WHAT IS A CHARTER SCHOOL?

A charter school is a public school that operates outside of the traditional school district setting under a unique set of state regulations outlined in the Charter Schools Act of 1992 ( "(Education Code sections 47600 et seq.)"). This act made California the second state in the nation to create charter schools as an alternative to traditional public schools. The purpose of this legislation was to "provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure." Since then, a number of California laws have been passed to further define charter schools and identify specific accountability measures to ensure that pupils receive a high quality education regardless of whether they attend a traditional public school or a charter school.

CHARTER SCHOOLS OPERATING IN VISTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Vista Unified is committed to working in a collaborative partnership with charter schools to ensure that students and parents have choices among a growing set of instructional program options in the district.

This webpage will serve as the hub for providing parents, students, and charter school petitioners alike specific information about the current charter schools operating within the Vista Unified School District, the process for submitting petitions for opening a charter school, the oversight and monitoring process for existing charter schools, and the renewal process for charter petitions. Vista Unified's highest priority is to ensure that all students have access to a high quality learning environment and are able to make consistent growth toward obtaining the requisite skills, knowledge and understanding to be college and career ready upon graduating from high school. Vista Unified not only sets this priority for district schools, but requires high quality learning environments of each of the charter schools.

Vista Unified currently serves as the chartering authority for five charter schools. Each charter school offers a unique instructional program focusing on a specific student population. Below you will find a brief summary of each charter school operating within Vista Unified.

Bella Mente Montessori School

Bella Mente Montessori Academy offers a Montessori education for students in grades TK-8.

Guajome Learning Centers (GLC) and Guajome Park Academy (GPA)

Guajome Schools serves as the nonprofit corporation that operates two charter schools under Vista Unified's authorization.  These include Guajome Park Academy (GPA) and Guajome Learning Centers (GLC).  GPA operates two programs including the K-5 Guajome Park Primary Academy (GPPA), and Guajome Park Academy for grades 6-12.  GLC operates as an independent study program for grades K-12.

SIATech

School for Integrated Academics and Technologies (SIATech®) is a WASC-accredited public charter high school that operates in partnership with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the federal Job Corps programs.  SIATech is a dropout recovery high school which helps low-income, previously out-of-school youth get back on-track to graduation.

North County TradeTech High School

Trade Tech focuses on preparation for professions in the construction and engineering industry, including engineering design, architecture and green building technologies.

VISTA UNIFIED AS THE CHARTERING AUTHORITY

The Vista Unified School District serves as the Chartering Authority for any charter school operating under a charter authorized by the Vista Unified School District. The primary purpose of the Chartering Authority is to review charter school petitions and either grant or deny the charter based on a specific set of criteria. To this end, Vista Unified must follow strict accountability procedures established by Assembly Bill 1137, and later codified into Education Codes 47604.32 and 47604.33. The legal requirements of the school district serving as Chartering Authority are outlined in School Board Policy 0420.4. The specific processes Vista Unified follows to fulfill its obligation as Chartering Authority are outlined in the Administrative Regulation 0420.4.

CHARTER SCHOOL LEAD

Dr. Cheree McKean
Director of Care & Connection 
Vista Unified School District

VUSD CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS   

"Vista Unified has developed a series of comprehensive Board Policies and Administrative Regulations for Charter Schools that are in alignment with state and federal regulations.
Click HERE to review the Board Policies and Administrative Regulations.

CHARTER SCHOOL APPLICATION AND RENEWAL PROCESS

The charter school petition process is rigorous. Charter authorizers have a legal and ethical obligation to the citizens of California to ensure that charter petitions are granted only after ...more

CHARTER SCHOOL PROGRAM MONITORING

In accordance with Education Code sections 47604.32 and 47604.33 and Vista Unified School District Administrative Regulation 0420.4, Vista Unified is required to monitor the efficacy of each charter ...more