2023 Guide to East Bay Charter Schools - 510 Families

2023 Guide to East Bay Charter Schools

Thank you to our sponsors: Making Waves Academy, Alternatives in Action, AIMS College Prep Charter School, Oakland School for the Arts, North Oakland Community Charter School and Latitude High School

East Bay charter schools are free public schools that range in focus from the language arts to social justice-focused or technology. At this time some tours and visitations are happening online (so you can wear your pajamas at home if you feel like it). Happy visiting and hope you find just the right school for your family.

{Our 2022-23 guide sponsors}

oakland school for the arts charter logo aims charter logo mwa charter school logo alternatives in action charter school
noccs charter school latitude charter school

Featured East Bay Charter Schools

Making Waves Academy (MWA)

MWA opened in 2007 serving 100 Wave-Makers in 5th grade in Richmond, CA. Since then, they have grown to serve over 1100 students in grades 5-12. MWA commits to rigorously and holistically preparing students to gain acceptance to and graduate from college, to ultimately become valuable contributors to the workforce & communities.

  • Elementary (K-5)
  • Middle School (6-8)
  • High School (9-12)

Learn More: (510) 262-1511, mwainfo@mwacademy.org
Visit Website >
Schedule a Tour >

Alternatives In Action High School (AIA)

AlA inspires Bay Area youth to realize their leadership potential and prepares them for college, career, and community life through dynamic educational, skill-building, and real world experiences. The high school, programs, and partnerships provide innovative opportunities and support that help youth become contributing adults.

  • High School (9-12)

Learn More: (510) 748-4314, enrollment@alternativesinaction.org
Visit Website >
Schedule a Tour >

AIMS K-12 College Prep Charter Schools

AIMS has an Elementary, Middle, and High School. They offer Math and ELS daily. Students attend Science, History, World Languages, Visual and Performing Arts, and PE classes. Each student receives a Chromebook, school materials & free meals. AIMS pays for 100% of student SAT and ACT exams, AP tests, prep books, and college application fees.

  • Preschool
  • Elementary (K-5)
  • Middle School (6-8)
  • High School (9-12)

Learn More: (510) 893-8701, enrollment@aimsk12.org
Visit Website >
Schedule a Tour >

Oakland School for the Arts (OSA)

Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) blends robust arts with comprehensive academics, to provide a tuition-free, exemplary arts education to over 800 students from grades 6 to 12. Through meaningful engagement with pathway-integrated curriculum & work-based learning opportunities, graduates are resilient & ready for college and career.

  • Middle School (6-8)
  • High School (9-12)

Learn More: (510) 873-8800, enrollment@oakarts.org
Visit Website >
Schedule a Tour >

North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS)

At NOCCS, they strive for excellence in students who are thoughtful, informed, & inquisitive. TK-5th grade programming has a focus on academics and also building confident citizens and scholars. Alongside core curriculum, they have social-emotional programming so young scholars are equipped to handle any situation they face.

  • Elementary (K-5)

Learn More: (510) 655-0540, office@noccs.org
Visit Website >
Schedule a Tour >

Latitude 37.8 High School

Latitude offers a high school experience that is CREATIVE, PROJECT-BASED, and COMMUNITY-CONNECTED. Their students are designers and change makers -- building tiny houses and self-driving cars, creating podcasts, publishing books, capturing oral history, and learning beyond the walls of a building.

  • High School (9-12)

Learn More: (510) 467-0726,
Visit Website >
Schedule a Tour >

Learn More about East Bay & California Charter Schools

Find a list of charter schools by location: Oakland, Hayward, Richmond, Alameda, Emeryville, and El Cerrito | Find the map of California Charter Schools | Learn more information about charters by county

East Bay Charter Elementary, Middle Schools, & High Schools

students walking around high school
First day of school, grades 5 – 12 in Richmond | Photo: Making Waves Academy

Oakland, CA Charter Schools

The Office of Charter Schools (OCS) is a department within Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) that authorizes and oversees 28 independently run public charter schools in Oakland. Other Oakland-based charter schools are authorized by other entities. We have listed them below. Website to learn more >>

Oakland Charter Schools include:
Achieve Academy (TK-5)
Alternatives in Action High School (9-12)
AIMS College Prep Charter District (K-12)
ARISE High School (9-12)
ASCEND Charter School (TK-8)
Aspire Berkley Maynard Academy (TK-8)
Aspire College Academy (TK-5)
Aspire Golden State College Preparatory Academy (6-12)
Aspire Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy (6-12)
Aspire Monarch Academy (TK-5)
Aspire Triumph Technology Academy (TK-5)
Aurum Preparatory Academy (6-8)
Bay Area Technology School (6-12)
Community School for Creative Education (K-8)
Cox Academy (TK-5)
​​Downtown Charter Academy – Amethod Public Schools (AMPS) (6-8)
East Bay Innovation Academy (6-12)
Envision Academy for Arts & Technology (4-12)
Francophone Charter School of Oakland (K-8)
KIPP Bridge Academy (TK-8)
Latitude 37.8 High (9-12)
Lazear Charter Academy (TK-8)
Learning Without Limits Charter School (K-5)
Lighthouse Community Charter (K-8)
Lighthouse Community Charter High (9-12)
Lodestar: A Lighthouse Community Charter (K-10)
LPS Oakland R & D (9-12)
North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS) (TK-5)
Oakland Charter Academy – AMPS (6-8)
Oakland Charter High School – AMPS (9-12)
Oakland Military Institute College Preparatory Academy (6-12)
Oakland School for the Arts (6-12)
Oakland Unity High School (9-12)
Oakland Unity Middle School (6-8)
Urban Montessori Charter School (TK-8)
Yu Ming Charter School (K-8)

highschoolers with steph and ayesha curry on the a's field
Vocal Rush is a two-time national champion a cappella ensemble comprised of singers ages 15-18, seen here performing at the A’s Game with Steph & Ayesha Curry | Photo: Oakland School for the Arts (OSA)

Richmond, CA Charter Schools

West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) administers the charter schools in Richmond. Website to learn more >>

Richmond Charter Schools include:
Aspire Richmond College Preparatory Academy (6-12)
Aspire Richmond Technology Academy (K-5)
Benito Juarez Elementary (TK-5)
Caliber: Beta Academy (K-8)
John Henry High School (9-12)
Leadership Public Schools: Richmond (9-12)
Making Waves Academy (5-12)
Manzanita Middle (6-8)
Richmond Charter Academy (6-8)
Richmond College Preparatory (PK-8)
Summit Public School: Tamalpais (7-12)

Hayward, CA Charter Schools

Charter Schools with their addresses in Hayward or Castro Valley, CA:

Hayward Collegiate Charter (K-6)
Impact Academy of Arts & Technology (6-12)
Knowledge Enlightens You (KEY) Academy (K-8)
Leadership Public Schools – Hayward (9-12)
Opportunity Academy (10-12)
Silver Oak High Public Montessori Charter (9-12)

Alameda, CA Charter Schools

Alameda Charter Schools include:

Academy of Alameda Elementary (K-5)
Academy of Alameda Middle School (6-8)
Alameda Community Learning Center (6-12)
Nea Community Learning Center (K-12)

El Cerrito, CA Charter Schools

Invictus Academy of Richmond (7-12)
Summit Public School K2 (7-12)

Emeryville, CA Charter School

Hickman Community Charter (TK-8)

Berkeley, CA Charter Schools

Berkeley Unified School District closed its charter school, REALM, in 2019. There are no charter schools active in the district at this time.

Further Links for Charter School Research

student drawing with sidewalk chalk
Student art | Visit aoaschools.org or call 510-748-4017 for more information or to attend an Enrollment Information Sessions and Meet the Principal Events | Photo: Academy of Alameda

Parents and educators can start their own charter schools to fill a need they believe is unmet. The process involves drafting a petition, a budget, managing a facility, and hiring personnel. Teachers must be credentialed and accountability is overseen by parents, authorizers, and the state.

🏫  Alameda County Charter Schools round-up with statistical reports. Website.
🏫  Contra Costa County Charter Schools round-up with statistical reports. Website.

Charter schools are open to all students, unlimited by geography. That is, Oakland charter schools are open to Berkeley residents and vice-versa. When there are more applicants than spaces available, a lottery system will be used to grant admission.

Charter schools are public, tuition-free schools accountable to state and federal public education laws with extensive oversight by a local charter authorizer, which is often the local school board. There are dozens of charter schools, right here in the 510. Oakland and Berkeley area charter schools offer many choices for in-person and remote learning.

The California Charter Schools Association website reads

Charter schools offer a different approach to public school – one as unique as California’s students. Charter schools put students first and offer the personal attention, creativity, and passionate teaching that students need to learn. Public, free, and open to all, charter schools are a vital part of public education in California.

East Bay charter schools are all different. To see a complete list of charter schools in the East Bay or play with an interactive map to find one nearest your home, visit the California Charter Schools Association online.

This is a (non-interactive) map of charter school locations in our area. Click to dig in.

Oakland Charter Schools
East Bay Charter Schools | Source: California Charter Schools Association

Note: Cities in our consideration set include: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, El Cerrito, Fremont, Hayward, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Richmond, and San Leandro. You may find a school just over a city border works well for your family.

Thank you again to our sponsors: Making Waves Academy, Alternatives in Action, AIMS College Prep Charter School, Oakland School for the Arts, North Oakland Community Charter School and Latitude High School

See also the 510families Private School Guide and Preschool Guide for other great schools around the East Bay Area.

[Photos used with permission]


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1 thought on “2023 Guide to East Bay Charter Schools”

  1. Hi There. Thanks for the list. I see Silver Oak High School on there so I’ll update you and let you know that Silver Oak High School has merged with Golden Oak Montessori School to form Hayward Twin Oaks Montessori School. It is 1-12th grade!

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