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America's Finest Charter School

Charter | K-8 | 230 students

Small classes research based teaching,constructivism,After noon Arts program

 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 12 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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21 reviews of this school


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Posted February 24, 2014

My daughter is in Kindergarten. I am always kept informed of my daughters academic growth. The school feels like a big family. Friendly Staff!!! Why haven't you updated the test scores since they have improved so much during the schools second year?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 24, 2014

America's Finest Charter School is an amazing environment for children to learn how to work together, accomplish their goals, and gain the knowledge they need in order to be successful. The reason I love this school is because the staff, students, and parents have a family styled bond. I like to make sure each student knows that they are special, not only to me but in this world and I remind them every day to fix conflicts they have and help out others. I have watched many troubled students improve drastically over the years. I've seen students with behavior problems completely turn their attitudes around and become role models for the other students. I have even seen students who were far below their grade level catch up because of our commitment to their education. I also think its important that this school offers so many extra curricular activities for the students in our free after school program from 4-6 pm. Children NEED to be exposed to arts and music and developing passion for hobbies and creating things and so many schools have removed these types of programs due to budget cuts!! This school is always evolving and can only go up and I cant wait to see these kids go far!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 29, 2013

We have been here since the school started! We love the after school program and love the lunch! We like the smaller classes.The teachers are so friendly and patient It allows for a better learning environment! We recommend AFCS to everyone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 29, 2013

We chose America'"s Finest Charter School because it met all of our needs! Our son loves karate and we love the friendly staff.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 16, 2013

My two children attend AFCS and they love it. I feel that is safe and small school. The director is always available and I can see the she really loves children. She has an open door policy and treats every child as her as if they were her on. Any time I need to talk to her she stops what she is doing and listens to me. She always goes out of her way to help students and parent.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 16, 2013

Recently I have heard some upsetting comments from parents about this school and I am very disappointed in them. These teachers work so hard and spend so much time and energy to make sure that the things the students are learning are engaging and things they actually care about. The skills my children have learned at AFCS have not only made them successful in school academically but also they are well rounded human beings in society. I constantly hear teachers reminding students to "have good manners" and "make the right choice". I am proud to have my children go to this school and if the parents talking spent more time in their children's classrooms then they would see the wonderful work that is being done. We try to teach our children not to judge a book by it's cover but when you always keep yourself outside of the box and not working with the teacher and students in the class then you are in no place to judge.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 16, 2013

I am a parent of a 6th grader. I love AFCS because the school staff is very professional and at the same time caring and kind. The Director of this school has helped my child in so many ways, she takes the time to talk to the children in a positive way as well as to the parents (with an open door policy). I feel fortunate to have found AFCS as it has made a wonderful difference in my child's life as well as in mine. I highly recommend you check this school out. AFCS also offers a free after school program dealing with the art, music, karate etc. I am a happy happy parent! A special Thank you to the Director for all your help!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 15, 2013

America's Finest Charter School is a safe haven for children. We just finished our ballroom dancing unit with our fifth and 6th graders! What a life long skill to know how to dance! We had a WASC Accreditation visit and the reviewers were amazed by the dedicated administrator and teachers! You must visit AFCS!


Posted February 3, 2013

I was a founding member of the school. I have watched it grow and develop since the beginning and I continue to be involved with the school. I know Jan, the director, to be a direct and effective leader. She makes every attempt to get all of the best for the students. Sandra, the curriculum consultant, was paramount in developing curriculum framework for the school and her over 35 years of experience in education is obvious when you talk to her about education. I am an educator myself and I believe that students need lots of support both at home and at school to be successful. I would send my child to this school and I would also read to them daily, check all of their homework and monitor their activities closely. The last part is the teacher in me ;)
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted October 31, 2012

Love their family oriented environment, also their lunch program is so appropriate for the times we currently live in with obesity being on the rise. They take discipline very serious witch helps with bulling.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 31, 2012

America's Finest Charter School is a place where children can acheive the American Dream! Our school is going on it's second year. We have organic lunches and an afternoon arts program that is free. Working artists teaching students with passion and expertise. It takes a lot to be a teacher at AFCS. They love kids, are smart and hard working. The director had a dream to put the best school in City Heights and attract students from all over the city. Time will tell if this dream comes true!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted October 29, 2012

Had a chance to vist Americas Finest this September and was very impressed with the new facilitys and the way the faculty was engaged with the expantion.


Posted October 21, 2012

My three daughters attend this school and I would recomend it for everyone to join this amazing school. AFCS has been a great place for education for my children. I have three reasons that I like this school they are: 1) In the mornings, teachers or school staff help children with their homework, or if one of the kids doesn't understand something, the adults are aviable to help them. This way helps kids to speak up and learn more easily 2)The classrooms have that many studnts, in which helps to control bullying and can have more communication with their teachers. 3)SInce the economy has been affecting many other schools, those schools can't afford for arts and crafts which helps to develop the talents that each child has. But in America's Finest. my three girls attend karate, piano, and drama for FREE. I am proud not only of what my kids have been able to do now, but also all the hard work that America's Finest Charter School staff does to give the best education for my children. Cecilia Ramirez
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 20, 2012

I volunteer regularly in both my children's classrooms at AFCS as well as with school events, and see first-hand how wonderful their teachers and staff are. My children's 2nd and 4th grade teachers last year were fantastic; they offered creative and fun learning experiences, challenged them to do their best, and always made themselves available to assist and encourage them. Their teachers this year have proved just as dedicated, capable and caring. They put their hearts and souls into their teaching, they work very hard (even weekends) and have incredible patience and understanding. I've been so impressed with the entire AFCS staff; they are always friendly, helpful and kind. I have nothing but respect and admiration for its directors too; with budget cuts and many other challenges, its not easy to start & run a new and innovative charter school. The principal seems to be proactive, fair and dedicated, and disciplinary issues appear to be handled quickly and judiciously. You can tell that their primary concern is their student's educational welfare and safety and I feel appropriate measures are taken to ensure both. This parent gives America's Finest Charter School a solid 5 stars!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 20, 2012

I would highly recommend this school to parents looking for an exceptional and quality educational experience for their children. Even though its far from our home and not located in a typical school campus environment, we chose America's Finest Charter School last year because we liked its teaching philosophy and program and the fact that there was no homework. We've experienced other public and charter schools in the SDUSD and AFCS has proved to be the best school for our children and that's why we're back again this year. In addition to the excellent teachers and staff, they offer lots of enriching field trips throughout the year as well as many fantastic after-school arts programs. I also appreciate how the teachers and directors have always been available and responsive when I stop by or email them. We are very pleased with our experience at AFCS.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 19, 2012

You can write all the positive reviews you want about this school but the truth will come out eventually. I'm sure the teachers are dedicated to the children but you can't run a school with an iron fist. My child has been getting A's and B's since leaving this school, is happy and hasn't complained once about the school they are currently in. At this school, everyday was unhappiness horrible stories about what happened there. Parents, don't be fooled and leave your blinders on. Stay involved. My child dropped a full grade level there. The teaching was inconsistent and disorganized. I let my child down by keeping them at that school. It's my responsibility to make sure they have a quality education and I made a bad choice by putting them at this school last year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 18, 2012

I'm glad to hear they cleaned up the school so much after the fiasco last year. Maybe they did listen to the parents. Best of luck to all.


Posted October 18, 2012

After teaching in SDCS I have found America's Finest Charter School to be an outstanding charter school. The Director, teachers and staff are committed to student learning and success. The Arts in the Afternoon program provides students with the opportunities which include: piano, guitar, arts and crafts as well karate. In our second year of operation positive changes have been implemented. Our school motto sums up our beliefs "Work hard, learn everything you can, always do your best, and success will follow"
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted October 18, 2012

I have been at this school for 2 1/2 months now and I have nothing but good things to say. I find the negative comments below to be quite abrasive and false. The teachers, are all dedicated, committed and qualified individuals who strive for nothing but the best for our students. I truly enjoy being a part of this community and look forward to a great year!


Posted October 18, 2012

Very happy with community involvement in the school. It takes a village, after all. And most of all happy with the (first grade) teacher of my student taking such a concerned effort with his reading ability.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

Grade level

The API reflects year-over-year schools performance based on STAR test score results from spring 2012.

This school's
API score

670

Change from
2011 to 2012

N/A

API Statewide Rank
(2012)

1 / 10

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)

N/A


API Growth scores over time

Did this school meet the API goal this year?
The state goal for API is 800. All schools that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school has not yet met the state goal of 800.

API Growth scores by subgroup

In addition to schoolwide API scores, each student subgroup receives an API score.

This school's
API score

670

What is the API?
The Academic Performance Index (API) is a single number assigned to each school by the California Department of Education to measure overall school performance and improvement over time on statewide testing. The API ranges from 200 and 1000, with 800 as the state goal for all schools.
Change from
2011 to 2012

N/A

Change from 2011 to 2012
Comparing the API Growth to the Base shows whether or not this school's test score performance improved between Spring 2011 and Spring 2012. The API ranges between 200 and 1000, with 800 as the statewide goal for all schools. Schools scoring below an 800 are given at least a 5 point target for the next year.
API Statewide Rank
(2012)

1 / 10

API Statewide Rank (2012)
The API Statewide Rank ranges from 1 to 10. A rank of 10, for example, means that the school’s API fell into the top 10% of all schools in the state with a comparable grade range. The 2012 rank is based on results from tests students took in Spring 2012.
API Similar Schools Rank (2012)

N/A

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)
The API Similar Schools Rank ranges from 1 to 10. It shows how the school compares to other schools with similar student demographic profiles. The California Department of Education uses parent education level, poverty level, student ethnicity and other data to identify similar schools.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
Hispanic 65%
Black 13%
Asian 9%
White 8%
Two or more races 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0%
Source: CA Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 92%N/AN/A
English language learners 52%N/AN/A
Source: CA Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
Spanish
Vietnamese
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Outdoor learning lab

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Textile design
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Improv
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Arts and crafts

Language learning

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Cooking club

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 7:30 am
School end time
  • 6:00 am
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 a.m.
School Leader's name
  • Jan Perry
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Project-based
  • Standards-based
  • Vgotsky Learning Theories
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Environmental
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Science
  • Service learning
  • Social justice
  • Visual arts
  • Writing
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Passes/tokens for public transportation
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Auditorium
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Parent center
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Soccer

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Textile design
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Improv
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Arts and crafts
  • Builders Club
  • Community service
  • Cooking club
  • Sierra Club
  • reality changers
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Tutor
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


10 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
220
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
220
Students typically come from these schools
Ibarra
Central
Monroe Clark Middle

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Health Sciences Charter
Arroyo Paso Charter High
Hoover High
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

4001 El Cajon Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92105
Website: Click here
Phone: (619) 694-4809

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