Valley Math Initiative (SVMI), Mini-Merit and growth mindset training.

New Brighton Middle School
One of the strongest educational components at New Brighton Middle School lies in the area of their outstanding elective courses. Students at New Brighton Middle School had the opportunity to engage in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Art, Journalism, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Spanish, Technology, Woodshop, Yearbook, Healthy Living and Shakespeare. These wonderful classes are engaging and very exciting for our students. Another innovative strategy that is being implemented throughout New Brighton Middle School lies in the area of technology. The talented staff at New Brighton is incorporating technology seamlessly, and our students are having the golden opportunity to explore complex instruction through different media sources. Next year the staff is looking forward to expanding enrichment classes, especially after school, and to create opportunities to develop a teen center concept.

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Student Highlights & Programs

[ News Archive ]

2014-15 Tentative Agreement with California School Employees Association (CSEA)



Soquel Union Elementary School District

Registration for the 2015-16 School Year
Begins March 2, 2015

(Applies to all families who live in the Soquel School District Attendance Area)

All new students can begin registering at their home school on Monday, March 2, 2015. (For all students entering kindergarten, your child must be five on or before 9/1/15.)

  • Main Street, 3400 North Main St., Soquel - 464-5650
  • New Brighton Middle School, 250 Washburn Ave., Capitola - 464-5660
  • Santa Cruz Gardens, 8005 Winkle Ave., Santa Cruz - 464-5670
  • Soquel Elementary, 2700 Porter Street, Soquel - 464-5655

If you have a child that turns five between 9/2/15 - 12/2/15, you may be interested in our Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. All registrations for TK will be done at Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School. If you need further information on the TK program, please call Janet at (831) 464-5639 for further details.

Excitement in Education

Soquel School District Targets Underperforming Latino Boys

Read the article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, published on March 2, 2014.

NBMS Engineering Club

The Engineering Club, run by students from Cabrillo College's Engineering Department, is a popular after school activity at NBMS. The middle school students have been enjoying the challenge of the club which takes place after school, on Fridays, in Room 37. Whether designing windmills and testing the amount of power they produce, or experimenting with building the strongest bridges they can, the students are relishing the challenge of building, testing and refining their designs. As well as testing their design skills, students are also developing their cooperative skills, collectively working in teams of three, using science, technology, engineering and math to solve the engineering challenge of the week. Stop by room 37 at 1:30 PM on Fridays to witness our young engineers in action!

Main Street School's After School Math Club

During weekly after-school Math Club meetings at Main Street School, 25 fourth and fifth grade students work in cooperative groups to develop their mathematical thinking. Students play math games (such as Krypto and Set), solve complex problems, and discuss and present solution strategies. In addition, fifth grade participants will have an opportunity to compete both individually and as a team in the countywide math competition in May. Students love the club so much that one student, Cathryn Perry, exclaimed, "I wish Math Club was every day!" Others have expressed dismay when time is up, wanting to keep working on math problems. Are you ready to test your math skills? Here are two problems students are solving. 1. Christine has homing pigeons and seeing-eye dogs. Together these have 36 heads and 80 feet. She needs 2 pounds of birdseed for every 4 birds, and 10 pounds of dog food for every 2 dogs. How many pounds of each type of food does she need? 2. How many squares are there on a chess board? (Hint: there is 1 large square, 81 small squares, and many more squares in between sizes such as 2 by 2, 3 by 3 squares, etc.) Are YOU smarter than a fifth grader?