Public Schools: Charter and Alternative

See also:

Home-based Learning – Homeschooling – Public Schools
Educational Options Scenarios

All Charter Schools in USA (by Center for Education Reform)
Click on ‘school choices’ then on ‘Charter’ schools to see a national map, then click on your area to find local charter schools OR do a search using criteria.

Big Picture Schools
Originally focusing on helping minority and disadvantaged students, these schools aim to help students learn how to learn with 5 main goals: empirical reasoning, quantitative reasoning, communication, social reasoning, and personal qualities.  Every school has an independent education plan for each student, which includes the family and community, a mentor, and a teacher on board to support learning.

Find a Big Picture School

Cabrillo College  – Community College for Santa Cruz County
6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003
Concurrent enrollment available for 6th-12th grade public or homeschool students upon approval from their school of attendance and/or Cabrillo counselor.  DRC (Disabled Resource Center) services available for all students with disabilities or special needs (including middle and high school students in concurrent enrollment.)  Students may petition for attendance at another community college, if pursuing an A.A. or A.S. or other certificate program not available at Cabrillo.

California Department of EducationCommunity Day Schools
Information on public school programs serving mandatory and other expelled students, students referred by a School Attendance Review Board, and other high-risk youths.

California Department of Education ‘Home and Hospital’ Program
Jacie Ragland, Education Programs Consultant

Educational Options Office
Learning Support and Partnerships Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6408, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
For all school districts, students with a temporary disability (medical, physical, or emotional) may be provided one-on-one tutoring  at their home or residential care site for 1 hour per school attendance day.  Contact the department listed above and/or your school district office for more information.

Monterey County Alternative and Charter Schools

Alternative Programs
Click the link above and then click on the left to select specific programs

Home Charter School
Click on the link above and then view the left column for specific information

North Monterey County Alternative and Charter Schools

Independent Study

Central Bay High School

Santa Clara County – County Office of Education

Charter Schools

Communitas Charter High School
New Charter Program in Santa Clara County offers: “Countywide, collaborative, integrative, student-centered classroom experience where each student grows in enthusiasm, curiosity, and wisdom. The program combines adult mentorships, academic challenge, a small school community, and real-world projects and internships.”

Alternative Schools

Santa Cruz County

Live Oak School District:

Ocean Alternative Education (K-8) Priscilla Smart Principal
984-6 Bostwick Lane. Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Homeschool w/ classroom options

Tierra Pacifica Charter School (K-8) Linda Lambdin Principal
2008 17th Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Cypress Charter High School (grades 9-12) Les Forster Principal
2039 Merrill Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Day program with Independent study option

Mountain School District:

Mountain Elementary  (K-6) -  Ken Miller,Superintendent
3042 Old San Jose Road Soquel, CA 95073
Homeschool program now offered through SLVUSD – go to Mountain Independent Studies

Pacific School District:

Pacific Elementary School Independent Studies Program
50 Ocean Street, Davenport, CA 95017
Combined homestudy and classroom time.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District:
To view website of each school below, go to this website and click on specific alternative or charter school.

Academic/Vocational Charter Institute –  Leland Takemato, Principal Diamond Drive, Watsonville
831-728 6225
Integrates academic studies required for occupational success into the vocational program of interest to each student.

Alianza Charter School
115 Casserly Road, Watsonville, CA 95076
Serves students throughout the PVUSD district and beyond, in kindergarten through eighth grade, with a two-way  bilingual immersion program.

Ceiba College Preparatory Academy -  Benna Lovato, Office Manager
294 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA

Linscott Charter School
220 Elm Street, Watsonville, CA
Parent participation/co-op magnet school, emphasizing developmentally-based, hands-on learning.

New School
165 Harkin Slough Road, Watsonville, CA 95076
831-761 6140
Helps students who have not yet succeeded in other high schools to accept responsibility for their failures, believe in themselves, and learn to set and achieve goals to return to regular high school or receive a degree.

Pacific Coast Charter School (K-12) -  Vicki Carr, Principal
294 Green Valley Road Watsonville, CA  95076
Offers blend of independent study and homeschool learning, with academic and enrichment programs, workshops, tutorials and field studies taught by credentialed teachers.

Renaissance High School (9-12) -  Tom Tatum, Principal
11 Spring Valley Road, Watsonville, CA
Continuation high school with an emphasis on counseling, guidance and career pathways.

Watsonville Charter School of the Arts (K-7) -  Trish Hucklebridge, Principal
115 Casserly Road Watsonville, CA
Promotes high academic achievement using the arts: dance, drama, music, and visual arts, to enhance and deepen all subject areas.

San Lorenzo Valley School District:

SLVUSD Charter Programs –  Rhonda Reed-Schlosser, Principal
7101 Highway 9, Felton, CA 95018
8 charter programs, including 2 alternative high schools, community-based and site-based programs, as well as home schooling programs, and a science based hands-on program.  Grade levels range from K-12.

List of all SLVUSD Charter Schools (see website for descriptions of each)
SLV Charter 25 Homeschool Program (Title 1)
White Oak High School (Title 2)
Boulder Creek Homeschool (Title 3)
Fall Creek Homeschool: Trillium Learning Collective (Title 4)
Coast Redwood Middle School (Title 6)
Coast Redwood High School Title 8
The Nature Academy (Title 11)
Mountain Independent Studies

Santa Cruz City School District: (Schools lisgted below are at Branciforte Small Schools Site)

Ark Independent Study (9-12) -  Curt Coleman, Principal
840 N. Branciforte Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
High School Independent study with consultant teacher.

Costanoa Continuation High School (9-12) -  Curt Coleman, Principal
840 N. Branciforte Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Alternative classroom program, resource help, and counseling for at risk students.

Monarch School (K-8) -  Curt Coleman, Principal
840 N. Branciforte Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Alternative K-8 classroom program, RSP available/parent volunteer supported.
Cabrillo College Site

Delta High School (Charter School, grades 9-12) -  Mary Gaukel Forster, Executive Director
6500 Soquel Drive Aptos, CA 95003
Onsite independent study.  Provides individualized learning programs for high school students for whom the traditional education system has failed, giving them the opportunity to graduate high school and transition to community college.

Santa Cruz County Office of Education
809 H Bay Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010

Alternative Schools:

For more info on the following schools in the Alternative Education Program, go to:

To download a pdf on the alternative schools click here

Click here to view the film ‘A Different Path’ about the Alternative School Options,

Cesar E. Chavez School for Social Change
Its purpose is to educate, train and develop youth leaders. The school targets youth that can take advantage of a broad-based educational approach that combines a core academic curriculum and a leadership development program.

DeWitt Anderson School
Offers opportunity for adolescent girls to learn in a small supportive educational environment. The school focuses on the unique challenges specific to female teens. Successful work habits and study skills are stressed to assist students in transitioning to comprehensive high school, the work place, or college.

East Lake Community School
East Lake Community School is a single classroom site for students who excel in a smaller, supportive and structured environment. Teachers make collaboration between peers a priority in order to build academic skills, and the school also focuses on building decision-making skills. East Lake provides an opportunity for students to catch up in school and take positive steps in life.

Escuela Quetzal
Program for teens in recovery from substance abuse.  Students attend core academic classes and receive group and individual counseling.  Along with academics, students are offered courses in art, music, vocational education, sports, an organic garden, and computer training.

Esperanza Middle School
Offers students in grades 6 through 8 a low teacher-to-student ratio, where they can work on core curriculum with resource specialists, instructional assistants, and on-site counseling, as well as participate in enrichment courses, such as the ‘Body, Mind, & Spirit Tiger Martial Arts,’ organic gardening, and ceramics.

Loudon Nelson Community School
Serves students with both Classroom and Independent Studies programs located in Downtown Santa Cruz.  Focused on life skills as well as academics, the program is also an opportunity to get involved in the community.

Natural Bridges High School /Career Training Center
For students in grades 10-12 seeking employment training while earning credits toward high school graduation. The program includes training for careers in agriculture, construction, alternative energy, habitat restoration and computers; courses in local ecology, history, economics, as well as other graduation requirements.

Independent Studies Format for students in grades 9 – 12 who are self directed and can learn at their own pace while challenging themselves to excel in their areas of special interest and ability.  Offers program based on state standards, UC/CSU A-G Approved courses (for those who wish to go on to college and CA universities) flexible scheduling, field trips, small group tutoring, and vocational/career counseling.

Pacific Collegiate Charter School – Andrew Goldenkranz, Principal
P.O. Box 1701 Santa Cruz, CA 95061
College Preparatory public school program offered to middle and high school students, emphasizing academics and fine arts, with some special education services.

Regional Occupational Program (ROP)
Provides youth 16 and older, and adults, the opportunity to acquire career training and
technical skills that prepare them for specific jobs.

Robert A. Hartman School
Robert A. Hartman School provides for the educational needs of youth who are detained in the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall.

San Lorenzo Valley Community School
Provides students in 7th through 12th grades an environment supported by a low student to teacher ratio, where they receive individual lesson plans based on their learning needs.  A dedicated staff engages students in academic, social skills and mental health development.

Santa Cruz Community School
Serves adolescent males in 7th -10th grades with a low student to teacher ratio. The staff assists students to overcome obstacles that may prevent them from receiving a solid and practical education with a variety of instructional strategies to maximize the opportunity for success.

SOS Program
For students up to age 20 who are returning to school and who want to continue their education and work towards a high school diploma, GED, or transition to Cabrillo College.  SOS is an individualized, student-centered program that also includes vocational education.

Star Community School
Helps 9-12th grade students to progress academically, develop social skills and work habits, strengthen their academic competence and enhance their self-worth. Additionally, students participate in crafts and music activities, as well as competitive sports through the Santa Cruz County Alternative Schools Sports League. Courses in pre-employment skills, Regional Occupational Classes or Cabrillo Community College are also available.

Star Academy Middle School
Serves middle school students in grades 6 through 8, with individual attention to progress academically and to develop social skills and work habits.  Offers a low student-to-teacher ratio, where focus is on strengthening academic competence, enhancing self-worth, and core subjects.

Success Academy
Designed to assist students who need extra support with study skills and setting educational goals, the emphasis is on individualized learning and the opportunity to work with teachers and support staff who have a wide variety of teaching methods and resources at their disposal to encourage students to excel.

Teenage Parent Program (TAP)
Enables teen parents to attend and graduate from high school as parents of young children, developing a strong sense of belonging, learning to recognize the worth and value of others, and becoming effective, nurturing parents.  It is a priority of this program to teach parenting skills through modeling and instruction, as well as to assist students to engage in academic, social and emotional health. A high percentage of teens attain academic success with individual learning plans and clear, concise and realistic expectations.

Wagner Cottage (Afternoon) Transition Program
Goal is to reconnect and introduce out-of-school youth and youth transitioning to adulthood to a traditional high school education with emphasis on career choices, character education,GED or CHSPE preparation, as well as computer literacy and  basic academic skills through the arts. Students receive individual and small group instruction, counseling and work experience.

Watsonville Community School
Allows students to continue their education while being a contributing member of the community, with emphasis on basic skills, combined with a wide range of creative strategies. The environment is carefully planned and organized by the staff with the support of local school districts, the probation department and a collaboration of social services and counselors.

YES (Youth Experiencing Success)
Serves teens who are dedicated to sobriety and recovery. Students learn to value themselves and others while completing their high school education, attending core academic classes, preparing for the High School Exit Exam and attending counseling groups. Additionally, students receive instruction in vocational education, art, poetry and physical education.  The foundation of the program is self-empowerment accompanied by peer support.

Scotts Valley School District:
*No charter programs, see homeschool programs under ‘learning at home’

Soquel Union School District
*No charter programs