Region Overview: Central Valley


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The Central Valley is a culturally rich and diverse region spanning 12 counties with nearly 100 charter schools. The unique landscape is filled with schools operating in urban and rural communities providing a variety of choices to families. Schools aim to fit the needs in their community which can vary from site-based to independent study schools and specialties in arts, science, math, Leader in Me, project based learning, college preparatory, dual language; and virtual education programs providing personalized learning experiences.

In Fresno County alone there is a waitlist of over 4,000 students wanting to attend charter schools. As demand grows charter school leaders are answering the call to serve more students. School expansion continues to increase steadily across all regions in the Central Valley, and is projected to continue to do so in the next 5-7 years, adding an estimated 14,000 high quality seats by 2022.

Recent accomplishment by charter schools and their students and staff in the region include:

  • University High is a California Distinguished school that the U.S. News & World Report named in the top 100 high schools in the country.
  • Sycamore Valley Academy is a site-based, academically accelerated instructional program in Visalia that was recognized as a California Gold Ribbon school in 2016.
  • Valley Preparatory Academy has joined more than 100 school districts across the country to partner with Summit Basecamp, a free program that provides teachers and schools with the resources they need to bring personalized learning into their classroom. With expertise in the Leader in Me curriculum and the addition of a second school, Aspen Public School, in 2016, they are building exceptional leaders throughout the city of Fresno.
  • Grimmway Academy was named as one of California's Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education in 2014. In 2016, Grimmway was among 80 public schools across the country to received $20,000 for the Innovate Learning grant from the Verizon Foundation.

The Central Valley: Telling the Charter School Story

Despite high levels of awareness and support for charter schools, not enough Californians have experience with charters schools nor do they know how charters are changing lives and communities. We need to change that. Members, learn how you can help Share the Truth About Charters.

Growth and Performance

Overview: Fresno Charter Public Schools

Start a Charter in the Central Valley

As CCSA's designated School Development and Support representative for the area, Michelle Murphy understands the unique charter school landscape you face and has an understanding of the critical needs in the Central Valley. Michelle can support you with the necessary skills and resources to start a high-quality charter school in your community. Learn more.

Regional Authorizers

For more information about some of the charter authorizers in the Central Valley region, check out links to:

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