ARISE High School

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About Us » FAQ


I heard you are a charter school- what’s that? Is that a public school?

Yes, we are free, public high school that is open to anyone. The only difference between a charter school and a traditional ‘district’ public school is that we accept students that apply to come here. By contrast, a traditional district school accepts students that live within it’s geographic area. However, any student may apply to ARISE – even if they don’t live in Oakland.

Are you a continuation school?

No, we are a 9th-12th high school that accepts all students. Our student selection process is done via a lottery.  

What makes ARISE special?

Many things! We offer rigorous culturally relevant instruction that gives first generation college students the tools to think critically, analyze their social conditions, and be ready for college. Our instructional model provides a personalized and supportive environment and requires students to demonstrate subject mastery through performance based assessment. See our about ARISE page for more information.

I don’t understand your grading system. What’s a “Meets”?

Our grading system is different than what most people are familiar with. We require students to demonstrate mastery of a subject. To do that we use a system of Learning Targets. Students are scored on a 4 level scale for each of those learning targets. The levels are: 1.) Beginning to develop 2.) Approaching Expectations 3.) Meets Expectations 4.) Exceed Expectations. In order to ‘pass’ a learning target, a students must get a Meets Expectations or Exceeds Expectations (3 or 4).

How are final grades calculated?

We give letter grades at the end of every course so that students can apply to college with a transcript that the college will understand. To calculate the final grade, we figure out the average percentage of Learning Targets that a student has met or exceed throughout the year. If a student has met 100-85% of Learning Targets, they receive an “A,” if they have met 70%-85%, they receive a “B.” We do not give out “C's" or below. If a student does not meet 70% of Learning Targets, they receive a “No-credit.”

What is a Learning Target?

Each course is made up of many smaller learning targets that a student must demonstrate they have mastered. For example, in a history class, a learning target might be “I can describe the important events in the US civil rights movements.” A student would be assessed on their mastery of that learning target using a 4 point rubric. (Beginning to Develop, Approached Expectations, Meets Expectations, Exceed Expectations)

What does “No-credit” on a class?

If a student receives a “no-credit” on a class, they have not met an average of 70% or more of the Learning Targets. 

So what is the difference between 'quality of work' and 'no completion of work'?

Our grading praxis focuses on whether a student has mastered a learning target– not whether they have completed a certain amount of work. Most schools add up the percentage of homework, tests, etc. that a student completed. Instead, we average the number of Learning Targets mastered. The key difference is that a student may demonstrate mastery of a Learning Target at any time during the class. That means that a student might not meet the first Learning Target when it was taught in September but then return to that Learning Target in March and demonstrate that he or she has mastered it. This could give them credit for the Learning Target in their overall percentage.

What are ARISE graduation requirements?

We have higher expectations of our ARISE graduates in comparison with our neighboring high schools. We require more of our ARISE graduates. We require all ARISE graduates to fulfill A-G requirements. We require all students to take two college classes by the end of their senior year. We require all students to demonstrate mastery in all courses. We require all students to present proficiency defenses to a panel of their instructors, peers, and community members. Finally, all ARISE graduates must meet a minimum number of community service hours to graduate.

Are students required to take college classes. How does that work?

We require that all students pass at least two college classes in order to graduate. We have partnerships with various colleges and universities, i.e. Merritt College, Laney College, Alameda College, Cal State East Bay.