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School History

Carl Hankey Surveys Future Ortega Highway
Carl Hankey surveying
Carl Hankey's Family at Open House
Carl Hankey's Family

Carl Hankey K-8 Academy's Proud History

Tucked comfortably between homes, a ribbon of green belt and the sprawling verdant field of an adjacent park, Carl Hankey K-8 Academy, located in the Capistrano Unified School District, is closely connected to its local community. This tight link was forged at the school’s inception; opening in 1978 it was named for Carl Hankey, a prominent rancher and school board member who played a pivotal role in early local land development. Influenced by its changing community, Hankey has withstood two major transformations, evolving from a K-5 to a K-8, and then embarking on the journey to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.  Despite these modifications, the school continues to retain its warm, neighborhood atmosphere, and the deeply rooted sense of community that makes it so special.

The prospect of declining enrollment initiated Hankey’s first renovation in 2004.  When District officials considered closing the school, the community passionately reacted. Their response was so overwhelming the decision was made to convert the school into a K-8.  Hankey is now one of the two K-8 schools in CUSD, affording parents an alternative to the traditional elementary K-5 to middle school 6-8 matriculation pathway. 

In 2009, influenced once again by the local community’s desire to provide an alternative educational program, Carl Hankey began its second transformation, embarking upon the journey to become an IB World School.  This ambitious goal was accomplished in July, 2014, when the school was authorized as the first public K-8 IB World School in South Orange County.

California Gold Ribbon School 2015
Receiving Gold Ribbon award