Amethod Public Schools
Amethod Public Schools (formerly Oakland Charter Academy Inc., doing business as Oakland Charter Academies) is a nonprofit charter school system with headquarters in Oakland, California. The system operates Oakland Charter Academy (OCA) (Oakland's first charter school), Oakland Charter High School (OCHS), and Richmond Charter Academy. After a dramatic turnaround, Oakland Academy became the second public school in Oakland, California to win the National Blue Ribbon award.
The system began in 1993. In the fall 1993 the first school opened, originally as Jingletown Charter School. It was the first charter school in Oakland and one of the first in California. Originally it had the test scores amongst the lowest in the state. Since then the school changed its name to Oakland Charter Academy.
In 2004 Jorge Lopez took control of the school. At the time its state Academic Performance Index (API) was 650. Lopez received guidance from Ben Chavis, head of the American Indian Model Schools, and established a system similar to the system of American Indian Public Charter School at Oakland Charter Academy. In late September 2007 the Oakland Charter Academy became the second public school in Oakland, California to win the National Blue Ribbon award. Oakland Charter High School opened in 2007.
Amethod Public Schools was created in 2009 as the branding of a new Charter Management Organization and a foundational split between the OCA and APCS campuses. The school staff set out to distinguish itself as an innovative lab for school and community redesign.
In the northern hemisphere Spring 2008 the Oakland Charter Academy got an API of 902. Its student body was mostly Hispanic, and the API was over 200 points higher than the average API of Latino and Hispanic middle school students in California. The Oakland Charter Academy API was over 200 points above the overall scores of all of the middle schools in Oakland.
As of 2012, the first site, a middle school, is located in the Fruitvale District of East Oakland, CA. The second location is located in downtown and houses the Oakland Charter High School. There has been much concern about the safety of the infrastructure at the Fruitvale campus. There has been reports of a deteriorating foundation and a feral cat infestation that has not been address since the school's inception.
As of 2007 the main Oakland Charter Academy is located in a former bank on International Boulevard in Fruitvale. It is adjacent to a Goodwill store. The system also, as of 2007, has a campus in Chinatown which it shares with its second middle school campus (OCA Downtown Campus .
At Oakland Charter Academy every student received 90 minutes each of English and mathematics instructions. The school requires its students to attend summer school. Katy Murphy of the Oakland Tribune said the work only intensifies during so-called school holidays." Some students attend after school and Saturday tutoring.
When the school first operated, the instructional language used in over half of the school day was Spanish. The students received a lunch period of one hour and a break period of 15 minutes. Almost all of its students were Hispanic. Since then the school changed its name to Oakland Charter Academy.
The organization is committed to serving students and families with very limited choices for quality public schools.
- "Contact Info." Amethod Public Schools. Retrieved on September 13, 2011. "AMETHOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS 345 12th street, Oakland, CA 94607"
- "History." Amethod Public Schools. Retrieved on September 13, 2011.
- "Program Philosophy." Oakland Charter Academies. November 21, 2009. Retrieved on September 13, 2011.
- Rauh, Grace. "Charter school movement finds a boomtown in Oakland." The Oakland Tribune. September 17, 2006. Retrieved on September 13, 2011.
- Murphy, Katy. "Oakland charter schools get high marks and skepticism." The Oakland Tribune. Monday November 3, 2008. Retrieved on September 13, 2011.