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An Independent 7-12 School.

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning


The Synthesis Unit

  • The annual three-day Synthesis Unit is Anacapa’s premier tool for developing critical thinking skills. Each Unit provides students with unique opportunities to explore a topic in depth.  Expert speakers make individual 45-minute presentations with plenty of time for questions and answers. After three days of presentations, students create “products” designed to “synthesize” the information learned during the presentations. Individual research papers are submitted, and group presentations are made at a special assembly. Each student earns a grade and academic credit for the unit based on participation, the quality of the research paper, and the group project.
  • Synthesis Units expose our students to some of the brightest minds and most talented experts from Santa Barbara and beyond. The caliber of the presenters and the give-and-take between speakers and students provide a high-quality educational experience that most students don’t experience until college.



Anacapa takes multi-day trips each school year.  These trips are usually camping trips, and they always include physical challenges, environmental and historical education, and lots of community building, or as we say it at Anacapa—bonding!  The Beginning-of-the-Year Trip kicks off the school year with new and returning students sharing a common experience.  The End-of-the-Year Trip takes place after finals, giving everyone an opportunity for one last Anacapa experience together before the seniors graduate and summer begins.

Anacapa classes take advantage of our prime downtown location with frequent field trips to cultural and civic resources located minutes away from our historic campus.