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Mission & Philosophy

“High school is one of the most critical and complex times in a person’s life. It’s the time when students are trying to navigate the road between adolescence and adulthood.” –Andrew Del Banco, Columbia University

High School is too important a time to leave up to chance.
Our team of faculty and staff are trained professionals, deeply knowledgeable both in our subject areas as well as in adolescent development. We have created a rich, multi-faceted, dynamic program that is designed to ensure the success of all of our students in all aspects of their lives.

High school students have extraordinary capacities that are ready to emerge … or could go dormant.
The teenage brain is wired to take risks, and is ruled by impulse rather than logic because the prefrontal cortex is not yet developed. In an environment that encourages healthy risk-taking and where the adolescent is exposed to opportunity, this natural phase of development can lead to an expanded sense of self and greater access to personal capacities.
  • Exploratory courses: enrichment, support, and exploration
  • Intersessions: immersive learning on campus and abroad
  • Leadership: a variety of opportunities
  • Athletics and Arts: competition and cooperation
  • Community Meeting: public speaking and performing
  • Global citizenship: international travel, partnerships, and perspectives

Teens need a rich, challenging, multifaceted program to fuel their natural curiosity.
Our students must complete a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that includes core and elective courses in humanities (history and literature), math and science, world languages, and the arts. Exploratory classes, the Intersession Program, Physical Education, Health & Wellness, Connections and College Counseling broaden and deepen their educational experience.
  • 90% of our seniors take Calculus or higher level math
  • AP, Advanced Studies, and Honors courses
  • Electives like Introduction to Programming, Historiography, and Constitutional Law
  • Concentration Areas: Environmental Leadership and Global Citizenship

Teachers can make or break a teen’s natural curiosity about the world and drive to know him/herself.
All of our teachers are great teachers. We recruit nationally, evaluate based on their teaching, and provide them with regular training and opportunities to further their passions.
  • 85% of our teachers have a Master’s or Ph.D.
  • Average class size is 16
  • Teachers see an average of 45-60 students per day, compared to 240 at most schools
  • Your child will be known by every teacher, will meet weekly with an advisor, and will receive extensive, individualized comments and feedback
  • Faculty and advisors meet weekly to discuss the progress and potential of each of our students

Teenagers profoundly influence, and are influenced by, their classmates.
Ethics and character are being developed at the same time that your child is developing an overwhelming need to fit in socially. Additionally, peer influence becomes more dominant than parental influence.
  • All of your child’s peers are on a college track, both personally and academically
  • Health & Wellness is designed to explore issues that arise for adolescents
  • Mixed grade level advisory groups and peer-to-peer mentoring put younger students in conversation with older students
  • Retreats, Council, and a diversity of events and activities keep students engaged and build positive relationships

College admissions are the most competitive they have ever been.
Our college advising program starts in sophomore year and ramps up significantly through junior and into senior year. 
  • 91% of 2018 graduates were accepted into one of their top five choice colleges
  • Students receive 50 hours of in-class college counseling, and up to 20 hours of one-on-one counseling
  • Our students have the top SAT scores in Sonoma County
  • Admissions representatives from over 80 colleges and universities have visited our campus
  • Parent nights help guide parents through the college application process

Our Mission:

Sonoma Academy calls its students to be creative, ethical, and committed to learning. The school nurtures inspiring teachers and engages with the surrounding community, and its students communicate across cultures as they prepare to become leaders in a dynamic world.
2500 Farmers Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Sonoma Academy is...

The only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On its beautiful 34-acre campus nestled at the base of picturesque Taylor Mountain in South Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a challenging environment that prepares them for college and life beyond.