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The mission of Creative Arts Charter School is to provide K-8 grade students with an innovative, high-quality education through a constructivist approach that focuses on an arts-integrated, project-based curriculum, with the overall goal of giving our students a lifetime appreciation of learning and development of their unique talents and abilities.
- Every child is unique and valuable and their thoughts, interest, skills, needs and potential deserve our care and attention.
- Students learn best with a variety of curriculum and teaching methods.
- We respect the art of teaching and employ individuals dedicated to excellence.
- Peer support and on-going professional development of staff is essential to quality education,
- Collaboration is essential to fulfilling our mission.
- Family involvement is critical to school success.
- Respect for all community members defines our actions and our attitudes; it must never be compromised.
Creative Arts Charter School (CACS), San Francisco's first charter school, was founded in 1994 by a dedicated group of parents and educators who wanted to provide the children of San Francisco with high-quality public education through creative exploration that fostered creativity and implementing recent progressive theories in education. The school began as an early childhood school with a Kindergarten through 3rd Grade program. In the third year of operation, the scope of the school was extended through the 8th Grade and grew each year an additional grade level. In its eighth year, CACS graduated its first 8th Grade class to many of the finest high schools in San Francisco. In March 2004, CACS received a unanimous vote of approval from the San Francisco Board of Education to renew the school's charter for an additional five years.
Building on our success and to strengthen the school financially, our Board of Directors, with the support of the staff and community, voted to expand CACS's enrollment to 312 over a 10-year period. This will be accomplished by adding an additional Kindergarten every other year (in the odd-numbered years), starting with 2005, until the school reaches its new capacity.
Creative Arts Charter School has been developing in both breadth and scope since its inception thirteen years ago. Originally run almost exclusively by its Board and a long list of dedicated volunteers, the school now employs an administrative team of a School Director, Assistant Director / Curriculum Coordinator, School Counselor, Arts Coordinator, Director of Enrollment and Attendance, and Office Manager. There are 11 classroom teachers, and a fully dedicated arts staff, including full-time Visual Arts and Music teachers.
During the last five years, Creative Arts Charter School's performance increased significantly:
- In 2005-06, our students' performance in the California Standards Test increased significantly, with 175 points growth in API since 2000.
- CACS made the eligibility list for the California Distinguished School Award
- University of Southern California's School of Education presented CACS with a Certificate of Recognition for our implementation of Project-Based Learning
- In 2003, an 83-point increase for economically disadvantaged students (3rd highest in SF) qualified the school to receive the highly competitive Governor's Performance Award.
- The teaching staff made significant improvements in the curriculum, developed a scope and sequence for language literacy and mathematics, and added the middle school electives program.
- Our charter was rewritten and developed in both breadth and scope, from 7 pages to 42 pages, and received unanimous approval from the San Francisco Board of Education.
- Catherine Montes
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