Admissions Update

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Gateway School. 

Come and learn how Gateway School inspires curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking through innovative education for a fast-changing world. You’ll have the opportunity to see the health and safety protocols of our facilities while also learning more about our curriculum.  

Book a tour today! If you’re not able to make a scheduled Gateway School Day Tour, please contact Cindy Jones at

Application Process

We’re here to guide you step-by-step through the application process. Contact Cindy Jones at if you have questions about our admissions process.

  • Access a digital version of our application. Kindergarten Application Packet or 1st – 8th Application Packet. Once you fill out the application and you can either send it via regular mail to Cindy Jones, Gateway School, 255 Swift Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 or scan and email your completed application to Cindy at
  • Once we receive your application, we’ll call you to schedule a visit day and an assessment for your child.
  • After we have your application, evaluations from teachers at your current school, and we’ve completed a visit, we’ll review your application.

Application Process

1. Campus Tour

Tours are the first step in the application process at Gateway School. Tours are led by current parents or our staff. Attending a tour gives you the chance to observe classes in session along with learning more about our program. We recommend that tours be attended by adults only. Masks are required for all visitors. Book a tour today!

2. Application for Admission
Complete the Application Packet (Kindergarten Application Packet or 1st – 8th Application Packet) which includes the Parent Questionnaire. Submit the completed packet and questionnaire with your Application Fee ($100).

Applications for the 2022-23 school year

We begin accepting applications on October 1, 2021. The priority application deadline is February 15, 2022.

3. Teacher Recommendations

Kindergarten Applicants

  • Please give the Kindergarten Student Evaluation form included in the  Kindergarten Application Packet to your child’s current preschool teacher.
  • Include a stamped envelope addressed to:
    Gateway School Admissions
    255 Swift Street
    Santa Cruz CA 95060

    Please note that student evaluations cannot be hand-delivered; they must be mailed directly to Gateway School by the teacher.

1st-8th Grade Applicants

  • We require two Teacher Recommendations. Please give a 1st – 8th Student Evaluation form found in the 1st-8th Application Packet to:
    1. Your child’s current teacher
    2. Another teacher or administrator who knows your child well
  • Include a stamped envelope addressed to:
    Gateway School Admissions
    255 Swift Street
    Santa Cruz CA 95060

    Please note that Student Evaluations cannot be hand-delivered; they must be mailed directly to Gateway School by the teacher.

4. School Records
(for 1st-8th Grade Applicants only)
Sign the Records Release form found in the 1st-8th Application Packet and give it to your child’s current school. We require school report cards/progress reports from the past 2 years, including standardized tests if available. If application deadlines are approaching, feel free to bring us copies of your originals. Please include any other assessments your child may have had to add to your child’s application file.
5. Consideration and Notification
Applications will be considered when all the steps are complete and all materials have been received. Our Admissions Committee will meet to discuss your child’s application. If you have applied within our regular admissions season, an admissions letter will be mailed to you in mid-March 2022. If you have applied outside of our regular admissions season, the Admissions office will notify you when a decision has been made.

Flexible Tuition

Flexible Tuition Puts A Great Education Within Your Reach

At Gateway we continue to strive to make our educational experience accessible to all.

The purpose of our Flexible Tuition model is to help fulfill the Gateway School mission by increasing economic diversity in the school community. We believe that our school mission, vision, and goal explicitly call for engaging in action that promotes equity and justice; that diversity provides a powerful basis for exploring multiple perspectives throughout our curriculum; and that a full cohort of students adds depth and value to the experience of all students and families in myriad ways.

Maximum Tuition

Tuition is set annually by the Board of Trustees and is graduated by age level. 

2022-2023 Tuition:
Grades K-4: $29,895.00
Grades 5-8: $31,950.00

Our tuition allows Gateway School to offer an in-depth program that includes our co-curricular specialist classes, competitive salaries to attract and retain our talented faculty, support ongoing program improvement, and provide accessibility and affordability for families.

Did you know that every student’s tuition is indexed to some degree? Even the highest tuition rate does not completely cover the full cost of educating a student at Gateway School. Our intentionally philanthropic model relies on generous support from our community in a variety of ways. Learn more at Giving to Gateway.

What Tuition Covers

Tuition covers all aspects of our academic and specialist program, as well as before school/early drop-off, starting at 8:00am. Tuition also covers all books and classroom materials, field trip transportation (if we don’t use parent volunteers), student publications, Discovery Center equipment and devices, science lab and art studio supplies.

Tuition does not include the cost of optional items such as lunch, tutoring, and after-school care and enrichment classes. There is an additional fee for the 8th grade capstone travel experience in Washington D.C.

Deposit and Fees

A $100 non-refundable application fee must accompany an application for admission to Gateway School unless otherwise exempted.

A non-refundable enrollment deposit of $1,000 must be submitted with a signed enrollment contract and will be applied to tuition. Families can choose from three payment plans: annually, semi-annually or monthly.

Gateway School uses an online payment processing system called Smart Tuition to process tuition payments and streamline the management of payment plans for families. 

Flexible Tuition Process

Flexible Tuition calculations are made by an independent organization, FAST (Financial Assistance for School Tuition). All Flexible Tuition applications and family data are completely confidential. 

Flexible Tuition is based on the principle that a family’s financial commitment should be in equitable proportion to its financial resources. The same financial information is asked of all parents who wish to participate in the program. FAST (Financial Assistance for School Tuition) is used to determine each family’s contracted tuition for the coming school year.

Tuition determinations are made by a family’s entire financial profile, not solely income, and are assessed by the Gateway School Flexible Tuition Committee. All Flexible Tuition information and family data are completely confidential.

Admissions decisions are made separately from Flexible Tuition determinations. It’s not necessary to apply for FAST until after you’ve been accepted.

For more information applying for Flexible Tuition contact our Admissions and Enrollment, Cindy Jones at 423-0341 ext 302 or

Contact Admissions

We are delighted that you are interested in learning more about Gateway School. Contact our Admissions and Enrollment, Cindy Jones at 423-0341 ext 302 or to request the information you need. We encourage you to learn more by booking a tour and visiting our school.