Encompassing 18 counties across northwestern California, the Bay Area, North and Central Coast Region is home to more than 250 charter schools that demonstrate the tremendous diversity of the charter school movement. There are new, single-site operators, district schools that converted into charter schools, as well as larger networks of schools. These charter schools offer families a broad range of different approaches and themes including college preparatory curricula, programs emphasizing math, science or the performing arts and schools that prioritize personalization of the learning experience through site-based and distance learning programs.
Featured Schools in the Region:
Oakland Charter High School (OCHS), Oakland
Oakland Charter High School is the recent recipient of a 2013 California Distinguished School Award. OCHS provides a college preparatory program that fosters essential skills and a strong work ethic to all students. The school has a rigorous curriculum and classes that are structured to prepare all students for acceptance and success in college. The curriculum is designed to enhance the academic skills of its students by utilizing small, structured classrooms that will provide the organization, academic rigor, discipline and individualized attention necessary for success. OCHS believes that college is the only path out of poverty and violence for inner city youth. Their goal is to prepare students for the rigors of college.
Downtown College Prep (DCP), San Jose
DCP prepares students who will be the first in their families to go to college to thrive at four-year universities. DCP recently announced the publication of its first College Success Report, I Am the First, based on research gathered from the experiences from the school's alumni. The report addresses the prevailing factors that influence the college success of first generation students.
KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy, San Francisco
KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy is the recent recipient of a 2013 California Distinguished School Award, is the top-preforming middle school in San Francisco Unified School District, and is in the top nine percent of all public schools in California. The school is dedicated to providing its students with the knowledge, skills, and character traits needed to succeed in top-quality high schools, colleges, and in the competitive world beyond.
Bay Area, North and Central Coast Charter Landscape
The Bay Area, North and Central Coast includes: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Trinity counties. These charters are diverse in what they offer 77,000 students in 260 charters that provide an array of instructional opportunities from project-based learning to blended learning to Waldorf-inspired programs.
For example, in San Francisco, Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island offers a second-chance to adjudicated youth to gain a high school diploma as well as hands-on work experience that prepares them to pursue sustainable careers. Read the San Francisco Bay Area fact sheet.
Sonoma County charter schools are quickly growing, with the opening of 12 new charters in 2013. And their scale is matched by strong student performance, with charters outperforming their traditional school counterparts overall and among all subgroups.
In the central coast region, Big Sur Charter School is a non-classroom based school offering students and families personalized learning plans with a focus on local arts and nature education and the school actively engages parent volunteers in three locations: Big Sur, Monterey and San Luis Obispo. For more information about any of these counties, contact Hilary Harmssen.
- Del Norte County Office of Education
- Humboldt County Office of Education
- Monterey County Office of Education
- San Francisco Unified School District
- Santa Cruz County Office of Education
Oakland Charter Landscape
Over the past few years, the number of charter schools in Oakland has increased dramatically to serve 25% of public school students in the district. This represents the largest percentage of public students served by charters in any urban district in California. Charter schools in Oakland are supported by the Oakland Charter School Collaborative, which is an organization of key partnerships, supports and services that are beneficial to members of the local charter school community. For additional information, check out this Fact Sheet on the region. For more information about Oakland, contact David Castillo.
Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties Charter Landscape
Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are home to more than 60 charter schools serving over 55,000 public school students. In San Jose, charter leaders have come together to create the San Jose Charter Schools Consortium specifically to reform education in San Jose and increase college success for all students. For more information about Santa Clara or San Mateo Counties, contact Alicia Gallegos.
- Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
- East Side Union High School District
- Franklin McKinley School District
- Gilroy Unified School District
- Jefferson Elementary School District
- Jefferson Union High School District
- Morgan Hill Unified School District
- Ravenswood School District
- Redwood City Elementary School District
- San Carlos Elementary School District
- San Jose Unified School District
- Santa Clara County Office of Education
- Sequoia Union High School District
Families That Can
Families That Can educates, empowers and mobilizes parents to hold our elected leaders accountable for ensuring every child has access to a high-quality public education. We advocate for quality public school choices, fair treatment and equal resources for charter public schools, and the advancement and growth of successful charter schools. Contact Tony Cuevas, Director of Parent and Community Engagement in Oakland, for more information about Families That Can.