For those moving to a new location, it’s important to know what educational options are available. This chapter outlines the public schools system in Ventura County, along with information about local libraries and higher education. There are private schools, charter schools and home schooling available to children in Ventura County as well.
Children entering kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the school year. California law requires that all schoolchildren be immunized against polio, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT), measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and varicella. Kindergarten students are also required to have hepatitis B immunizations. Students entering seventh grade must show proof of having received the hepatitis B series and/or a second MMR. Varicella is required for all out-of-state entrants from grades one through 12 unless they can show physician’s documentation of having had the disease. All seventh- through 12th-grade students must receive a whooping cough booster shot (Tdap) before entering school. Students must submit an up-to-date immunization record.
In 2010, California, along with 42 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. At present, national Common Core State Standards exist only for English language arts and mathematics, with science and social studies in development, though California has state standards across the full curriculum. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a listing of charter schools in California, visit the California Department of Education, Charter School Division’s website at www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cs.
California statutes do not explicitly authorize home schooling. Whether a home-schooled child is attending a private school and therefore exempt from public school attendance is a decision made by local school districts and law enforcement authorities.
However, many public schools offer independent study or home-based study as an option. California has a growing number of charter schools that offer different types of schooling in nontraditional settings. For assistance in determining the best public school option,
go to www.cde.ca.gov/sp/eo/hh. You can also call the Educational Options Office at 916-323-2568.
California Homeschool Network
2166 W. Broadway, Suite 266
Anaheim, CA 92804
The California Homeschool Network (CHN) is a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the fundamental right of parents to educate their children. CHN’s website provides information about the organization, current state and federal legislation affecting home-schooling families and how to get started educating your children at home.
To search for local private schools in California, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source for school district statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
Discuss the potential school with your child: what they like and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Ventura County Public Schools
5189 Verdugo Way
Camarillo, CA 93012
Ventura County Public Schools has 20 school districts serving 12 cities and communities with more than 200 schools with a total student enrollment of more than 140,000 pupils. Visit the online countywide school directory (http://schooldirectory.vcoe.org) for detailed information.
Hueneme Elementary School District
205 N. Ventura Road
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
This district serves families in Port Hueneme and Oxnard, including the unincorporated Silver Strand and Channel Islands Harbor neighborhoods. Hueneme Elementary School District educates kindergarten through eighth-grade students in nine elementary schools and two junior high schools. Pupil registration forms are available on the district’s website under the “Family Resources” tab.
Oxnard School District
1051 S. A St.
Oxnard, CA 93030
This district serves preschool through eighth-grade students in Oxnard. It has 18 elementary schools and three intermediate schools. The Enrollment Center will provide one-stop service to families seeking resources and information when enrolling their children in the district. Call the center at 805-385-1515.
Oxnard Union High School District
309 S. K St.
Oxnard, CA 93030
The Oxnard Union High School District serves the cities of Oxnard, Camarillo and Port Hueneme. There are 10 schools in the district. Find registration information on the school websites via the district website under the “OUHSD” tab.
Rio School District
2500 E. Vineyard Ave., Suite 100
Oxnard, CA 93036
Rio School District serves the unincorporated community of El Rio, the RiverPark development and portions of the city of Oxnard. The district includes five elementary schools, two K-8 school academies and two middle schools.
Ventura Unified School District
255 W. Stanley Ave.
Ventura, CA 93001
Click on the “Schools” tab of the district’s website to connect with its 19 elementary, seven middle and five high schools. Registration forms may be picked up at any school or at the district office.