Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC)


Charter School
operated by Community Learning Center Schools
350 students
Phone: (510) 263-9957
1900 Third Street Alameda, CA 94501
Editors' Notes: 

Parent Q&A

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  • Aclc - Alameda

    (1 reply)

    Does anyone know anything about ACLC in Alameda?


    It is a good school if your child is a very self-directed student and is enthusiastic about all the supplemental activities required by ACLC--volunteering 20 hours per year, the mandatory internship, etc. (in contrast, AUSD schools require 20 hours over the entire 4-year span of high school). We found it was a bit too clique-ish for our son, who is more on the introverted side, and he ended up transferring out as a junior; maybe if he had started there in middle school, he would have 'found his tribe' but it was very difficult to form friendships there coming in as a freshman. The annual science fair was definitely a highlight, and on balance, the teachers and administrators there are competent, responsive, and caring. 

  • HI there  -

    My daughter is currently enrolled at an OUSD middle school and we are not happy with the culture that is failing to have expectations for learning - she has yet to have a math teacher and we are a month and a half into the year. We are exploring as many other options right now as we can - private, charter, alternative.

    If anyone has experience with Alameda Community Learning Center or the the Academy of Alameda I would love any insight into your thoughts.

    Our daughter is arts-minded, having gone to elementary school at Walden Community Center and School and is not used to self-directed academic attention. She is highly social and very adept at weaving seamlessly into a community. I am hoping that the culture of any school we are looking at will have a baseline of learning expectations and inspire a sense of curiosity and interest. I am hoping for her to find a great social group who are motivated to be successful and love learning.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!


    Our firstborn went to ACLC for 6th-8th grades, and our younger kid is now at Academy of Alameda (started in 6th, now in 8th). Both schools did a good job of welcoming new students. ACLC's project-based learning worked well our for our daughter, from competing in annual science fair to working on projects in and out of class. They encourage & support student ("learner") initiatives. She really connected with several of her teachers ("facilitators"). In hindsight she says she didn't like her middle school, but at the time I think she did.

    At AoA it has been a challenge because of the pandemic and the school's/community's ability to adapt last year (we're back in person now - and it's going much better). The academics have not been as strong as we had hoped, but that was greatly impacted by the pandemic/distance learning. As a bigger school, AoA has a wide range of backgrounds and baseline knowledge of incoming 6th graders, so I think it's harder to reach all students at their current academic level (e.g., kids who pick up concepts quickly or already knew the concept are bored). Our AoA/second kid also is less interested in school than our ACLC/first kid was at the same age, so this is exasperated by lack of motivation/interest. Happy to chat more if you have specific questions.

  • Alameda Community Learning Center

    (2 replies)

    Does anyone have any experiences with Alameda Community Learning Center? My daughter was accepted there for the 2016-17 school year at the last minute, and it sounds like a great fit for her on paper. Due to this being an unexpected change for us, we weren't able to attend any information sessions there so I'd love to hear from people who have real life experience with the school. It would be great if you could address how much homework is given too. My daughter will be in the 11th grade. Thanks in advance!

    Richmond Mom

    I would suggest posting your question to the Alameda Parents Yahoo Group, which has >6000 members. I find BPN doesn't get a lot of Alameda-specific responses with school questions. 

    I have lots of experience with ACLC. My son graduated from there in 2013, and my daughter will be a senior this coming year. ACLC is a unique school with a strong leadership-oriented culture that rewards kids that are at least somewhat self-directed. Kids with a real interest in learning, who are able to take personal responsibility and manage their time well will excel there.

    Somewhat similar to your daughter, my son came in as a 10th-grader, after a traditional public high school. He was intensely shy, but the welcoming and accepting culture at ACLC was a wonderful change for him. He came out of his shell so much that he was elected a co-chair of leadership in senior year, something I couldn't imagine happening elsewhere. Though always a good student, he had to adjust to the less-structured educational model. However, once he learned how to set personal goals, use his time wisely and participate, he graduated second in his class. He feels ACLC's college-like structure helped prepare him for the intense experience of attending a large competitive university (Cal Poly SLO) and that that his completion of college classes while in high school was a huge advantage because he will graduate in 4 years, despite a highly impacted school.

    My daughter has been at ACLC since 6th-grade, and has thrived for different reasons. She is more creative and naturally independent. The project-based learning approach allows her to do artsy and hands-on projects while gaining academic knowledge. Just yesterday, we had an in-depth conversation about ancient history (not her favorite subject) due to a "timeline" project she completed last year that really piqued her interest! She has also gained strong leadership skills by taking on activities typically planned by school administration and/or parents. For example, she and a friend have run the Dance Committee for two years, and have executed some amazing and memorable events. Along the way, they've not only learned how to host fun dances, but how to find and book venues, hire great DJs, publicize events, sell tickets, organize payment/attendance details, plan food for large crowds, decorate beautifully on a budget, etc. And, attendance at school dances has grown exponentially due to their enthusiasm and personal investment in the process. Entering her senior year, she'll also benefit from other advantages of the program - completing an internship, personalized college counseling/application assistance, taking college classes, and doing a senior project and portfolio - all skills valuable in college and the real world.

    Though very different people, both of my children have been challenged academically, developed great study habits, gained real world experience and become examples of the empowering culture at ACLC. Homework seems right on target - creative enough to keep kids engaged and interested, demanding enough to require effort without overwhelm, and relevant enough to prepare them for college. Clearly, I'm a fan, but I also recognize that the program may not be a great fit for everyone or may take adjustment. The key is to participate, stay in communication with teachers, utilize after-school support and be willing to stick with it long enough to make the adjustment. It has the reputation it does for a reason!

Parent Reviews

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First thought that comes to mind for a smaller charter school is ACLC in Alameda. They are a tuition-free charter middle school and high school. 360 students today between both middle and high school. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Oct 2013

Re: High schools with extra support for Inattentive ADD son
I would encourage you to investigate ACLC more closely for your son. ACLC is not an unstructured environment, it is a more flexible environment which can really work to the advantage of kids with alternative learning needs. Many kids with learning challenges like ADD thrive in their project-based curriculum because it is more creative and addresses their different learning styles, while avoiding the boredom many ADD kids experience with traditional teaching methods. As a result, these kids feel empowered and engage more directly with their education and thus develop increased self-direction and independence in learning. ACLC is offering Information Sessions and School Tours of their program for interested families, see dates/times here: You can also contact the Lead Facilitator (Principal), David Hoopes, for information or request a meeting at: (510) 995-4300 or david.hoopes [at] Best of luck in finding the right program for your son! Parent of multiple ACLC kids

Sept 2013

Do you have a high school student at this school? I would love to hear about your experiences. I've not been able to get much in the way of reviews & would be interested in learning more about the school's strengths as well as areas for improvement. Thank you, Parent of an eighth grader

My two children have attended ACLC for the past 3 years. My son graduated last June and is attending Cal Poly - SLO this fall. He thrived at ACLC. Not only did he feel challenged in his classes, he changed from a rebellious and reluctant participant into a confident leader. The school culture emphasizes student leadership and provides multiple opportunities - teaching assisting, community service, internships, senior projects, starting or leading school-wide activities, extra-curricular activities and clubs, participation in governance boards, a student-run judicial system, etc. The middle-high school combined model fosters older learners mentoring younger ones and younger learners aspiring to leadership in higher grades.

My daughter is artsy, creative and outgoing (opposite of my son who was introverted, shy and serious). She a high school freshman at ACLC and wouldn't go anywhere else, though we encouraged her to consider an arts high school, and many of her friends attend other high schools. She is also thriving, though her interests are different. She participates in the various arts/music offerings, and loves the engineering aspect of the curriculum. She is also participating in leadership activities and has already decided which college courses she is taking next year (the school encourages taking college classes early and some have even entered college as sophomores or juniors).

The program is structured more like a college with open periods built into students' weekly schedules, and revolves around "The Center." The Center is a large central space used for collaborative project work, research, study, meeting space and other community activities during open periods. This collaborative and flexible approach nurtures a strong sense of community and encourages more self-directed learning and personal responsibility.

The downside may be for students who are not as self-directed and independent, but they have tutoring programs and an Intervention Specialist to work individually with kids who need more support and structure.

I would encourage you to explore their website: , talk with Lead Facilitator (principal) David Hoopes, and visit the school with your child. It's an alternative educational model that has proven itself for 18 years, with over 90% of graduates attending 4-year colleges and universities, and the others often pursuing creative and self-directed careers or opportunities. BW

Here's some recent local coverage of Alameda CLC performance and enrollment... alameda

Feb 2013

Re: Junior is failing at Berkeley High
You and your son may want to check out the Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC) in Alameda, CA. ( ACLC is a small (300), dynamic, community-oriented public (tuition-free) charter school serving grades 6-12. They are hosting a student/parent High School Information Night on Monday, Feb 25, from 7:30 - 8:30 pm, and a High School School Tour on Tuesday, Feb 26, from 11:15 am -12:15 pm.

ACLC provides an innovative, hands-on, project-based curriculum that emphasizes student engagement in a democratic society through leadership, independence, self-direction and personal exploration. Learners participate in unique educational experiences including internships, community projects, and college classes at the nearby College of Alameda.

ACLC has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best High Schools in the United States for the past four years. It is consistently ranked as one of Alameda's top middle and high schools with an API of 827, and a statewide rank of 9. The ACLC curriculum meets all University of California-approved A - G college prep courses, and over 90% of ACLC graduates are admitted to four year universities. Parent of 12th-grader and 8th-grader

Nov 2003

Alameda Community Learning Center (formerly Arthur Anderson CLC)is a 7-12 charter school in Alameda that provides students with the unusual opportunity to become independent learners, accomplished students, and successful adults/citizens. Obviously, I'm a fan. My 8th grade son loves school, which he never did while in good public schools. Nearly all school activities are initiated and planned by the students, and the planning groups provide lots of training in communication, team work, and responsibility. This is an education that cannot be obtained anywhere else. You can contact me for more information. Milt