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Over twenty years ago, a radical idea called "charter schools" became a public school reality. California passed its charter law in 1992, and in 1993 Peabody Charter School (the “Charter School”) became one of the first charter schools in the state. That remarkable time was 24 years ago, but Peabody's place in Santa Barbara history began long before that. Built in 1927 as Peabody Elementary, Peabody is situated on Santa Barbara’s north side on a large piece of land, which was sold to the Santa Barbara Unified School District (the “District”) for $5 by the Frederick Forrest Peabody family. From its simple beginnings that included a dentist office and a three room hospital, Peabody has steadily expanded to its current 34-classroom campus that also includes an auditorium and stage, cafeteria/kitchen, expansive fields/play areas, and state of the art Pinner Family Exploration Center which houses a beautiful science laboratory, a stunning library with fireplace and intimate amphitheatre, outdoor patio seating, and a computer lab that was renovated in 2010 with iMacs. These facilities were made possible by the generous support of Peabody families.  This physical growth and the enhancement of the campus over time create an apt metaphor for the development and exemplary nature of the educational program at our school.
Approximately 750 students in grades K-6 enjoy the fruits of inestimable labor and vision since 1927. The charter was renewed as a dependent charter school in 1998 and again in 2003, reflecting the research, creativity, and ideas of the school community, with the mission to "structure all school programs to provide an opportunity for all students to be successful life-long learners." The charter was revised and expanded in 2006-2007 with the goal of autonomy; and in March 2007, Peabody Charter School was granted the right to be an independent charter school.  The charter was again renewed in 2012 for a five-year term through June 30, 2017. Peabody receives most of its funding directly from the state and is responsible for all matters related to the governance and management of the Charter School, including its administration, fiscal operations, facility maintenance, food services, professional growth opportunities, curriculum development and implementation, and the methodology and delivery of instruction to our ethnically and socio-economically diverse student population.