California Charter Public Schools Make Attending College a Reality for All Students

June 12, 2018

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Media Contact:
Caity Heim
916-926-8234
cheim@ccsa.org

California Charter Public Schools Make Attending College a Reality for All Students

Sacramento, CA - The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) is proud to recognize this year's graduates and the California charter public high schools that have helped them achieve academic success from across the state in honor of graduation season. Across the state, charter public schools are providing equitable access to high-quality and unique public education options. Because of charter schools, all students - including students from underserved communities and students with disabilities - are graduating high school prepared for college, the workforce or post-secondary school.

Below are a few charter school and graduate highlights from the 2017-18 school year.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Lee Thao, Sac High
Sacramento, CA

Lee Thao is a recent graduate of Sac High, a charter public school in Sacramento that is part of the St. Hope network of charter schools. Lee is a long-time resident of Oak Park, a small low-income community in Sacramento. From a young age, Lee knew what she wanted: to attend college. After an incredible middle school experience at Oak Park Prep, a charter public school, also part of the St. Hope network, Lee made the choice to attend Sac High to continue to receive a high-quality charter school education that focused on helping her get to and through college. Throughout her time at Sac High, Lee took advantage of the rich extracurricular activities afforded to her, including taking part in leadership programs and community improvement projects, all while working hard to receive high remarks. Lee's grit, determination, and commitment to bettering her community earned her the Oak Park Scholarship to University of the Pacific in Stockton, a scholarship that made access to higher education possible. She will attend University of the Pacific in Fall 2018 to study environmental science.

"I chose to attend my charter school, Sac High, because of their commitment to helping students complete requirements to get to college and help them succeed. I'm excited to attend University of the Pacific this fall because it was my first-choice school."

CENTRAL VALLEY

Aspire Langston Hughes Academy
Stockton, CA

Claims that charter schools leave students with disabilities behind stand no chance against Aspire Langston Hughes Academy (LHA) in Stockton, a charter public school serving grades 6-12 that graduated 93 percent of their students with disabilities this year. LHA focuses on serving students with disabilities in fully inclusive educational environments, identifying students' unique needs and strengths through the collaboration among education specialists and general education teachers, and fostering a school culture that embraces student differences and believes everyone can go to "College for Certain." Additionally, if students receive their certificate of completion, LHA offers students access to an inclusive young adult transition program, developed in partnership with the Department of Rehabilitation and a local community college. The program supports students until they are 22 years old to help them finish their diploma, transition into post-secondary school, or enter the workforce.

"At Aspire Langston Hughes, our team is committed to our "College for Certain" motto and we do whatever it takes to help all of our students, including students with disabilities, graduate and successfully transition into the workplace or post-secondary school," said Adeline Taylor, Education Specialist, LHA.

BAY AREA

Adrian Bueno, Lighthouse Charter School
Oakland, CA

High school senior Adrian Bueno can be described as determined and disciplined. After his family moved to Lathrop from Oakland, Adrian and his family made the decision to continue to commute four hours every day to send Adrian and his siblings to their charter public school based in Oakland, Lighthouse Charter School, because they knew the school could help him achieve his goal to attend college. Adrian knew from a young age that he wanted to go to college thanks to his educators at Lighthouse who believed in him. Determined to see him succeed, Adrian's educators developed a personal relationship with him to identify his unique learning style and develop his passions. Adrian explored his interests via the extracurricular opportunities afforded to him through Lighthouse's unique partnerships with outside organizations to learn about computer programming, public speaking, acting, athletics, and more. Thanks to the support of his college counselor, Adrian received the Making Waves CAP Bay Area Scholarship, a needs-based scholarship that has made access to higher education possible. Adrian will attend UC Davis in Fall 2018.

"My charter school, Lighthouse Charter School, helped me to realize my dream of attending college. Thanks to the personal attention from my teachers, and the ability to explore my passions and interests, I will be attending UC Davis this fall."

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Math and Science College Preparatory High School
Los Angeles, CA

Ninety-eight percent of graduates from Math and Science College Preparatory High School are headed off to college, more than half of whom have pre-declared a STEM major, choosing to focus on science, technology, engineering or mathematics. This charter school, which focuses on the development of the whole child, academic integrity, leadership skills, and technology fluency, is part of the STEM Prep family of schools in South Los Angeles, with a mission is to provide equitable access to high quality education to young men and women of color so they can thrive in the STEM fields.

"In the community we serve, 100 percent of students are black and brown, with 94 to 95 percent living below the poverty line. To see many...going off to college and majoring in STEM and hopefully becoming a STEM professional within four years is really transformative. We are very proud," said Emilio Pack, CEO, STEM Preparatory Schools in a KABC interview.

About California Charter Public Schools
Over 630,000 students attend an estimated 1,275 charter schools in California. Charter schools are public schools. They are tuition-free and serve all students. Across the state, charter schools are excelling academically. Learn more.

About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association's vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter public schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non-charter public schools on every measure. We do this by serving as the advocacy organization that builds the policy environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high quality charter public schools. For more information, please visit our website at www.ccsa.org.