Community Learning

Vocational Program & Service Learning

Cypress offers great opportunities for our students to work in the community to learn basic skills and in return help out our local businesses.

Current Programs:


Employees of CamelBak, the water bottle company located in the Cypress School neighborhood, noticed our students taking their walk out on Shollenberger Marsh every morning throughout the seasons. They were so impressed with their consistency and healthy efforts that they donated water bottles to each of our students. After this initial contact, the older students’ classroom teacher Cindy Evans asked if there might be opportunities for a work experience to enhance their vocational explorations. With our school staff, our students are now learning janitorial and assembly tasks at CamelBak twice weekly.

Thank you to our friends at CamelBak in Petaluma.


The students help with sorting clothes and organizing the merchandise. Recognizing the different clothing and having to pick clothes off the rack has helped with patience, clothing association, and the physical aspect of sorting into bins. The students also have to learn how to communicate with the Goodwill staff and ask what the needs are for the day.

Thank you to our friends at Goodwill in Petaluma.

Round Table Pizza

Our students who work at Round Table participate in janitorial skills such as vacuuming, re-stocking menus, and wiping windows.  The staff at Round Table and our Cypress School aides work well with the students and coach them on what needs to be done at the restaurant.  It is an all around win situation.

Thank you to our friends at Round Table Pizza in Petaluma.

Non-Vocational Community Learning

Petaluma Kitchen

Cypress School students visit the Old Adobe State Park Community Garden.  They help pick fresh vegetables from the Cypress organic plot and then help deliver them to the Petaluma Kitchen where the produce helps feed those in need.  This program is part of our ongoing effort to “give back” to the community.

To learn more about the Petaluma Kitchen contact COTS Kitchen (Committee on the Shelterless).

Community Garden

In August 2009, the Sonoma Marin County California State Rangers donated a ½ acre plot of land to Cypress School to develop a Community Garden adjacent to their District Office. The Ranger’s helped to prepare the soil, laid drip hosing and planted 32 fruit trees surrounding the vegetable garden.

Each student of Cypress School participates in planning, planting, watering, weeding, picking and delivering the organic vegetables to the Petaluma Kitchen for needy families. Our students are helped every day by their own families and school staff. The delivery of healthy vegetables to these needy families is a Service learning Project that allows our students to help others. The wide variety of individualized gardening skill activities are part of the school’s work experience curriculum.

One of the rangers said “We are really proud to be in partnership with the students of Cypress School!”