Half Moon Bay (city of Half Moon Bay)
Half Moon Bay and its surrounding communities house almost 20,000 residents. What started as a small agricultural gathering has grown up into a thriving destination, with a great downtown experience. Main Street is host to several fantastic restaurants, inns and quaint small-town-style shops and boutiques.
Half Moon Bay is known world wide as the surfing location Mavericks, which is located on the outer edge of the peninsula which forms the bay. Miramar Beach is located along the shore of the bay opposite the peninsula.
Major local industries include agriculture (houseplants, floriculture, Christmas trees, pumpkins, artichokes), fishing, and tourism. During the month of October (the Pumpkin Festival), tourists flock to the coast.
Half Moon Bay is also known for its local artisans, including painters, potters and particularly glass blowers.
The Cabrillo Unified District is located just south of San Francisco on the beautiful Pacific Coast. The District was established on July 1, 1965 and encompasses an area of approximately 135 square miles. The District currently operates four elementary schools, one intermediate school, one high school, a continuation school, and an adult education program.
The mission of the Cabrillo Unified School District – an exemplary learning community committed to valuing our distinct cultural identities – is to develop critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens who actively participate in their individual learning and development and are fully prepared to embrace their next challenge. We accomplish this by utilizing our unique natural resources and engaging the entire Coastside community and its partners in providing a rich and academically rigorous curriculum in a safe and nurturing environment.
Moss Beach is boasts a population of about 3,100. Located in Moss Beach are the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, a marine sanctuary; the Half Moon Bay Airport, the historic Moss Beach Distillery; and the Seal Cove Inn, a destination lodging property.
Moss Beach is naturally a foggy, drippy micro-climate that gives one a sense of isolation from nearby cosmopolitan regions and assures that summer temperatures are generally mild.
Moss Beach is part of the Cabrillo school district. Residents attend Farallone View Elementary School in Montara and Cunha Intermediate School (Grades 6-8) and Half Moon Bay High School (Grades 9-12) in Half Moon Bay.
Montara (town of Montara)
Montara is the northern most coastal community before coming to the long Devil’s Slide bypass tunnel which connects Montara and the rest of the coast to Pacifica. Montara boasts a population of almost 3,000 residents spread out over 3.9 square miles. It is home to a few restaurants and businesses, but is primarily residential. Montara is a very close-knit and welcoming community.
The town is surrounded by open space (Rancho Corral del Tierra) and a popular recreation area includes Montara State Beach. The nearly mile long stretch of sand drops steeply into the ocean making it hazardous for swimming. It is, however, a fairly popular surfing destination for experienced surfers. 10-15+ ft. waves can be common during winter storm swells.
Montara State Marine Reserve & Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area extend offshore from Montara. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.
Montara, like many of the coastal communities, contains several micro-climates. Closer to the coast tends to be a little foggier and wetter, while the homes closer to the mountain and off of the aptly named Sunshine Valley Road experience more temperate weather.
Montara is part of the Cabrillo school district. It shares its elementary school, Farallone View Elementary School, with Moss Beach. Residents then attend Cunha Intermediate School (Grades 6-8) and Half Moon Bay High School (Grades 9-12) in Half Moon Bay.
Pacifica (city of Pacifica)
The City of Pacifica is spread along a six mile (10 km) stretch of coastal beaches and hills in north central California. The city comprises several small valleys spread between Sweeney Ridge in the east, Montara Mountain to the south, and the Pacific Ocean’s rocky bluffs to the west.
Pacifica is well known regionally as a popular surfing destination. Surfers and families often visit Linda Mar Beach. Rockaway Beach is a scenic location and offers recreation, shopping and dining. 2005 marked the opening of the top ranked Pacifica Skateboard Park. Pacifica is also a popular mountain biking destination, with many trails crossing the hillsides that surround the city, including Pedro Mountain Road, Sweeney Ridge, and areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Fishermen frequent the local beaches and the Pacifica Pier, often catching Striped Bass and Salmon. Pacifica is also a popular place to hike, with many trails that wind along the beaches and bluffs, including Mori Point, San Pedro Valley County Park, the Sanchez Adobe, and Milagra Ridge. For live local theater and performing arts, Pacifica Spindrift Players is a local and popular favorite, in addition to Pacifica Performances which regularly provides both musical presentations and performing arts as well. Pacifica is also home to the Sharp Park Golf Course, which was designed in 1931 by architect Alister MacKenzie. The world class bromeliad nursery, Shelldance Orchid Gardens is located just off Highway 1 in Pacifica, adjacent to the Sweeney Ridge hiking trailhead.
The Pacifica School District is nestled in Pacifica, California, on one of the most beautiful stretches of the California coastline. The District is guided by a Strategic Plan, developed cooperatively with the Board of Trustees and the administration, teachers, parents, and other community members. The “one District, two paths” educational system provides a range of educational experiences, all of them standards-based, rigorous, and focused on ensuring that students leave the district with a solid foundation for success in higher education and throughout life. In addition to the rigorous academic program at each site, the District supports a Home School Program for families who wish to home school.
The two educational paths are: Single School (K-8) and Dual School (K-5 + Middle School). The main difference between the paths is the school environment in grades 6-8. All education is based on the California curriculum standards and is taught by credentialed, professional teachers who are supported by continuing education. Both paths offer enrichment that includes music, visual arts, performing arts, and physical education. All 6th-8th grade students have access to an Instrumental Music Program supported by the Pacifica Education Foundation. The single school path provides class continuity from kindergarten to high school. The dual school path provides middle grade experience geared to easing the transition to high school and beyond. The path that works for any individual child is a personal decision. The District is happy to assist by offering information and guidance about each choice.
Within each path is an excellent set of schools, each with a slightly different focus. The following descriptions allow families to develop an understanding of our District and the distinct “flavor” of each school.