A Love for Learning

Academic programs at Besant Hill School emphasizes the school motto, "Aun Aprendo, I am still learning." Instilling a lifelong love of learning is the goal of our rigorous college preparatory curriculum.


Our graduates will:

  • Think critically and synthesize knowledge.
  • Honor their individual strengths and be resilient.
  • Engage in their creative and artistic passions.
  • Model global citizenship.
  • Embody the ideals of environmental activism.

Within a framework of Universal Design, teachers employ multiple best practices in the classroom including the Socratic Method, Mastery Teaching and Cooperative Learning. We value and encourage creativity and a creative mindset in all classes, teaching how to think, not what to think. Academic classes, including art and physical education, are all valued equally in the pursuit of educating the whole person.

In each class we demand that students take full responsibility for their education. We offer honors and AP classes in the junior and senior years. Instructors in our ISP (Instructional Support Program) help students to better understand their learning styles and to utilize strategies and techniques in support of their academic success.

The foundation of our curriculum is based on the University of California A-G class requirements and our courses are approved through the University of California System. This, along with our WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation ensures that our classes are of the highest academic level.

Portia Pelow

Dean of Academics
(805) 646-4343 Ext. 133

The basic graduation requirements at Besant Hill School are as follows:


4 years


3 years-including 1 year biology and 1 year chemistry

Foreign Language

  2years of the same language/3 years highly recommended


3 years, through Algebra II

Social Sciences

3 years-including World History and American (U.S.) History


3 years (visual or performing)-at least one year of the same art


Each year while attending Besant Hill School


At least 3 classes, one must be Senior Capstone

These graduation requirements surpass both the University of California and the California State University systems, and prepare students for admission into American colleges and universities.

At Besant Hill School we believe that our learning community embraces our motto, Aun Aprendo. To that end, we offer a curriculum that inspires students while demanding excellence and his or her best effort. We teach our students to use their knowledge to become thoughtful, ethical members of the world community.

...our valedictory wishes can be summed up in a single phrase: May you go on Learning!” Aldous Huxley, Commencement Address 1951
Besant Hill School classroom

Instructional Support Program teacher and student

ESL teacher and student