O'Farrell Charter School's First Senior Graduating Class Sets the Bar High

June 22, 2016

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When the 2016 graduating class of O'Farrell Charter School celebrated their commencement on June 15, they had many accomplishments under their mortarboards. All 86 seniors applied and were accepted to a college or university. Two students were interviewed by Ivy League schools, and one student received the prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship - a full-ride scholarship to any school.

The O'Farrell Charter School began as a middle school, opening in the fall of 1994 with a class of 7th graders. The school has since continued to expand and now houses three academies: an elementary, middle, and a high school. The school added 9th grade six years ago in order to give students a solid foundation as they transferred to high school.

"Parents and students really wanted us to add the high school and so the remaining grades have been added beginning three years ago," said High School Principal Brian Rainey. "It's so gratifying to now see the first class graduate, and these students have fared better on state testing than some of the most prestigious schools in our district and against other charter schools in the state."

Principal Rainey also highlighted several aspects about the school:
- 2015 National Excellence in Urban Education Award by the National Center for Urban School Transformation
- 100% of the students receive free and reduced lunch
- 99% minority
- 75% of seniors took at least one AP course during high school
- 2nd charter school in the country to be named an AVID National Demonstration School
- 1st charter school in the country to be fully funded by bond money

O'Farrell's Mission Statement
The O'Farrell Charter School is a community-oriented institution dedicated to fostering high academic standards, ensuring emotional and social growth, and maintaining a safe and secure learning environment for all its students. The O'Farrell Charter School's academic and extracurricular programs draw on the sustained efforts of motivated students, a talented and well-prepared faculty, and the ongoing commitment of supportive parents or guardians - all committed to the FALCON Way - such that all students are empowered to become critical learners and thinkers, and responsible, contributing citizens.

The O'Farrell Charter School provides a multi-cultural, linguistically and racially diverse learning environment in which students experience educational equity and are encouraged to serve their community. All students, upon graduation, are expected to have acquired the fundamental tools and skills to move seamlessly onto the high school of their choice.