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Experience joyful learning.

Learning with a purpose

Students should be active in and excited about their learning. School is the journey that leads to their futures. We must challenge them, equipping them with the tools they will need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.  

Quest Forward Academy is for students who demand more and who are ready to give more. Combining rigorous academics with a solid framework of real-life, valuable skills, Quest Forward Academy is demanding, exciting, engaging — anything but boring. 

A global network of innovative schools

While independent in its operation, Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa is part of a global network of innovative schools that offer Quest Forward Learning to their students. This network allows us to draw upon deep resources of expertise in curriculum, school design, and technology tools. Constantly learning from our students, the knowledge gained is rapidly shared throughout the network ensuring that the school will grow and learn as its students grow and learn. 

Built on a common vision for quality education and a shared course of study, each Academy shares a commitment to rigorous academics, active learning, and personal growth.

The school will continue to grow steadily toward a target of 256 students, with 64 students per grade.

Director Karen Kenkel with Students

Quest Forward Academy offers a new kind of school, where students drive the learning. Our school provides an intimate space for students to explore their interests, develop skills, and work independently or collectively on projects in a supportive community. Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa is ideally suited to support multiple paths of student growth.

Karen Kenkel, PHD, Director Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa
Karen Kenkel, Ph.D., Director Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Meet The Staff

Experienced, knowledgeable, and focused on fostering growth.

Jordan Bulger

English and Social Sciences

BA Classics, M.Phil Classics, MA International Relations, MAT Education

Kyle Collins


BS Environmental Science

Heather Concoff

College and Guidance Counseling

BA English, M.Ed Guidance Counseling

Lydia Felty


BA English

Nicolas Gilmore


BS Mathematics

Dana Gundling


BA Latin American Studies

Karen Kenkel, PhD


BA German Studies, PhD German Studies

Sierra Machen


Oakland School for the Arts

Rebecca Miller

Admissions Consultant

Kristen O'Connor

Internship Coordinator

BA Liberal Arts, Single Subject Teaching Credential, English and Spanish

Nils Palsson

Social Sciences

BA English, BA History, MFA Writing

Max Shafer-Landau

Social Science

BA History and Classical Civilizations, MA European and Russian History

Sarah Weinstein

Math & Science

BA Mathematics

Thalia Becerril


BA Sociology

Valerie Carpenter

Director of Recruitment

BA Anthropology, MA Public Service (in progress)

Map of Santa Rosa, California


A truly unique high school experience.

Located in the heart of Santa Rosa, the Quest Forward Academy campus is optimized in design and form for Quest Forward Learning. The campus features:

  • Science laboratory
  • Makerspace/art studio
  • Flexible classroom space
  • Cafe space for collaborative work
  • … and more!

Within Reach

A Quest Forward education may be more attainable than you think. In alignment with our commitment to enrolling a diverse student body, our scholarship program ensures that all qualified students, regardless of finances, can attend Quest Forward Academy.

A Schedule with Smarts

Terms designed for richer learning experiences.

A School Year that Makes Sense

The academic year consists of:

  • four terms, eight to nine weeks each
  • a two-week fall Intersession
  • a two-week spring Intersession

This schedule enables innovative, personalized programming for students. The Intersessions provide opportunities for:

  • intensive work in electives
  • travel
  • independent projects
  • a change of pace from the core academic content

A five-week Summer Session is also offered. The Summer Session provides students with opportunities to catch up in courses, as well as new opportunities for service learning, internships, project work, and electives.

Days with Structure and Flexibility

  • 8:00 a.m. Academy opens. Students work on projects, enjoy breakfast, and get ready for the day.
  • 9:00 a.m. Classes begin.
  • 12:00 p.m. Lunch
  • 3:30 p.m. Classes end. Club activities begin, as well as additional work time and mentor support.

During the regular terms, each class meets five times every two weeks. In addition to regular class meetings, students also have:

  • planning periods
  • open quest time
  • opportunities to work on the Essential Habits
  • time for electives and project work, which allows students to receive additional support

Students have regular opportunities for field trips and other exploratory projects in the surrounding community as part of our City as Campus program. Classes conclude at 12:15 p.m. every Friday, except on City as Campus days, to provide time for professional development of staff and for students to engage in independent work.

January January 2019

February February 2019

March March 2019

April April 2019

May May 2019

June June 2019

July July 2019

August August 2019

September September 2019

October October 2019

November November 2019

December December 2019

Intersessions provide a change of pace, with opportunities for intensive work in electives, travel, or independent projects.

  • Regular Terms (8 weeks each)
  • Intersessions (2-3 weeks each)
  • Summer Session (5 weeks)
  • Student Breaks
  • Holiday


Our curriculum prepares students for success.

Quest Forward Academy offers courses through the advanced placement level, meeting or exceeding state high-school graduation requirements. Our curriculum aligns with Common Core State Standards for English and Mathematics, Next Generation Science Standards for Mathematics and Science, and C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards, while also advancing the Quest Forward Learning skills and habits.

The Academy curriculum prepares students for college entrance exams, such as the ACT and the SAT, and for success on the educational paths beyond college.




California's Graduation Requirements

Experience Us In Person

Upcoming Events

Open House

Register to join us at an upcoming Open House where you will experience hands-on mini-classes, tour the campus, and meet our team.


Open House

Register to join us at an upcoming Open House where you will experience hands-on mini-classes, tour the campus, and meet our team.

Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

In Our Own Words

Latest from our Blog

Welcoming applications for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Limited spaces for transfer students for the 2019 academic year are also available. Our scholarship program ensures that all qualified students, regardless of finances, can attend Quest Forward Academy. Contact us to learn more.