Moving to Santa Barbara - how to find out about schools?

My partner and I are contemplating a move to Santa Barbara, along with our kids, who will be in 3rd grade and kindergarten next year. We know Santa Barbara really well (my partner is from there), and we have visited tons of times. But we don't know much about schools and are unsure how to find out more. Can anyone recommend any of the following...

--any Santa Barbara area resources for parents that might give us more info about schools?

--any friends you know who have kids in SB schools and might be willing to talk with me more about it?

--any direct personal experiences with schools in SB that you would like to share? We will be keeping our house in Oakland and renting in SB, so we have a lot of flexibility regarding where to live and will probably choose our neighborhood in large part based on schools. I would particularly like to find a school that is on the smaller side. My older child's current school is 100 kids per grade, and that feels too large to us. We are seeking a more caring, intimate environment, if at all possible. Open to privates and charters, but would prefer public. 

Thanks for any wisdom you can share! 

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Hi, we brought up our child in Santa Barbara.  We sent her to the Monterssori Center School there.  We love the School and my husband's 2 grand kids are going there.  For public school, the most desirable one will be in the Montecito area.  Good luck with your search.

My husband is also from SB and we very casually talked about a move there about a year ago, when our kids were about your kids' age. He grew up in San Roque and also had family on the Mesa, so we were thinking about those two areas. His old elementary school (Monte vista) is part of a tiny school district - not SB Unified - that then feeds to La Colina JH and now (not then) to SBHS. The advice here is to think NOW about which high school you want. My husband feels strongly that SBHS is the best HS in the area although this is based more on his experience growing up and going to San Marcos HS than the current situation, so you should research each school's offerings and then pick your residence accordingly. MV is still pretty small for a public elementary school and has a nice playground and a YMCA aftercare program.

My immediate suggestion is to get down to SB for a couple days for spring break and sign your kids up for a couple days of camp at the SB Zoo, and then hit up other parents at dropoff and pickup for tips!!