Envision Schools is a charter school management organization, founded in June 2002, that currently runs three charter-based public high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. The schools in the network are intended to reach minority and disadvantaged students who have not succeeded in traditional, large urban public high schools.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helped launch the school network with a $3 million investment in 2003 to form an initial group of five charter schools. In 2006, the foundation invested another $6.9 million aimed at helping the program duplicate its arts and technology programs.
- CAT - City Arts and Technology in San Francisco, opened in 2004 with an inaugural class of 100 freshmen. The school now has students in all four high school grades starting with the 2007-08 school year. CAT graduated its first class of Seniors in 2008.
- Academy - Envision Academy of Arts and Technology in Oakland, opened in 2007-08 school year with students in grades 9 and 10.
- Impact - Impact Academy of Arts and Technology in Hayward, California, opened for 2007-08 with 125 students in grade 9.
- Marin School of Arts and Technology (MSAT) opened in September 2003 at the College of Marin in Novato, California. By the end of the 2006-07 school year, the school graduated its first class, but was closed, blaming conflicts with the Novato Unified School District. Most of its students switched to the Metro program for the 2007-08 school year, commuting to San Francisco.
Envision high schools are small and academically rigorous and use project-based learning, art and technology. This is predicated on studies that show that students in small high schools fare better academically than those in large ones. Envision's mission is to transform the lives of students - especially those who will be the first in their families to attend college - by preparing them for success in college and in life. Envision also focuses on a deeper learning approach, by which students can gain the 21st Century Skills of collaboration, critical thinking, project management, and analysis.
- Lenz, Bob. "A Model for Charter Schools: The Marin School of Arts and Technology", The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Accessed December 15, 2007.
- Bender, Kristin. "Charter schools to target minorities", Oakland Tribune, June 4, 2003. Accessed December 15, 2007.
- "New Investment in Envision’s Network of Charter High Schools Boosts Efforts to Expand", Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation press release dated November 29, 2005.
- Knight, Heather. "Mayor's visit energizes Ingleside charter school's inaugural class", San Francisco Chronicle, December 24, 2004. Accessed December 16, 2007.
- "Charter schools safer, quieter, report finds", Neil Gonzales and Kristofer Noceda, Inside Bay Area, 12 November 2007
- Speich, Don. "Novato's charter high school calls it quits", Marin Independent Journal, June 5, 2007. Accessed December 16, 2007.