15 Best Charter Schools in San Jose
August 4, 2023

Charter schools are a big part of the nation’s education agenda. It provides a more independent, quality schooling institution within the district it settles. Residents must acknowledge charter schools in San Jose and even support them!

Independent group operates San Jose charter schools, usually consisting of teaching officials, parents, or other community groups under legal terms. The school and teaching system is designed correspondingly to what is more suitable for students. Since charter schools are independent and under exclusive management by a single district. Moreover, charter schools are funded by the government to give the schools more financial capacities and chances to flourishing effective and efficient teaching and learning strategies. Truthfully, our residents must look into our list of the best charter schools in San Jose!

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Each of the charter schools in San Jose we can find will have something different to offer. Before being managed far from traditional schooling institutions, charter schools were uniquely created to be specifically compatible with the educational objectives of teachers, students, parents, and other community groups that are independently and voluntarily involved in running the institution. 

Charter schools are still yet to be distinguished as either private or public schools. Nonetheless, charter schools are publicly funded, likely public schools, but are independent and exclusive running institutions like private schools. 

There are numerous things to consider if one picks San Jose charter schools as an option. To identify the best charter schools in San Jose, we reviewed rankings for all charter schools from the 2023 Best charter schools in San Jose list released by school and neighborhood data clearinghouse Niche. The classifications below have been compiled based on several factors: 

  • analysis of critical data from the U.S. Department of Education
  • average SAT and ACT scores 
  • college enrollment
  • culture and diversity 
  • student-teacher ratio 
  • parent and student surveys
  • charter school ratings collected from millions of Niche users. 

Finding the best institution for our children’s schooling is remarkably essential, for it will be the foundation of their education that will significantly matter in the long run. Take this as a guide to look into the best charter schools in San Jose to see which institution you think is the best for your child’s learning.

Our Featured Santa Clara Charter School

Ocean Grove iEM Charter School
Ocean Grove iEM Charter School

Ocean Grove iEM Charter School

16900 N Highway Nine, Boulder Creek, CA 95006
Phone Number: (800) 979-4436

Overall Grade: A-
Students: 2,287 (Grades PK, K-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 24:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 54%
Percent Proficient – Math: 36%

Ocean Grove Charter School (OGCS) is a WASC-accredited charter school managed by Innovative Education Management (IEM). The school is part of the IEM family of parent-choice charter schools that thousands of families have chosen for their children in grades K through 12 since 1993. OGCS was approved as an independent study charter by the California Department of Education in 2005. The school serves students in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties.

Parents work with a California credentialed teacher to develop individualized learning opportunities by choosing home-based or community-based instruction and selecting a personalized curriculum based on learning style and functioning grade level. They provide materials, resources, and supportive education, promoting real-life context-based learning.

Its Educational Specialists are highly trained, certified, credentialed professionals available to you as needed in home-based and independent study learning environments.

Top 15 Charter Schools in San Jose

San Jose Charter Schools

1. University Preparatory Academy Charter School

Santa Clara County Office of Education
2315 Canoas Garden Ave., San Jose, CA 95125
Phone Number: (408) 723-1839

#1 in Best Charter High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A+
Students: 716 (Grades 7-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 87%
Percent Proficient – Math: 77%

University Preparatory Academy (UPA) is a San Jose charter school approved by the Santa Clara Board of Trustees. UPA opened in the fall of 2007 as a middle and high school, offering grades 7–12th. Graduation standards are more rigorous than at other high schools, requiring more AP units than California law mandates.

UPA’s priority is to prepare students for academic success and higher education. The student population at UPA includes non-native English speakers, students who have fallen behind grade level in one or more core subject areas, and students with special needs. Initially, UPA aimed to recruit middle-to-low-performing students for the school, and most students enrolled at UPA are at the lower performing levels in one or more of the core subject areas.

2. Bullis Charter School

North Campus
102 W Portola Ave., #1210, Los Altos, CA 94022
Phone Number: (650) 947-4100

#2 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area

Overall Grade: A+
Students: 1,067 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 15:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 90%
Percent Proficient – Math: 92%

Bullis Charter School believes that every child is exceptional and has a right to cultivate and nurture his or her own unique interests and abilities. They treat each child as the individual that they are, individually, and inspire children and staff to reach for their full potential in an environment that nurtures collaboration, mutual respect, civic responsibility, and a lifelong love of learning.

Bullis is committed to continuously improving public education by providing students with an innovative, empowering, and results-oriented learning environment that nurtures the whole child: Social, Emotional, Physical, and Mental. Their interconnected global education model blends visual and performing arts with science and engineering, offering a well-rounded education.

3. Discovery Charter School – Phoenix Campus

Santa Clara County Office of Education
4021 Teale Ave., San Jose, CA 95117
Phone Number: (408) 243-9800

#3 in Best Charter Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 537 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 65%
Percent Proficient – Math: 67%

Discovery Charter School Phoenix Campus is a developmental, parent-participation school open to all students. The instructional program design enables teachers to work together to promote high academic and behavioral success for all students. Students from within the District have a preference for admission to DCS. 

Discovery Charter School attracts those who are seeking an alternative to their current educational system, desire an innovative approach, and share the vision of DCS. DCS emphasizes strong family involvement, project-based learning, and respect for individual learning styles and developmental readiness. The curriculum is aligned with each child’s developmental level to allow students to feel successful regardless of their academic level.

4. Charter School of Morgan Hill

9530 Monterey Rd., Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Phone Number: (408) 463-0618

#14 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in California
Overall Grade: A
Students: 649 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 24:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 79%
Percent Proficient – Math: 69%

The Charter School of Morgan Hill (CSMH) is the result of the work of a diverse group of educators, parents, and community members with a shared vision for an alternative public school with an emphasis on “project-based learning, strong family involvement, and community interaction …” The founders were committed to creating a school that not only provided a rigorous academic program, but that also provided a whole child education.

They have a talented teaching staff committed to meeting every child’s individual needs. An extremely dedicated and caring group of adults have created an environment where students feel safe, respected, and excited about learning. Their parents and community play an integral role in supporting our program, and their high level of involvement contributes to its success.

5. Alpha: Cornerstone Academy Preparatory

Franklin-McKinley School District
1598 Lucretia Ave., San Jose, CA 95122
Phone Number: (408) 361-3876

#2 in Niche Standout Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 521 (Grades K-8) 
Student-Teacher Ratio: 22:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 75%
Percent Proficient – Math: 78%

Cornerstone Academy Preparatory School (CAPS) joined forces with Alpha Public Schools to create a K-12 continuum to serve students in every step of their education. Alpha: Cornerstone will grow to serve grades K – 8 and continue to provide a high-quality education that minimizes transitions and build off prior successes to achieve college readiness.

As a public charter school, Cornerstone Academy holds high standards for academic achievement, financial management, and parent satisfaction. At Cornerstone Academy, students understand early on that learning is valued and that intelligence is celebrated and rewarded. All teachers push their students to not only master grade-level expectations but also strive toward mastery of the next grade level’s standards.

KIPP San Jose Collegiate

6. KIPP San Jose Collegiate

East Side Union High School District
1790 Educational Park Dr., San Jose, CA 95133
Phone Number: (408) 937-3752

#6 in Niche Standout High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 536 (Grades 9-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 15:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 67%
Percent Proficient – Math: 47% 

KIPP San Jose Collegiate opened its doors to students in East San Jose to prepare them for success in college and life. Through dedication and persistence, students graduate with the character and academic skills necessary to enter and succeed in four-year colleges and universities. With a focus on character and academics, KIPP clearly defined and measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that create and reinforce a culture of success and support. 

At KIPP, students complete a college-prep course load that exceeds the University of California A-G requirements. Each student completes 13 hours of community service annually during their 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade years and participates in after-school tutorial sessions. They empower educators to lead school teams and invest in training to help them grow as professionals. KIPP is among the best San Jose charter schools that provide a safe, structured, and nurturing environment so that their students thrive and maximize their learning.

7. Forest Hill Elementary School

Campbell Union School District
4450 McCoy Ave., San Jose, CA 95130
Phone Number: (408) 364-4279

#14 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 544 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 21:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 82%
Percent Proficient – Math: 82%

Forest Hill inspires learning and problem-solving by creating educational experiences that address our students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. Enrichment opportunities develop the whole student providing knowledge and context for the world around them. Students will participate in various programs during their time. They’re also encouraged to participate in a variety of after-school activities.

Forest Hill School is among the San Jose charter schools that have been modernized over the years to ensure updated telecommunications, improved energy efficiency, and a spacious school garden for teaching natural sciences and more. The most recent improvements to the campus included thorough renovations of all classrooms, new insulated windows, and construction of a new Campbell Care/Preschool facility.

8. KIPP Heritage Academy

Franklin-McKinley School District
423 Los Arboles St., San Jose, CA 95111
Phone Number: (408) 283-6260

#7 in Niche Standout Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 452 (Grades 5-8) 
Student-Teacher Ratio: 22:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 65%
Percent Proficient – Math: 51%

KIPP prepares students to identify their passion and purpose and plan for how to thrive in college, shape the future, and positively impact the world. After high school, KIPP advisors help alumni navigate the academic, social, and financial challenges they might encounter while in college or pursuing a career. 

KIPP partners with families and local organizations in their communities to support healthy development for children. They provide a positive and supportive learning environment where students of all races, incomes, and abilities are known, respected, and empowered. KIPP uses social-emotional teaching practices that affirm every KIPP student’s identity, background, and experience.

9. Summit Public School – Tahoma Campus

East Side Union High School District
285 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose, CA 95123
Phone Number: (408) 729-1981

#13 in Best Charter High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 316 (Grades 9-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 13:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 62% 
Percent Proficient – Math: 37% 

Summit Tahoma is among the 13 high schools in Santa Clara County recognized by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) Honor Roll for high achievement and student success. Their academic program exceeds the requirements to apply to 4-year colleges and universities, including the University of California. While most students take the same courses in the same grade level, they deeply value personalized learning, and each course supports students individually and aligns their daily work with their long-term goals. 

Students often can choose topics that interest them within a project. Teachers help them engage with activities that balance support and challenge so that every student grows daily. Most of its students begin taking college-level Advanced Placement (AP) courses in 11th grade.

At Summit Tahoma, they believe that every student can be college and career-ready and should have access to high-performing 21st-century schools that prepare them for college, career, and life.

10. KIPP Heartwood Academy

Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
1250 South King Rd., San Jose, CA 95122
Phone Number: (408) 926-5477

#5 in Niche Standout Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 427 (Grades 5-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 17:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 53%
Percent Proficient – Math: 42%

KIPP Heartwood Academy provides 5th through 8th-grade students in Alum Rock and East San Jose with a rigorous, college-preparatory education that prepares them for success in the nation’s most rigorous high schools, colleges, and universities. They want to deepen the knowledge, skills, character, and intellectual habits our middle school students need to excel in college and make positive changes daily.

By partnering with parents, teachers, community members, and the Alum Rock Elementary School District, KIPP Heartwood Academy prove that with the necessary desire, discipline, and dedication, East San Jose children can perform at the same high levels as other students in Santa Clara County and be on a solid track to success in high school, college, and the competitive world beyond.

Cambrian School District

11. Price Charter Middle School

Cambrian School District
2650 New Jersey Ave., San Jose, CA 95124
Phone Number: (408) 377-2532 

#18 in Best Charter Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 887 (Grades 6-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 22:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 69%
Percent Proficient – Math: 60%

Price Charter Middle School serves grades 6 to 8 in the Cambrian Park neighborhood of San Jose, California. It is one of the San Jose charter schools that aims to develop responsible citizens with positive self-worth by providing a safe, friendly, and fun place to be. A learning institution that offers flexible scheduling and a challenging, integrated curriculum with many choices. 

Price offers curriculum to students such as Accelerated Math and English programs for upper-grade students, outstanding electives, including Theater Arts & Drama, Spanish, Journalism, Project Lead The Way & Media Production, Multi-Focused Arts programs, award-winning Music programs, Yearbook and Student Leadership programs, Mock Trial & Debate, Film & Literature, and our very much in-demand Athletics programs.

The programs allow students to make personal connections with real-life experiences, have opportunities to be successful, and achieve the practical skills necessary to be lifelong learners.

12. Rocketship Spark Academy

Franklin-McKinley School District
683 Sylvandale Ave., San Jose, CA 95111
Phone Number: (408) 622-6651

#5 in Niche Standout Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 571 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 34:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 62% 
Percent Proficient – Math: 78% 

At Rocketship Spark, they celebrate curiosity. By nurturing and developing their students’ natural interests, they learn to become critical thinkers who grow their ideas, express their feelings, make responsible choices, and succeed in school and life. At Rocketship Spark, their Rocketeers learn to love learning.

As part of the Rocketship Public Schools, they believe in the infinite possibility of human potential. That every student deserves the right to dream, discover, and develop their unique potential. Its non-profit network of public elementary charter schools propels student achievement, prepares exceptional educators, and partners with parents who enable high-quality public schools to thrive in their community.

13. Marshall Lane Elementary School

14114 Marilyn Lane, Saratoga, CA 95070
Phone Number: (408) 364-4259

#17 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 454 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 24:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 81%
Percent Proficient – Math: 83%

Marshall Lane is located at the southern end of the Campbell School District in the city of Saratoga. Its peaceful setting creates a safe and protected environment for students. It is a community committed to inspiring and empowering life-long learners with the mindset and skills to thrive in a changing world.

At Marshall Lane, they emphasize academic achievement within a nurturing environment. Their success is attributed to a dedicated and hard-working staff, a well-rounded challenging curriculum, active parental involvement, and a community devoted to supporting education.

14. Rolling Hills Middle School

1585 More Ave., Los Gatos, CA 95032
Phone Number: (408) 364-4235

#20 in Best Charter Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 892 (Grades 5-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 74%
Percent Proficient – Math: 66%

Rolling Hills Middle School is where a creative, dedicated staff, in collaboration with parents and students, provides dynamic, multifaceted learning experiences that inspire young adolescents to be independent, thoughtful, reflective, and respectful members of their community. Together, they strive to cultivate empathetic, goal-oriented, lifelong learners through engaging learning opportunities that allow students to be caring, responsible, and safe community members.

Its teachers and staff are especially skilled in teaching young adolescents and helping them navigate the years between elementary school and the rigors of high school. Through their flexible schedule and community partnerships, they offer more project-based lessons that help students develop skills in collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and real-world problem-solving.

15. Discovery Charter School – Falcon Campus

Santa Clara County Office of Education
762 Sunset Glen Dr., San Jose, CA 95123
Phone Number: (408) 300-1358

#19 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 541 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 23:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 59%
Percent Proficient – Math: 61%

Discovery Charter Schools are transitional kindergarten through eighth-grade schools based on developmentally appropriate teaching methods that successfully integrate the whole child concerning individual learning styles, developmental readiness, and achievement rates. Multi-age classrooms, small class sizes, team teaching, high parent participation, and community involvement significantly contribute to developing Discovery Charter Schools into a world-class learning community.

They have built an educational environment where developing student achievement, creating innovative programs, and engaging families and communities provide a shared vision for lifelong learning and student success. The Discovery Charter School staff, parents, and community collaborate to meet every child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs. Our teachers and staff are committed to achieving the school’s mission.

Falcon Campus

Best Charter Schools in San Jose

Charter schools in San Jose offer a variety of teaching and learning mechanisms. Indeed, the best charter schools in San Jose can secure your child’s great and full learning experience. Make time to visit some of the charter schools we have listed to learn more about their financial systems, school maintenance, teaching systems, curriculum, learning program and activities, student organizations, and the like.

It is usually better to see these charter schools yourself to personally evaluate if the institution meets your expectations of an excellent schooling ground. San Jose charter schools are publicly funded, so there will always be numerous ways to improve the institution’s image and overall teaching and learning performance.

There has to be no serious problem with the location of the best charter schools in San Jose since these options somewhat surround the city. However, if you must look into the best charter schools outside the vicinity, you may also check our list of the best charter schools in Santa Clara County. Whatever the case, education and learning will await your kids!

San Jose offers a wide variety of opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources for kids, or browse through our Places to Go section. Find out the latest happenings through our Events section.

Are you looking for more kid’s school resources around San Jose? Browse through our schools and activities section, or search for more information about school kids’ topics, tips, and guides, check out our education-related blog posts.

Our 10 Best Homeschool for Kids in San Jose
10 Best Private High Schools in San Jose

Our 10 Best Private Elementary Schools in San Jose
A Guide to Charter Schools in Sacramento

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