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.
Featured East Bay Charter Schools
The Academy of Alameda (Alameda)
The Academy of Alameda is a free public charter school that serves students in grades K-8. AoA equitably develops students into critical thinkers and life-long learners who navigate the world with integrity and who apply their learning to empower themselves and their communities.
Grades: K through 8th grade
AIMS K-12 College Prep Charter District (Oakland)
AIMS is a free public school that serves approximately 1,300 K-12 students. They have been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon school, Charter School of the Year by CCSA, and closing the achievement gap for low-income African-American students. Students with disabilities, English language learners, and foster families are welcome to apply.
Grades: K through 12th grade
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Latitude High School (Oakland)
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. Check out our spotlight on Latitude High School’s powerful community and innovative curriculum.
Grades: 9 through 12th grade
North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS) (Oakland)
NOCCS is an Oakland public school dedicated to helping children become thoughtful, informed, and inquisitive citizens. They are building a vibrant, diverse learning community driven by respect for each child’s unique intelligence and history. NOCCS takes a dynamic and challenging approach to stretch students’ social and intellectual capabilities.
Grades: K through 5th grade
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
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)
Epic Charter (6-8)
Francophone Charter School of Oakland (K-8)
KIPP Bridge Academy (K-8)
Latitude 37.8 High (9-12)
Lazear Charter Academy (K-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) (K-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 (6-8)
Urban Montessori Charter (TK-8)
Yu Ming Charter (K-8)
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)
Caliber: Beta Academy (K-8)
John Henry High (9-12)
Leadership Public Schools: Richmond (9-12)
Making Waves Academy (5-12)
Manzanita Middle (6-8)
Richmond Charter Academy (6-8)
Richmond Charter Elementary-Benito Juarez (K-5)
Richmond College Preparatory (K-8)
Summit Public School: Tamalpais (7-12)
Voices College-Bound Language Academy (K-8)
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
[Photos provided by Latitude High School and Academy of Alameda and used with permission]