The voice of California’s charter school movement

6 types of Charter Schools Reinventing the Ways Kids Learn

By Vanessa Alessi

No two kids learn the same way. That’s why charter schools were created.

Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, California charter public schools provide an innovative school model where passionate teachers have the flexibility to create dynamic lesson plans tailored to each of their students’ needs.

But what are innovative school models, exactly?

Simply put, school models are used to define the framework the school uses in order to educate your child. These new models still require teachers to have proper credentials and must meet or exceed the same academic standards as traditional public schools.   

Here’s a quick round up of 6 different charter public school options for your child to thrive in:


If your child has an innate interest in math, science or building things, a STEM charter school may be a natural choice.

For an example of a STEM school, check out: Math & Science Prep



At project-based charter schools, all student projects are approached through the lens of design thinking. Design thinking is a proven method of inquiry and exploration, like the scientific method. 

Check out this video by Great Public Schools on project-based schools, featuring Design Tech High:


At dual language or language immersion charter schools, students spend part of the day learning all subjects in English and the other part learning all subjects in a target language.

One of our Hart Vision Award winning schools, EJE Middle, is a dual-language charter school in the Los Angeles area.


Place-based charter schools immerse students in learning by locating the school inside an inspiring learning environment, like a museum.

A great example of a place-based charter school is the Museum School located in San Diego.



Long embraced by preschools, Montessori-style education is now available in elementary, middle and high schools. It’s an approach to learning where each student may be working independently on entirely different tasks.

Urban Montessori School in Oakland is an example of a Montessori charter school:



Core skills are taught through the lens of learning about the natural world and environmental issues both inside the classroom and outside in nature.

In Central California, Grimmway Academy offers two charter schools that use environmental science as a model to help close the achievement gap for students in rural Kern County.


Is your child attending a school with an innovative model? We’d love to hear from you! Tell us how your school’s unique model has helped unlock your child’s full academic potential by sending us an email at  Your story may be featured on our blog!

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