According to the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD), K-12 public school enrollment is lower than at any time in the past twenty-five years. While a decline has been forecast since at least 2017, the current numbers show public school enrollment declining three years ahead of expectations, with only 17,397 students enrolled in CVUSD schools for the 2020/21 school year. Enrollment peaked in 2005/06 with 22,456 students.
By contrast, private schools in the area have grown in recent years, with high demand and waiting lists. Some parents place preschoolers in private schools hoping to obtain a spot for their child in Kindergarten and beyond. For example, Conejo Adventist Elementary and its sister school, Newbury Park Adventist Academy middle and high school, told the Conejo Guardian they are expanding and adding classes to accommodate this new demand.
Other new options are arriving this fall as well. Discovery Christian Academy is opening its doors to K-2nd-grade students, with plans to expand grade offerings each year until it reaches K-5 three years from now. Principal Jenny Reese previously served as director of the onsite preschool at Monte Vista Presbyterian in Newbury Park for five years. Her vision is for a school where students experience hands-on learning through collaborative projects across multiple subjects.
“At Discovery Christian Academy, students will be discovering God, love of learning and a servant’s heart — those three things are our focus,” Reese says. “To do this, we use project-based learning, STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading/wRiting, Engineering, Art and Math) and foundations in biblical studies, language arts and mathematics. Our school will have a unique advantage for students at different levels of different subjects because it will be comprised of multi-aged clusters of students.”
Living Oaks Middle School Academic Alliance — referred to often as “LOMSAA” — in Newbury Park, offers grades 6-8 and is seeing a heightened level of interest, says director Laurie Gourley.
Ilan Ramon Day School in Agoura Hills, which offers a Jewish education, is also witnessing greater demand.
“We are seeing an increase in interest and enrollment post-pandemic as parents desire more certainty and a sense of control over their children’s education,” director of outreach, Kim Freund, told the Conejo Guardian.
Annual tuition for local private schools ranges between $5,500 and $33,500, with LOMSAA and Conejo Adventist being the lowest and Oaks Christian School being the highest, by a large margin. Most fall between $7,500-$10,000, and some offer financial aid opportunities.
A number of private schools in our community have been serving families for decades. Hillcrest, La Reina, Adventist Academy and Accelerated Academy each have been educating students for about 50 years.
Below is a list of private school offerings in the Conejo Valley, along with their grades and contact information:
Ascension Lutheran School – P-6, Thousand Oaks 805-496-2419
Accelerated (Christian) Academy – K-12, Thousand Oaks 805-495-2531
Beacon Hill Classical Academy – K-12, Camarillo
Lower campus – K-6 805-389-6581 / Upper Campus – 7-12 805-586-4880
Bethany Christian School – P-8, Thousand Oaks 805-497-7072
Carden Conejo School – Non-religious – P-5, Westlake Village 805-497-7005
Conejo Adventist Elem./Newbury Park Adventist Academy – K-12, Newbury Park 805-498-2391
Discovery Christian Academy – K-5, Newbury Park 805-087-6911
Hillcrest Christian School – P-12, Thousand Oaks 805-497-7501
Ilan Ramon Day School – P-5, Agoura Hills 818-707-2365
LOMSAA – Living Oaks Middle School Academic Alliance – 6-8, Newbury Park 805-410-4046
La Reina – Catholic all-girls prep school – 6-12, Thousand Oaks 805-495-6494
St. Paschal Baylon School – Catholic – K-8, Thousand Oaks 805-495-9340
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School – K-6, Thousand Oaks 805-497-1416
Oaks Christian School – 5-12, Westlake Village 818-575-9900