What is a Charter School?

Garden teacher having insect races

Charter schools are often referred to as “schools of choice” because of their unique nature. Enrollment is by choice: Students can choose to attend a public charter school instead of their neighborhood public school or private school. Charter schools also enjoy greater choice and flexibility than traditional public schools in addressing student needs. Working within the established framework of California charter school law, each charter school outlines its mission, methods of assessment, student outcomes and goals in its “charter” and is overseen by its own Governing Board. In essence, a charter school functions as a small school district. This operational structure allows for more flexible and creative implementation of California State Education Codes and therefore gives the school and its educators an opportunity to develop the educational programs they feel will best serve their students.

Bellevue-Santa Fe received the 93rd charter approved by the State Board of Education and began operation as a charter school in September 1996.