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What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are public schools that operate independently of local school districts. Instead of following a curriculum and testing standards set by the district, charter schools can design and adjust their goals to meet their students’ needs (as long as they continue to meet specific state standards, like Common Core). Parents, teachers, and other community members can come together to design curricula they believe will serve their students best.

Charter schools operate as 501c3 non-profit organizations, are open to the public, tuition-free, participate in state tests and employ credentialed teachers. Under the law, charter schools cannot discriminate based on disability, race, color, gender, national origin, religion, or ancestry. At Achieve Charter School, we’re proud to welcome everyone, regardless of student background or ability but because of our smaller class size, we have an enrollment cap. Once we reach capacity, students will enter a lottery to attend.

As of 2009, there are 750 charter schools serving over 276,000 charter school students in California. Over the past 10 years, charter schools have consistently grown by an average of 50 schools a year. Research shows charter schools do a better job of increasing student achievement than traditional public schools. Research-based on the California Department of Education's API (Academic Performance Index) from 2004 - 2007 indicates that 17% of charter schools have significant growth on API (over 50 points) compared to only 6% of traditional public schools.

The Charter Schools Act of 1992 was created to:
  • Improve student achievement 
  • Increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for students who are identified as academically low achieving. 
  • Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods. 
  • Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site. 
  • Provide parents and students with expanded choices within the public school system. 
  • Hold schools accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes, and provide schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.
  • Provide competition within the public school system.
Achieve Charter School has begun to do its part in fulfilling the intent of the Charter Schools Act of 1992. This flexibility in funding, instructional practices, governance, and staffing has led to a steady increase in student achievement and overall operational success at Achieve Charter School. ACS has an attendance rate of 97%, impressive parent involvement, high teacher/staff satisfaction and involvement, a personalized learning plan for every student, strong local governance, sound finances with a 10% reserve, research-based instructional and assessment strategies, and character education embedded in our strong sense of community. We believe Achieve Charter School has made a positive impact on the students and families it has served, not only academically, but socially and emotionally. We aim to provide the students and families of this community with a quality, small school option with individual learning opportunities to help students achieve their full academic and social potential.