The voice of California’s charter school movement

The latest in tuition-free options for a high-quality education

By Vanessa Alessi

This Back-to-School season, students across the state will be starting classes at brand new charter schools in California. While the first day of school is always exciting, there is even more excitement when a school is opening its doors for the very first time.

In honor of back-to-school, we are proud to highlight some of the many new charter public schools opening up in neighborhoods across the state this fall:


Achieve Charter High School
Paradise, CA

Achieve Charter High School of Paradise is the second Achieve Charter School to open in the region. The high school, which opened August 9, 2018, was established to continue the great work started by Achieve Charter School of Paradise K-8 that has helped hundreds of students in the rural community of Paradise achieve academic success. Achieve Charter High School will provide students personalized learning pathways; an advisory class to develop positive peer relationships in a small group setting and have access to an adult role model to help them achieve their goals; cross-curricular themes and projects to help students understand content in their core classes; dual enrollment opportunities with Butte College to earn college credits; and entrepreneurship and sustainable design and technology pathways.

"We're proud to open the new Achieve Charter High School, a school that would not be possible without the support from the Paradise community. Achieve Charter High School is truly a school developed by the community, for the community, and will provide families another high-quality education option in their backyard that will place students on the path to success." - Casey Taylor, Executive Director, Achieve Charter Schools

Golden Valley Tahoe School
Truckee, CA

Surrounded by alpine trees and the Northstar Ski Resort, Golden Valley Tahoe School is in the perfect location to provide many outdoor educational opportunities for its students. The school, which will follow a Waldorf curriculum, is the third charter public school in Truckee and the third school managed by Golden Valley Charter Schools, a charter school management organization. Tahoe School will start as a TK through 3rd grade program in fall 2018 and will later expand to serve TK through 8th grade. A long-term lease for the school site is being finalized near the Boca Reservoir along the Truckee River.

"Golden Valley Tahoe School, from day one, will have a powerful impact on families in the region by providing an opportunity for free access to a Waldorf curriculum and an incredible ecology for creating the ethical thinkers of the future." - Caleb Buckley, EdD, Executive Director, Golden Valley Charter Schools


Learning by Design
Los Angeles, CA

This fall, Learning by Design, a school founded by two visionary African American female leaders, will open in Los Angeles. Learning by Design will offer students an innovative, personalized, and experiential learning program. Students will have access to enrichment programs, including art, gardening, and health and wellness programming, and a makers space for design programming. The school will provide traditionally underserved students in Southern Los Angeles the opportunity to receive an equitable, high-quality, free public education.

"The mission of Learning by Design Charter School is to create an ethnically, culturally and economically diverse community of students, families, educators and community members who are committed to an equitable, exceptional, relevant and empowering learning experience for ALL its students. We believe this is the school of the future. But, we are making it happen now!" - Charla Harris, Founder, Learning by Design

TLC Public Charter School
City of Orange, CA

TLC Public Charter School will open in Fall 2018 as a TK through 4th grade school, later expanding to serve grade 5, and providing Orange County students with an innovative, hands-on, public education program that boasts enrichment programs like art, music, and technology. The TLC educational model of inclusion for all students is unlike any learning environment currently in Orange County. Based on the renowned CHIME Institute's inclusive education model where all students, including those who develop typically, students with special needs, and those who are gifted, all learn side-by-side. In this model, all unique needs are met, and students learn to celebrate and embrace differences.

"We believe every child deserves the chance to ask questions and explore, to find and develop their unique strengths, and to follow the natural curiosity that inspires lifelong learners. Our educational program brings research-based innovations in teaching and learning into the classroom, preparing the next generation of students as competent and empathetic problem-solvers ready to take on the complex challenges and possibilities that await us in the future." - Dr. Jessica Tunney, Founding Principal, TLC Public Charter School