Region Overview: Bay Area, North Coast, Central Coast


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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:

Five Keys Charter School CCSA presented the annual Hart Vision Award for Charter School of the Year to Five Keys Charter School in San Francisco. The award was presented at the 21st Annual California Charter Schools Conference held March 3-6 at the San Jose Convention Center. Read more.

Cornerstone Academy Preparatory School
Cornerstone Academy Preparatory School prepares scholars in kindergarten through grade six to excel in college preparatory secondary schools and beyond. The school provides a structured, rigorous education emphasizing literacy and mathematics that lays the foundation for academic success. Cornerstone is a member of the San Jose Charter School Consortium and one of the two top performing elementary schools in Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose with a 929 API in just their third year.

New Report: Oakland Middle and High Charter Schools & College-Readiness
The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) released a new report on Oakland middle and high schools which shows that Oakland charter schools are renewing the promise of a high-quality public education and changing what is possible for students of all demographic backgrounds to achieve in their lives.

Share the News Toolkit: Renewing the Promise: Oakland College Report
Help CCSA spread the word about the Oakland College Report and its findings to parents, educators and the community. We've pulled together this simple toolkit to make it easy.

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.

Regional Authorizers

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 Aida Mariam, Regional Director, Alameda County.

Regional Authorizers

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 contact Hilary Harmssen.

Fact Sheets

Regional Authorizers

Start a Charter in Coastal Central and Northern California

As CCSA's designated School Development and Support representative for the area, Willow Harrington understands the unique charter school landscape you face and can support you with the necessary skills and resources to start a high-quality charter school. Learn more.

CCSA Families

CCSA Families 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 CCSA Families for more information.  

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