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15 Best Charter Schools in San Jose
September 23, 2022

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 2022 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.

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: 702 (Grades 7-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 21:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 74%
Percent Proficient – Math: 65%

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 in 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. 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: 553 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 21:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 72%
Percent Proficient – Math: 68%

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.

3. 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: 25:1
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.

4. KIPP San Jose Collegiate

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

#5 in Niche Standout High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 559 (Grades 9-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 15:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 72%
Percent Proficient – Math: 52% 

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.

5. Summit Public School – Tahoma Campus

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

#12 in Best Charter High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 470 (Grades 9-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 17:1
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.

6. KIPP Heritage Academy

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

#6 in Niche Standout Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 453 (Grades 5-8) 
Student-Teacher Ratio: 23:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 71%
Percent Proficient – Math: 62%

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.

7. 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: 625 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 35:1
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.

Best Charter Schools in San Jose

8. Forest Hill Elementary School

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

#15 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 550 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1
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 constructing a new Campbell Care/Preschool facility.

9. Price Charter Middle School

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

#17 in Best Charter Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 923  (Grades 6-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 23:1
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.

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: 423 (Grades 5-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 61%
Percent Proficient – Math: 67%

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.

11. Discovery Charter School – Falcon Campus

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

#21 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 574 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 22:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 61%
Percent Proficient – Math: 50%

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.

12. Rocketship Mosaic Elementary School

Franklin-McKinley School District
950 Owsley Ave., San Jose, CA 95122
Phone Number: (408) 899-2607

#4 in Niche Standout Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 616 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 34:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 63%
Percent Proficient – Math: 72%

Rocketship Mosaic is built on the idea of taking full advantage of the wonderful diversity of our vibrant community. They celebrate our similarities and differences as we learn from one another about the world around us each and every day. Their school’s rich mix of ethnic groups, languages, and cultures makes Mosaic a vibrant learning community.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you walk into our school is our diversity. The dedication and commitment that Rocketship shows its students are more than words can describe, but I see it reflected in my son’s academics and in his compassion for others. The unity, dedication, and diversity at Rocketship Mosaic truly make this school special!

13. Rocketship Alma Academy

Santa Clara County Office of Education
198 W Alma Ave., San Jose, CA 95110
Phone Number: (408) 931-6838

#10 in Niche Standout Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area

Overall Grade: A-
Students: 514 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 30:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 62%
Percent Proficient – Math: 67%

Community spirit helped open Rocketship Alma in 2012, which remains a cornerstone of the school’s identity today. Rocketeers at Alma learn to become change-makers in their community who are fearless in their pursuit of equity and excellence. The Rocketship Education model includes an extended day, blended learning opportunities, and a strong focus on school culture, staff professional development, and parent engagement.

At Rocketship Alma, their soul is committed to service. They believe in the infinite possibility of human potential and that every student deserves the right to dream, discover, and develop their unique potential. Their responsibility and privilege are to unleash the potential inside every student they serve.

14. Fammatre Elementary School

Cambrian School District
2800 New Jersey Ave., San Jose, CA 95124
Phone Number: (408) 377-5480

#24 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 423 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 24:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 58%
Percent Proficient – Math: 65%

Fammatre Elementary provides families with an alternative to traditional schools where their children will learn in a safe and nurturing environment. The school serves kindergarten through 5th-grade students focusing on literature and math using a standards-based curriculum. Their philosophy is to educate the whole child through programs that enhance the core curriculum, expand the arts, integrate technology in the classroom, promote physical fitness, and build a positive school learning environment.

Along with core subjects, Fammatre Elementary School offers extracurricular activities, including orchestra, band, dance, chorus, drawing, and sculpture. The only sport provided at this time is physical education. Other available programs include community service, science & technology, yearbook, academic contests, and student council.

15. Farnman Charter School

Cambrian School District
15711 Woodard Rd., San Jose, CA 95124
Phone Number: (408) 377-3321

#26 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 378 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 24:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 60%
Percent Proficient – Math: 59%

At Farnham Elementary School, they believe that educating children is the responsibility of the entire school community. The staff dedicates themselves to providing compelling learning experiences that meet all their students’ needs. They create a caring environment where students feel safe, take risks in their learning, and develop lifelong learning skills. 

Farnham is among the San Jose charter schools that have active parent involvement. They are proud of the many volunteers that provide services to their school. These services include clerical work for teachers, assisting with extracurricular activities, supporting PE and art programs, and working with students in small groups.

Their Home & School Club actively supports school programs. The School Site Council monitors its categorical programs that supplement the school budget.

Elementary School in San Jose

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.

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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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