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She added, “The district is required to have a site visit every year in which we must show our board minutes and evidence of all legal compliance.”

Greenland said she prefers non-union teachers because it is easier to hold them accountable and evaluate whether they are meeting the needs of the local school.

Teacher pay seems to depend on the size of the charter school. Those with large enrollment indicate their teachers earn more on average than other public school teachers in the region. Those with relatively lower enrollment indicate their teachers make a little less.

Charter schools tend to have unusual programs (not to mention unusual names) and fall into a particular educational niche.

After getting their approval from the county board SOUL opened for the 2017-18 school year at the Boys and Girls club on Lomas Santa Fe Drive between Highway 101 and I-5 in Solana Beach. They are enrolling students for grades 7-10 for next school year. The school bills its “Integra” program as the heart of the school. Del Mar Times reported the program includes morning meditation, self-development, and reflection sessions.

1001 STEAM is an independent study program for grades 6-12 located on the campus of National University, at Aero Drive and Aero Court, in Kearny Mesa. Students get instruction both online and on-site.

As part of its emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) the highlight of the school is its robotics program. Students benefit from use of the university’s robotics lab and instruction from university professors.

Despite having to travel to three different school boards before getting their charter, Thrive Public schools has grown to an enrollment of 650 in grades K-12 and next school year they are adding two campuses in Linda Vista. Thrive currently has three City Heights campuses and will reduce them to two next school year.

Thrive CEO Nicole Assisi says project-based learning “gives all students exposure to all kinds of aspirational roles and responsibilities.” Students at Thrive have created products with the help of mentors in a “mini-shark tank experience” and sold their products in a marketplace event at the school.

Kavod Charter School is located on Marathon Drive, a half block north of Fermi Avenue in Serra Mesa, but will be moving to Balboa Avenue near the 805 in Clairemont. 180 students in grades K-5 are enrolled. The school is unique for being the only public school in the county that offers Hebrew language immersion.

The O’Farrell Charter School is located on Skyline Drive east of 61st street in Encanto. They offer grades TK-12 and educate 1,747 students.

As part of its emphasis on college preparation O’Farrell strictly hires only teachers who are credentialed in the subject they teach, implements AVID methodologies in each grade K-12, and uses Naviance to track students after they graduate. They have a uniform policy, which they claim creates community and cuts bullying.

O’Farrell transitioned from a district school to a charter school in 1994. State law allows the creation of new charter schools and the conversion of district public schools to charter schools, but does not allow the conversion of private schools to charter schools.

The California Charter Schools Association held their 25th annual conference at the San Diego Convention Center March 26-28. There the Charter School of the Year award was given to EJE Middle Academy of El Cajon.

EJE has a unique 90-10 Spanish-English dual language immersion program. Students speak Spanish 90% of the day. And the school conducts home visits with every student.

A full list of charter schools in San Diego county can be found on the website of the San Diego County Office of Education.

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