Schools and Programs » Academics and Enrichment

Academics and Enrichment


Students at Arcata Elementary have classroom music weekly with a Music teacher, and in 5th grade they can choose to learn an instrument and sing in choir. 5th graders also learn steel drum, sharing their talents the annual art show in May

Students at Sunny Brae Middle School have an array of music offerings for elective including Concert Band, Jazz Band, Beginning Band, Beginning Strings, Glee (Choir), Stomp, guitar and piano.  SBMS students typically produce a Musical Theater piece annually. 


Each class at Arcata Elementary receives instruction form a Dance teacher, who also coordinates the annual Talent Show, Thriller and Monster Mash events.

Students at Sunny Brae Middle School have access to Zumba and other dance experiences each trimester and take part in such events as the Thriller Dance Flash Mob on the Arcata Plaza near Halloween, and in the One Billion Rising Dance, an event which brings awareness to violence against women.


Students at Arcata Elementary have classroom Art regularly. Student work is displayed at the school site as well as exhibited periodically in establishments in Arcata.

Sunny Brae Middle School has a comprehensive Art program. Each trimester, 1-2 electives are offered including such topics as pencil/pen, painting, eco-art, math art, sets and props, and more.

Garden Program

Arcata Elementary School’s organic garden and orchard provides hands-on curricular opportunities for students to learn about soils, plants, insects, seasonal cycles and healthy nutritious food, all while practicing gardening skills in the fresh air and beauty of the garden. The school’s Vermiculture Program (Worm Composting of school food program matter) supports healthy soils and closes the loop with waste reduction, reuse and recycling. 

Student Council

Fourth and fifth grade students have an opportunity to participate in Student Council at AES.  The students organize monthly events as have weekly responsibilities. 

SBMS Student Council is a voice for students and a venue for students practicing collaborative governance, and organizing projects and events that benefit the school, those in need or the broader community.

After School Program & Vacation and Summer Camps

ASD offers both After School care on a daily basis as well as all-day camps for school holidays and summer vacation to support working parents and to provide high interest activities geared to the development of the whole child. For more information on our Extended Programs, click on the link below.

Measure E

The purpose of the Arcata Elementary School District parcel tax, Measure E, is to provide stable funding the State cannot take away; make health and safety improvements; fund school nursing programs to promote good health; maintain small class sizes; retain teachers; and protect and expand music, art, and dance programs. The Arcata Elementary School District collects a $49 yearly education tax for five years, providing an exemption for senior citizens, no money for administration, with citizen oversight and all money benefiting local Arcata Elementary schools. The students, staff and families of the Arcata School District are grateful for the support and generosity of the community.