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20 Best Charter Schools in Santa Clara County
September 22, 2022

Santa Clara Charter schools are specialized forms of learning institutions. Aside from its state exclusivity, its independent running may have charter schools gain unique, efficient, and effective teaching systems. Find out the best Charter Schools in Santa Clara County.

Charter schools are known to receive governmental accompaniment yet are on to operate the schooling systems independently. Maintained and managed by local community groups permitted by the authority by contract or “charter” to run a school without having to follow traditional school district standards. Santa Clara charter school offers an educational curriculum and practical schooling essentials that fit their students’ needs for more productive learning. Residents within the vicinity with student members in the household must consider looking into the best charter schools in Santa Clara.

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Santa Clara County lies as a charter school belt, surrounded by diverse charter schools offering various learning specialties. Consequently, Santa Clara charter school focuses on academic and non-curricular education that helps the overall performance of students as they excel in many fields. Charter schools in Santa Clara continue to develop as they strive for community involvement and as they address the diversity of student needs. 

Santa Clara Charter Schools

There is no limit to students’ learning but also to their financial, emotional, psychological, and physical needs. Each family is relatively different from the rest, so each student has a different living condition and status. Therefore, it is crucial to attend a schooling institution where these factors will not be a hinder and will be promptly addressed and appropriated instead.

There are numerous things to consider if one is to pick Santa Clara charter school as an option. To identify the best charter schools in Santa Clara County, we reviewed rankings for all charter schools from the 2022 Best charter schools in Santa Clara County list released by school and neighborhood data clearinghouse Niche. The rankings 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
  • private school ratings collected from millions of Niche users. 

Since Santa Clara charter schools are operated by independent groups, it is just as well crucial that one will make an effort to learn about the school’s background. Seeing the performance of the school by their teaching and learning goals must come after that. It is vital to verify the consistency of an institution in giving the best, quality education to its students. Let us see what the best charter schools in Santa Clara County can offer!

Ocean Grove iEM - charter schools in Santa Clara
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, selecting a personalized curriculum based on learning style and functioning grade level. They are providing 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.

Best Charter Schools in Santa Clara County

University Preparatory Academy - charter schools in Santa Clara
University Preparatory Academy Charter School

1. University Preparatory Academy Charter School

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 Santa Clara charter school located in San Jose, California, United States. Its charter was 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 courses frequently use technology, and computers and internet access are readily available to all students for educational purposes. They often have schoolwide Santa Clara events to celebrate achievements, increase student morale, and display school spirit. Other activities, such as the annual college trip, help students to succeed academically.

Bullis - charter schools in Santa Clara
Bullis Charter School

2. Bullis Charter School

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

#2 in Best Charter Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 1,093 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 16:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 90%
Percent Proficient – Math: 91%

At Bullis Charter School, they believe that every child is exceptional and has a right to cultivate his or her own unique interests and abilities. They are dedicated to providing students with an innovative, empowering, and rigorous learning environment that nurtures the whole child. BCS inspires students to reach beyond themselves to achieve their full potential.

At the heart of the BCS curriculum is a rigorous and results-oriented approach to learning. Their education model seamlessly blends the visual and performing arts with science and engineering, offering every student a well-rounded education. They provide all their students with the skills and tools they need today to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, collaborators, and leaders.

BCS is committed to meeting the needs of all students regardless of ability level or learning needs including but not limited to Special Education, Gifted & Talented, and English Language Learners.

Charter School in Santa Clara - Discovery – Phoenix Campus
Discovery Charter School – Phoenix Campus

3. Discovery Charter School – Phoenix Campus

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 Schools’ educational program is developmental, hands-on, student-centered, and theme-based to accommodate individual learning styles and achievement levels. Teacher-directed parent participation in the classrooms regularly is a crucial component to the success of a program based on small group developmental instruction.

The curriculum is aligned with each child’s developmental level to allow students to feel successful regardless of their academic level. Some classrooms are multi-age to promote an active learning environment where students are not expected to ‘perform’ at their ‘age level’ but are encouraged to perform to the best of their ability.

Charter School of Morgan Hill - Santa Clara
Charter School of Morgan Hill

4. Charter School of Morgan Hill

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

#15 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in California
Overall Grade: A
Students: 649 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 19:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 79% 
Percent Proficient – Math: 78% 

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 provided a rigorous academic program and offered a whole-child education.

Their students are involved in a robust enrichment program that includes the arts, physical education, Spanish, nutrition, and agriculture. They have a talented teaching staff that is committed to meeting the individual needs of every child. An extremely dedicated and caring group of adults has created an environment where students feel safe, respected, and excited about learning.

The parents and community play an integral role in supporting our program, and their high level of involvement contributes to our success.

Gilroy Prep School
Gilroy Prep School

5. Gilroy Prep School

277 I O O F Ave., Gilroy, CA 95020
Phone Number: (408) 337-5445

#17 in Niche Standout Middle Schools in California
Overall Grade: A
Students: 539 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 30:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 81% 
Percent Proficient – Math: 69%

Serving primarily the city of Gilroy, GPS is open to all students meeting the attendance criteria of Santa Clara County. Each year there will be a lottery to fill open spaces primarily in the kindergarten classes and vacancies in the upper grades. These children will enjoy the best education from some of the most talented teachers in California. 

Together, the parents, students, faculty, staff, board, and volunteers strive to make Gilroy Prep School an excellent educational platform and to Navigate a course in educational reform for schools in California. Their teachers are dedicated to helping their students develop the active fundamental language arts and mathematics skills that any and every child needs to succeed throughout their education.

Charter School in Santa Clara - Summit Public School - Denali Campus
Summit Public School – Denali Campus

6. Summit Public School – Denali Campus

539 E Weddell Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Phone Number: (669) 721-2646

#7 in Best Charter High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 634 (Grades 6-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 16:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 80%
Percent Proficient – Math: 68%

Summit Public School is a unique public Santa Clara charter school serving students in the Bay Area, California. They provide a college-ready, personalized learning environment for a diverse group of Santa Clara County students. We are tuition-free, open to all students, and currently enrolling incoming students in grades 6th-12th for the 2019-20 school year.

Their academic program exceeds the requirements to apply for a 4-year university and college, including the University of California’s A-G requirements. While most students take the same courses in the same grade level, they deeply value personalized learning, and each session supports students individually and aligns their daily work with their long-term goals.

Students often have the opportunity to 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.

Charter School in Santa Clara - Alpha: Cornerstone Academy Preparatory
Alpha: Cornerstone Academy Preparatory

7. Alpha: Cornerstone Academy Preparatory

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%

Alpha: Cornerstone serves students in grades TK-8 and will continue to provide a high-quality education that minimizes transitions and build off prior successes to achieve college readiness. Alpha classrooms demonstrate rigor through multiple opportunities for discussion, feedback, and learning from error.

They advocate for all students, especially those with academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs. Its data-driven culture allows students to reflect on their data and practice the practical application of real-world skills while engaging in Common Core-aligned content.

KIPP San Jose Collegiate - charter schools in Santa Clara
KIPP San Jose Collegiate

8. KIPP San Jose Collegiate

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 is a public charter high school located in East San Jose that is free, open to all students, and committed to preparing students for college and choice-filled lives. They believe that all students can learn and achieve at high levels if given the opportunity. 

KIPP provides a rigorous academic program to prepare students to enter and succeed in the nation’s finest four-year colleges and universities and the competitive world beyond. Its graduates will use their education and life experiences to make a positive change in their lives within the East San Jose community and in our global society.

Charter School in Santa Clara - Summit Public School - Tahoma Campus
Summit Public School – Tahoma Campus

9. Summit Public School – Tahoma Campus

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 Public Schools is the first Charter Management Organization (CMO) based in Silicon Valley. Summit’s unique academic model ensures that every student is qualified to succeed at a four-year college. To date, nearly one hundred percent of Summit graduates have been accepted to at least one or more four-year colleges and universities.

Its mission is to prepare a diverse group of students for success in college and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society. 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.

Charter School in Santa Clara - KIPP Heritage Academy
KIPP Heritage Academy

10. KIPP Heritage Academy

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%

At KIPP Heritage, they embrace our histories as we build a brighter future in East San Jose and beyond. They see greatness and potential in every student, family, and community. Their students will be prepared to thrive in the global economy by developing critical thinking skills and deep conceptual knowledge through academically challenging courses.

Through a rigorous literacy program, students write and tell their stories, as well as listen to the stories of others with compassion. As their students master the skills and content necessary to be successful in college and life, they will learn to advocate for themselves and their communities with humility and clarity.

Best Charter Schools in Santa Clara -Rocketship Spark Academy
Rocketship Spark Academy

11. Rocketship Spark Academy

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 own ideas, express their feelings, make responsible choices, and achieve success 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. Their 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 Santa Clara -Forest Hill Elementary School
Forest Hill Elementary School

12. Forest Hill Elementary School

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%

Community, compassion, and collaboration infuse the commitment to excellence is evident at Forest Hill School — a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. A strong sense of community is a vital part of the Forest Hill culture, with staff, students, and parents dedicated to an exceptional educational experience that promotes academic, social, and emotional success for all our students.

Forest Hill is home to over 650 students from transitional kindergarten to fifth grade, including five Special Day classes. Parents are part of the decision-making process through involvement in a very active Forest Hill PTA. Along with the community volunteers, they are crucial to the school’s success.

Best Charter Schools in Santa Clara -Price Middle School
Price Charter Middle School

13. Price Charter Middle School

 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%

Ida Price Charter Middle School serves students in grades 6-8 in the Cambrian Park neighborhood of San Jose, California. They welcome all families of middle-school-aged children to learn more about the curriculum. This includes 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 vision of Ida Price Middle School is to develop responsible citizens with positive self-worth by providing a safe, friendly, and fun place to be. A learning institution that offers a flexible, challenging, integrated curriculum with many choices. This allows students to make personal connections with real-life experiences, have opportunities to be successful, and achieve the practical skills necessary to be lifelong learners.

KIPP Heartwood Academy
KIPP Heartwood Academy

14. KIPP Heartwood Academy

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 to make positive changes every single day.

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.

Rolling Hills Middle School
Rolling Hills Middle School

15. Rolling Hills Middle School

1585 More Ave., Los Gatos, CA 95030
Phone Number: (408) 364-4235

#22 in Best Charter Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 936 (Grades 5-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 22:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 74%
Percent Proficient – Math: 66%

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

RHMS 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 community members. Together, they strive to cultivate goal oriented, lifelong learners through engaging learning opportunities that allow students to soar.

Marshall Lane Elementary School
Marshall Lane Elementary School

16. Marshall Lane Elementary School

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

#19 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 406 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 24:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 83%
Percent Proficient – Math: 81%

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

Marshall Lane is a community committed to inspiring and empowering life-long learners with the mindset and skills to thrive in a changing world.

Discovery – Falcon Campus
Discovery Charter School – Falcon Campus

17. Discovery Charter School – Falcon Campus

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 rates of achievement. Multi-age classrooms, small class sizes, team teaching, a high level of 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.

Rocketship Mosaic Elementary School
Rocketship Mosaic Elementary School

18. Rocketship Mosaic Elementary School

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!

Rocketship Alma Academy
Rocketship Alma Academy

19. Rocketship Alma Academy

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.

Fammatre Elementary School
Fammatre Elementary School

20. Fammatre Elementary School

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 Charter Elementary School is an outstanding school that values academic excellence, enjoys parental and community support, and produces well-prepared students. Like all schools in the Cambrian School District, they are a California Distinguished School. They are committed to serving the whole child and offer an inclusive program, including many opportunities for enrichment throughout the school day, such as science, PE, music, and art.

Their students, staff, and community have a strong tradition of working together to make Fammatre a fantastic place to learn and grow. Positive relationships, excellent communication, and innovative approaches to learning help move each child forward in their learning goals. Fammatre is a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) school. This comprehensive behavioral plan empowers all children to make positive choices about their own behavior.

Choosing the Best Charter School in Santa Clara

As we learn more about a school, we appreciate it as a learning institution. Choosing a Santa Clara charter school for your child is not entirely about choosing the best charter schools in Santa Clara County. It’s about finding an institution where you know your child will excel the most. Aimed to foster their overall well-being, both in academic and extra-curricular aspects.

Since our children will be in school for many hours and days in the early years of their lives, they will be shaping their well-being by how they learn and from what they were taught. The gift of education is one of the best things a parent may offer to their children. Another is the gift of taking them to an institution that will be their foundation for learning.

The best Charter schools in Santa Clara County reflect great learning institutions, and it takes a measure of being a great provider of a child’s education to be able to acknowledge schools such as these.

Santa Clara County 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. Are you looking for more school resources for kids around Santa Clara County? Browse through our schools and activities and after school programs page.  If you’re even more curious and seeking to learn more information about school kids’ topics, tips, and guides, check out our education-related blog posts.

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