CORE was established in 1998 as a California nonprofit benefit corporation to manage, operate, direct and promote a California public charter school. Originally, CORE provided instruction for grades K-8; grades 9-12 were added in 2000. CORE is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC.)
The Personalized Learning method followed by CORE has its roots in the homeschool movement, where, for decades, parents have privately tailored learning for their children according to their individual needs and preferences. Prior to the 1990s in California, parents had few choices for their children's education: the public school system, a private school, or private homeschooling. In 1992, California's elected officials enacted California's Charter School Act, which established public charter schools as an option for parents, students, teachers, and community members to design self-governing schools within the public school system to meet the needs of their community. Charter schools were envisioned to provide new, better, and more flexible and innovative opportunities for California students within the public school system as an alternative solution to a voucher system.
And so like most great endeavors, CORE arose as a way to support something that was already happening. Personalized Learning, as it was to become known, was more a response to the "radical" concept in education that the family is the foundation of learning. That is why a group of educators and parents decided to found a charter school, originally chartered through Camptonville Union Elementary School District. CORE Placer Charter school is now chartered through Colfax Elementary School District and CORE Butte Charter School is chartered through the Butte County Board of Education.
CORE's beginnings were modest, with a handful of students, based out of a single-wide trailer in Camptonville, "up past the pizza place next to Mrs. Wittler's barn." Because word spread of this unique family support as an educational unit, and because of the ability for students in the contiguous counties to have access to this program, CORE's growth was exponential, hastening the need to have a larger, more central administrative center with regional "resource centers" in the various communities.
CORE's Paradise and Marysville Resource Centers opened in 1999, with a resource center in Chico, CA, not far behind. Acknowledging the growing community in Placer County, CORE opened a Colfax resource center. Soon, enrollment grew in the Butte and Placer Counties, and CORE was required to split into three schools: CORE Placer Charter School, CORE @ The Camptonville Academy (now CORE Charter School) and CORE Butte Charter School.
Having a school community that has unified once isolated pockets of homeschoolers, CORE is able to offer a dizzying array of opportunities. Resource center classes, field trips, community and college courses, field studies, leadership opportunities as well as the time-honored "kitchen table" learning are a taste of what goes on during a "typical day" for a CORE student.
Today, CORE Charter School's administrative office is located in Marysville. We offer support for a Kindergarten through 12th grade education for appropriate families and students wanting an individualized, unique approach. We will always be committed to supporting a strong academic "trunk" with its roots in the family, with social development and college/vocational preparation as its natural outgrowth. As a personalized learning school, we expect to be at the forefront of education reform, offering a viable alternative to mainstream schools and acknowledging the unique gifts and learning styles of each individual.