15 Best Charter Schools in San Jose
March 4, 2020

Charter schools are a big part of the nation’s education agenda. It provides a more independent, quality schooling institution within the district it settles. Residents must acknowledge charter schools in San Jose, and even supported!

Independent group operates San Jose charter schools, usually consisting of teaching officials, parents, or other community groups under legal terms. The school and teaching system is designed correspondingly to what is more suitable to students. Since charter schools are independent, they are under exclusive management by a single district. Moreover, charter schools are funded by the government to give the schools more financial capacities and chances of flourishing effective and efficient teaching and learning strategies. Truthfully, our residents must look into our list of the best charter schools in San Jose!


Each of the charter schools in San Jose we can find will have something different to offer. Before being managed far from traditional schooling institutions, charter schools uniquely created to be specifically compatible with the educational objectives of teachers, students, parents, and other community groups that are independently and voluntarily involved in running the institution. 

Charter schools are still yet to be distinguished as either private or public schools. Nonetheless, charter schools are publicly funded likely to public schools but are an independent and exclusive running institution like private schools. 

There are numerous things to consider if one is to pick San Jose charter schools as an option. To identify the best charter schools in San Jose, we reviewed rankings for all charter schools from the 2020 Best charter schools in San Jose list released by school and neighborhood data clearinghouse Niche. The classifications 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
  • charter school ratings collected from millions of Niche users. 

Finding the best institution for our children’s schooling is remarkably essential, for it will be the foundation of their education that will significantly matter in the long run. Take this as a guide to look into the best charter schools in San Jose to see for yourself which institution you will think is the best for your child’s learning.

University Preparatory Academy -  charter schools in San Jose
University Preparatory Academy Charter School

1. University Preparatory Academy Charter School

Santa Clara County Office of Education
2315 Canoas Garden Ave., San Jose, CA 95125
Phone Number: (408) 723-1839

#1 in Best Charter High Schools in San Francisco Bay AreaOverall Grade: A
Students: 616 (Grades 7-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 79%
Percent Proficient – Math: 68%

University Preparatory Academy (UPA) is a San Jose charter school 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 is mandated by California laws.

UPA’s priority is to prepare students for academic success and in higher education. The student population at UPA includes non-native English speakers, students who have fallen behind grade level in one or more core subject areas, and students with special needs. Initially, UPA aimed to recruit middle-to-low-performing students for the school, and most students enrolled at UPA are at the lower performing levels in one or more of the core subject areas.

Discovery Phoenix Campus - charter schools in San Jose
Discovery Charter School – Phoenix Campus

2. Discovery Charter School – Phoenix Campus

Santa Clara County Office of Education
4021 Teale Ave, San Jose, CA 95117
Phone Number: (408) 243-9800

#4 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in California
Overall Grade: A
Students: 552 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 21:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 68%
Percent Proficient – Math: 72%

Discovery Charter School Phoenix Campus is a developmental, parent participation school open to all students. The design of the instructional program enables teachers to work together to promote a high level of academic and behavioral success for all students. Students from within the District have a preference in admission to DCS. 

Discovery Charter School attracts those who are seeking an alternative to their current educational system, desire an innovative approach, and share the vision of DCS. DCS emphasizes strong family involvement, project-based learning, and respect for individual learning styles and developmental readiness. The curriculum is aligned with each child’s developmental level to allow students to feel successful regardless of the academic level.

Forest Hill Elementary School
Forest Hill Elementary School

3. Forest Hill Elementary School

Campbell Union School District
4450 McCoy Ave., San Jose, CA 95130
Phone Number: (408) 364-4279

#7 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A
Students: 654 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 23:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 84%
Percent Proficient – Math: 85%

Forest Hill inspires learning and problem solving by creating educational experiences that address the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students. Enrichment opportunities develop the whole student providing knowledge and context for the world around them. Students will participate in various programs during their time. They’re also encouraged to participate in a variety of after-school activities.

Forest Hill School is among the San Jose charter schools that have been modernized over the years to ensure updated telecommunications, improved energy efficiency, and a spacious school garden for teaching natural sciences and more. The most recent improvements to the campus included thorough renovations of all classrooms, new insulated windows, and construction of a new Campbell Care/Preschool facility.

Price - charter schools in San Jose
Price Charter Middle School

4. Price Charter Middle School

Cambrian School District
2650 New Jersey Ave., San Jose, CA 95124
Phone Number: (408) 377-2532 

#7 in Best Charter Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 1,088 (G grades 6-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 24:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 71%
Percent Proficient – Math: 56%

Price Charter Middle School is a school servicing grades 6 to 8 in the Cambrian Park neighborhood of San Jose, California. It is one of the San Jose charter schools that aims to develop responsible citizens with positive self-worth by providing a safe, friendly, and fun place to be. A learning institution that offers flexible scheduling, challenging, integrated curriculum with many choices. 

Price offers curriculum to students such as 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 programs allow students will be able to make personal connections with real-life experiences, will have opportunities to be successful, and will achieve the practical skills necessary to be lifelong learners.

Discovery Falcon Campus - charter schools in San Jose
Discovery Charter School – Falcon Campus

5. Discovery Charter School – Falcon Campus

Santa Clara County Office of Education
762 Sunset Glen Drive, San Jose, CA 95123
Phone Number: (408) 300-1358

#12 in Best Charter Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 540 (Grades K-8)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 23:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 57%
Percent Proficient – Math: 48%

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 the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs of every child. Our teachers and staff are committed to achieving the school’s mission.

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

6. KIPP San Jose Collegiate

East Side Union High School District
1790 Educational Park Dr., San Jose, CA 95133
Phone Number: (408) 937-3752

#12 in Niche Standout High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 500 (Grades 9-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 28:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 82%
Percent Proficient – Math: 52% 

KIPP San Jose Collegiate opened its doors to students in East San Jose to prepare them for success in college and life. Through dedication and persistence, students graduate with the character and academic skills necessary to enter and succeed in four-year colleges and universities. With a focus on character and academics, KIPP clearly defined and measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that creates and reinforces a culture of success and support. 

At KIPP, students complete a college-prep course load that exceeds the University of California A-G requirements. Each student completes 13 hours of community service annually during their 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade years, and participates in after-school tutorial sessions. They empower educators to lead school teams and invest in training to help them grow as professionals. KIPP is among the best San Jose charter schools that provide a safe, structured, and nurturing environment so that their students thrive and maximize their learning.

Farnham -  San Jose charter school
Farnham Charter School

7. Farnham Charter School

Cambrian School District
15711 Woodard Rd., San Jose, CA 95124
Phone Number: (408) 377-3321

#18 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 517 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 23:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 59%
Percent Proficient – Math: 53%

At Farnham Elementary School, they believe that educating children is the responsibility of the entire school community. The staff dedicates themselves to provide compelling learning experiences that meet the needs of all of their students. They create a caring environment where students feel safe, take risks in their learning, and develop lifelong learning skills. 

Farnham is among the San Jose charter schools that have active parent involvement. They are proud of the many volunteers that provide services to their school. These services include clerical work for teachers, assisting with extracurricular activities, supporting PE and art programs, and working with students in small groups. Their Home & School Club actively supports school programs. The School Site Council monitors its categorical programs that supplement the school budget.

Summit Rainier Campus
Summit Public School – Rainier Campus

8. Summit Public School – Rainier Campus

East Side Union High School District
1750 S White Rd., San Jose, CA 95127
Phone Number: (408) 831-3104

#16 in Best Charter High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-
Students: 370 (Grades 9-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 26:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 67%
Percent Proficient – Math: 47% 

Summit Rainier is a tuition-free public charter high school in San Jose, California that provides a college-prep, personalized learning environment. They are open to all students and are currently enrolling incoming 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. They are most proud of its 100% 4-year college acceptance rate. All Summit students demonstrate competency in college preparatory course work in five core subjects and the visual arts.

Summit students receive consistent, relevant, and personalized support seamlessly integrated into their school day as they drive towards their academic and personal goals. Every Summit student has a dynamic Personalized Learning Plan and can access all of the learning tools and resources they need at any time. Every faculty member knows every single student, and teachers continuously collaborate to ensure students have the feedback and practice they need to become empowered learners.

Summit Tahoma
Summit Public School – Tahoma Campus

9. Summit Public School – Tahoma Campus

East Side Union High School District
285 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose, CA 95123
Phone Number: (408) 729-1981

#17 in Best Charter High Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: A-Students: 301 (Grades 9-12)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 30:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 85% 
Percent Proficient – Math: 45% 

Summit Tahoma is among the 13 high schools in Santa Clara County recognized by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) Honor Roll for high achievement and student success. Their academic program exceeds the requirements to apply to 4-year colleges and universities, including the University of California. While most students take the same courses in the same grade level, they deeply value personalized learning, and each course 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, and teachers help them engage with activities that balance support and challenge so that every student is growing every day. Most of its students begin taking college-level Advanced Placement (AP) courses in 11th grade. At Summit Tahoma, they believe that every student is capable of being college and career ready and should have access to high-performing 21st-century schools that prepare them for success in college, career, and life.

Sartorette
Sartorette Charter School

10. Sartorette Charter School

Cambrian School District
3850 Woodford Dr., San Jose, CA 95124
Phone Number: (408) 264-4380

#20 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: B+
Students: 397 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 23:1 
Percent Proficient – Reading: 52%
Percent Proficient – Math: 52%

Sartorette Elementary School is one of the most outstanding San Jose charter schools that values academic excellence, enjoy parental and community support, and produces well-prepared students. A safe, warm learning environment is evident as one enters the beautifully landscaped campus. They offer a standards-based program, and many opportunities for enrichment throughout the school day and beyond. 

Like all schools in the Cambrian School District, they are a California Distinguished School. They combine a long, rich tradition and community spirit with a 21st-century commitment to innovative instructional practices and programs designed to prepare its students to thrive in high schools, college, and career. The Cambrian School District is a caring and collaborative community, develops creative and critical thinkers who communicate effectively, value diversity, and are ready to excel in a global society.

Fammatre Elementary School
Fammatre Elementary School

11. Fammatre Elementary School

Cambrian School District
2800 New Jersey Ave., San Jose, CA 95124
Phone Number: (408) 377-5480

#21 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: B+
Students: 541 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 24:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 47%
Percent Proficient – Math: 47%

Fammatre Elementary provides families with an alternative to traditional schools in which their children will learn in a safe and nurturing environment. The school serves students in kindergarten through 5th grades with a focus on literature and math using a standards-based curriculum. Their philosophy is to educate the whole child through programs that enhance the core curriculum, expand the arts, integrate technology in the classroom, promote physical fitness, and build a positive school learning environment.

Along with core subjects, Fammatre Elementary School offers extracurricular activities, including orchestra, band, dance, chorus, drawing, and sculpture. The only sport provided at this time is physical education. Other programs are available, which include community service, science & technology, yearbook, academic contests, and student council.

Rocketship Spark Academy
Rocketship Spark Academy

12. Rocketship Spark Academy

Franklin-McKinley School District
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: B+
Students: 591 (Grades K-5)
Student-Teacher Ratio: 35:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 63% 
Percent Proficient – Math: 70% 

At Rocketship Spark, they celebrate curiosity. By nurturing and developing their students’ natural interests, they learn to become critical thinkers who grow their 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, to discover, and to develop their unique potential. Its 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.

KIPP Heritage Academy
KIPP Heritage Academy

13. KIPP Heritage Academy

Franklin-McKinley School District
423 Los Arboles St., San Jose, CA 95111
Phone Number: (408) 283-6260

#8 in Niche Standout Middle Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: B-
Students: 335 (Grades 5-8) 
Student-Teacher Ratio: 37:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 73%
Percent Proficient – Math: 64%

KIPP prepares students to identify their passion, purpose, and plan for how to thrive in college, shape the future, and positively impact the world. After high school, KIPP advisors help alumni navigate the academic, social, and financial challenges they might encounter while in college or pursuing a career. 

KIPP partners with families and local organizations in their communities to support healthy development for children. They provide a positive and supportive learning environment where students of all races, incomes, and abilities are known, respected, and empowered. KIPP uses social-emotional teaching practices that affirm the identity, background, and experience of every KIPP student.

Lynhaven Elementary School
Lynhaven Elementary School

14. Lynhaven Elementary School

Campbell Union School District
881 S Cypress Ave., San Jose, CA 95117
Phone Number: (408) 566-0368

#25 in Best Charter Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay Area
Overall Grade: B-
Students: 552 (Grades K-5) 
Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 42%
Percent Proficient – Math: 46%

Lynhaven, home of the Lynx, is a caring community of students, families, and staff. They share the responsibility to ensure that all students achieve a solid academic foundation, communicate effectively, and apply critical thinking skills to make respectful choices in their academic and social life.

The school community is rich in its diversity. People from every corner of the world have converged in this area to participate in its unique technology-based economy. They are indeed a global village. This incredible diversity is reflected in its student body, with over twenty different languages represented.

Alpha: Cornerstone Academy Preparatory
Alpha: Cornerstone Academy Preparatory

15. Alpha: Cornerstone Academy Preparatory

Franklin-McKinley School District
1598 Lucretia Ave., San Jose, CA 95122
Phone Number: (408) 361-3876

#10 in Niche Standout Elementary Schools in San Francisco Bay
Area
Overall Grade: B-
Students: 451 (Grades K-8) 
Student-Teacher Ratio: 28:1
Percent Proficient – Reading: 64%
Percent Proficient – Math: 66%

Cornerstone Academy Preparatory School (CAPS) joined forces with Alpha Public Schools to create a K-12 continuum to serve students in every step of their education. Alpha: Cornerstone will grow to serve grades K – 8 and continue to provide a high-quality education that minimizes transitions and build off prior successes to achieve college readiness.

As a public charter school, Cornerstone Academy holds high standards for academic achievement, financial management, and parent satisfaction. At Cornerstone Academy, students understand very early on that learning is valued and that being intelligent is celebrated and rewarded. All teachers push their students to not only master grade-level expectations, but to also strive towards mastery of the next grade level’s standards.


Charter schools in San Jose offer a variety of teaching and learning mechanisms. Indeed, the best charter schools in San Jose can secure your child’s great and full learning experience. Make time to visit some of the charter schools we have listed to learn more about their financial systems, school maintenance, teaching systems, curriculum, learning program and activities, student organizations, and the like. It is usually better to see these charter schools yourself to personally evaluate if the institution meets your expectations of an excellent schooling ground.

San Jose charter schools are publicly funded, so there will always be numerous ways of improving the institution for the betterment of its image and over-all teaching and learning performance. There has to be no serious problem with the location of the best charter schools in San Jose since these options somewhat surround the city. However, if you will need to look into the best charter schools outside the vicinity, you may also check our list of the best charter schools in Santa Clara County. Whatever the case is, education and learning will be waiting for your kids out there!

San Jose 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. Find out the latest happenings through our San Jose events section.

Are you looking for more kid’s school resources around San Jose? Browse through our schools and activities section, or search for more information about school kids’ topics, tips, and guides, check out our education-related blog posts.

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An online family resource guide for kids within the Santa Clara county. It’s an easy to use directory listing where you can find an array of resources for your kids.

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