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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 California State Common Core Standards). 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 Schools, we’re proud to welcome everyone, regardless of student background or ability, but because of our smaller schools and class sizes, we have an enrollment cap. Once we reach capacity, students will enter a lottery to attend.
As of 2022, there are over 1,300 charter schools serving over 700,000 charter school students in California. 
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 is doing our part in fulfilling the intent of the Charter Schools Act of 1992. 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 the Paradise and Chico communities with a quality, small school option with individual learning opportunities to help students achieve their full academic and social potential. At Achieve, everyone belongs, everyone gets the challenge and support they need, and everyone makes the world a better place. 
Find out more about the charter school movement in California at Follow the stories of charter schools changing public education across California in the CCSA CharterNation Podcast.  You can start by listening to the podcast featuring Achieve Charter Schools: