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About Vista Del Mar Union

Vista Del Mar Union School District was established in 1926. The district is a single school located in an unincorporated area of Gaviota, CA and is located approximately 30 miles north of Santa Barbara in beautiful scenic central coast.

Vista de las Cruces School, nestled among the mountains, twisting sycamore trees and oak trees at the junction of Highways 1 and 101 in Gaviota, is the single school in the rural Vista Del Mar Union School District, and the only community center in a far-flung area of mostly farms and ranches. It doesn't take long to key into its magic.

Like a family, Vista alumni speak of their school with love, and our community has an awareness of its own colorful history across generations. It’s a story still being written.

We provide a small student setting with personalized attention, helping children grow both academically and socially. Our district embraces unique educational programs and projects that help our students become environmentally conscientious and contributing members of this 21st century community.  The school is the center for learning, meeting, and creativity.

What makes Vista unique is where older kids helped younger ones, where language and cultural barriers are bridged through work and play. Students long remember walks up to the wind caves and Gaviota Peak, learning the names of native plants and their ancient uses, and interviewing elders on nearby ranches. There were tree plantings and poetry contests, potato sack races and Renaissance fairs, pottery baked in a kiln in the bus barn. There were adaptations of Shakespearean plays held on the auditorium stage, Thanksgiving dinners for neighborhood elders, and Los Posadas celebrations at Christmas, one of which culminated in a local cowboy throwing his lasso to free a piñata that was caught in the rafters, and the cheers and applause of all.


Contribution to this page made by Cynthia Carbone Ward

Gaviota Resident and Former Vista Teacher