Connecting Waters East Bay

Union City

Charter School
operated by Connecting Waters Charter Schools
Email: cwebrc [at]
703 C Street Union City, CA 94587
Program Type: 
Homeschool program

This school is enrolling students who reside in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco. CWEB was authorized by the Alameda County Board of Education on March 14, 2017.

Parent Q&A

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  • We are considering this school for next year as part of a homeschool program for our 11 year old 2e son and wondering if anyone had recent experiences to share. Thank you! 

    My 8 year old son with HF ASD and SPD, who I’ve been told is likely 2e, but never formally assessed, is doing great at Connecting Waters. He got enrolled early January and the next day his teacher dropped off a workbook for every subject which I thought was awesome. He came from OUSD where at his school the kids can barely get a photocopy worksheet let alone a new workbook.

    I taught him nearly an entire year of 2nd grade in 3 months and not at an overwhelming pace at all. So I imagine next year we can space out the curriculum even more allowing for more extracurriculars, fun activities, field trips, and traveling. 

    He attends the in person classes at their resource center originally twice a week, but he was too advanced for one class so now its once a week. I wanted him to still be around kids regularly in a classroom environment although his current class is actually not worth the drive or funding.

    I feel like CWEB gave us structure as we are new to homeschooling which was really helpful. All of his teachers have been great and flexible. The funding is great too since you can use it for both academic and extracurriculars. Since my son is somewhat advanced, he’s able to get through the curriculum pretty quickly allowing for more time for his other interests which is something he never had the energy for at OUSD.

    The only advice I would have for enrolling in CWEB is to do it now or before the Fall starts so you will get all of your funding. Since we were enrolled in January our funding was pro-rated so I had to pay out of pocket for some extracurriculars.

  • Updated reviews of Connecting Waters?

    (2 replies)

    We're debating what to do next year. If anyone has experience to share about Connecting Waters (or Connecting Waters vs Hickman,) I'd appreciate hearing about it.

    It seems a lot of people switch back and forth between Connecting Waters and Hickman. If you have, can you tell me why you did?

    We're in Berkeley and one draw of Hickman is that its classes have always been held in Berkeley. I've been told that the Connecting Waters Educational Consultants will be located (or will drive) to a location closer to you? The official address is in Union City and I don't want to drive out there:)

    I know Connecting Waters offers more vendor money and fewer classes. That seems to be the main difference? Do they offer in-person classes? If so, are those classes in Union City--or do they have other locations closer to Berkeley.

    Connecting Waters current vendor funding seems to be $900/semester--but cutbacks might make that smaller. Does anyone know the vendor/supply allocation for Hickman or Connecting Waters?


    We are a Connecting Waters East Bay family who has been with the charter for five years.  Yes. The main resource center is located in Union City however, we haven't had to travel there more than a dozen times within the 5 year period.  (Picking up/returning textbooks, PSAT testing.) We have also traveled to Alameda for state testing once a year. Many classes are offered on-line or in other locations closer to home. One advantage - our son was able to attend Jr. College classes to both fulfill high school requirements as well as UC undergrad required courses. Yes.  Educational consultants will meet with you in your home and meetings are required every 20 days. Your ES will become a valuable resource and help you navigate through the school year. This past year visits were conducted on-line. Vendor funding has restrictions so I would contact the school for more information.  We've used funding for classes, textbooks and occasional supplies with unused balances being donated to other families in need.  

    Our son graduates this year and is headed to UC Berkeley.  As an advanced learner this option made sense for us in his academic journey.  Parents need to be involved with their assigned ES and through the entire process.  If you are not willing to put in the work, public school may be a better option.  I'd highly recommend this charter for any child. Those with learning differences or students who need flexible schedules, other approaches to what a brick and mortar school offers.  The administration has worked to maintain state standards and accreditation.  CWEB continues support of student learning aligned with state standards.  We appreciated the organic approach of working at a pace that fit our son's needs that didn't hold him back according to a systemic approach to education.

    Just FYI we never heard of Hickman so can't really compare the two. Best of luck!

    We’ve been to both Hickman and CW, and they’re very different experiences. Both charters require monthly meetings, but Hickman is quite small, and while the funding amount is drastically lower than Connecting Waters, they do offer in-person classes (in non-pandemic times, that is!). The classes are geared toward enrichment (not academics), the options are pretty limited, and we just didn’t click with the small community there. However, the teachers are truly wonderful and caring.

    Our recent experience with Connecting Waters has been great, but for different reasons. It’s a much bigger school with more red tape, but the funding made it worth it. Our EC was very helpful but hands-off (though I’ve heard this differs by EC) and the instructional funds paid for independent PE and academic classes, books, and supplies. Their library/resource center is also much larger than Hickman’s. I’ve only been to the Union City location once to visit the resource center, but in the past we could put books and supplies (even musical instruments!) on hold and our EC would pick them up for us. Our child also had an IEP, and we were very impressed with the services they received from CW.

  • Transfer to Connecting Waters as Senior?

    (2 replies)

    Hi, I have a junior who has been in private school since kindergarten, thanks to financial aid. That all came crashing down this February after he missed too much school due to stress related illness, and we were abruptly counseled out (ie forced to withdraw). This has been a traumatic process in some ways, but his stress level has improved... Hmmm. He is finishing up second semester core classes (English, alg 2,American history) at a very expensive 1:1 school. But senior year is not an option there, financially. And he is refusing regular HS. I've been looking at independent study programs. We live in SF and I am waiting to hear back from Independence, but I wanted to hear about folks' experience with Connecting Waters. He will have completed almost all of the graduation requirements listed on their website. We have decided not to go to a 4 year college, even tho he will have all his a-g other than senior English... less stress is better right now. He is turning 18 this summer, and I would prefer him to end up with a diploma from an accredited school, instead of the chspe or ged. But I am utterly clueless in how a charter independent school program works day to day. Looking at CW"s graduation requirements, he may only need econ, gov, health, and career. Am I crazy to consider this an option? How do these classes work? Is it all online, workbooks, and monthly meetings? Or once our missing grad reqs are figured out by CW do we work with them to develop the needed approach? Obviously I have a lot of questions. Any answers are appreciated.

    We have been with Connecting Waters East Bay for 2 1/2 years after expensive private and 1:1 school.  You have choice in how to set up your son's curriculum and classes.  You are paired with an educational specialist who works with you to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements.  Contrary to what many people think about "homeschool", this is the first model where we have had many options.  Jr. College classes, online classes, Independent choose.  They give you money to pay for approved vendors, books, etc. which is very helpful.  If you want to speak more message me offline. (I'm not sure how that works as I am tech challenged!) GOOD LUCK!

    We have been at Connecting Waters Charter for three years and it has been a blessing. The previous poster was right. Public charters are about options for parents and students. Based on his interests and your family rhythm you create your schedule. Our family came to Connecting Waters stressed out but since our child's ed and extracurricular program is individualized the focus is what works for him. My child is completing the sixth grade and the homeschool/independent studies model that Connecting Waters offers has enabled him to progress academically that if he decides to go to a university or vocational school he will have the confidence and self-motivation to do the work. However, it is important to keep up with school communication and the learning periods to turn assignments in. Education Specialists at CWCS are great and helpful. They will definitely help in developing your program. Finally, Connecting Waters East Bay starts early so at the beginning of August try to get as much admin work done. Feel free to contact me offline if you like. Good Luck! 

  • I have teens homeschooling with Connecting Waters Charter School and we are seeking other teens for them to socialize with. They will be 15yrs in March. They are twins. They like Twenty One Pilots and Of Monster and Men. One like to play the bass, acoustic and electric guitar and learning drums. The other one plays the piano and learning ukelele. They like to watch New Girl, Mindy Project and WayWard Pines. We live in San Leandro. They are pretty serious with their studies but they are still your average teens. 

    Yes, I think it's difficult to connect homeschooling teens, they all seem to go off in their own directions :) Have you tried LARP? I know there are a number of homeschooled teens who participate...

    Check out Alameda Oakland Home Learners (aohl -  Weekly Thursday afternoons at local Oakland & Alameda parks (& sometimes SL & Berkeley). A fair contingent of teens although some older teens are trying out schooling this fall including my 14 yr/o son, who also is a a 21 PIlots fan (& we live in SLdro).  Also, Berkeley Rep has a fantastic Teen Night, lots of schooled & homeschooled teens getting together for pre-show talk & dinner + Berk Rep show + post-show hot chocolate & talk, all for $10/ticket.  Look at the Teen Council tab on their website; there is a teen night for each of the shows they produce.  On Facebook, look for the SF East Bay Homeschool Teens & ask to join the group.  Feel free to contact me directly to brainstorm other ideas or to get our kids together.  There are definitely other homeschooling teens in our area.

Parent Reviews

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Sounds like my 8 year old son’s experience. I also pulled him out of OUSD in November to homeschool for bullying and he’s academically advanced. I enrolled him in Connecting Waters Charter Eastbay. Its been great since he was accepted in January. They provide structure, support, in person classes, and funding for academics and extracurriculars. I had no idea how to go about homeschooling as I went to private school and my husband public school. I felt like I did the wrong thing at first by pulling him out because at first he missed his classmates and even “his bully”, but after 3 months at CWEB, I know I did the right thing for him. He’s so much happier and has plenty of time and energy to do his extracurriculars which he could never do at OUSD. He can’t even fathom having to sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher talk for 5 hours, learning absolutely nothing he doesn’t already know, and getting bullied on the playground and in the bathrooms. I tried to support OUSD for 2.5 years, but their lack of action and concern, not to mention the teachers own personal agenda is not worth my son’s happiness and education. 

Have you tried Connecting Waters Charter East Bay? My son is 8 and goes to their resource center once a week for in person classes. I see many high school age kids there and in looking at in person class availability many are geared towards high school age. Not sure of the age limit, but since they’re a public charter school they accept iep’s if your son has one.

RE: Classes for homeschoolers ()

Hi there,

I started homeschooling my 7 year old son in November and also couldn’t find any day classes. It wasn’t until he was enrolled at Connecting Waters East Bay that I found in person day classes. I signed him up for 4 classes but one got dropped due to lack of enrollment. Today’s our first day since we had to quarantine the first weeks of January. If you’re interested I can let you know how it goes.



RE: Homeschool Charter Schools ()

We are the proud parents of a "homeschooled" son who is enrolled with Connecting Waters Charter. For two years we searched for the best option after leaving the public school system.  We enrolled in a couple of private schools each promising so much only to discover numerous problems down the road.  After extensive research we decided Connecting Waters was the best fit for us.  Contrary to what many might believe, "homeschooled" kids have many options and choices on how to meet the requirements for graduating from Elementary, Middle and High School.  We work with an "Educational Specialist" and receive funds each year to spend on approved vendors for classes.  The counseling staff at CW was very helpful when we first enrolled.  We struggled at first thinking this would not be a legitimate way into college.  However, it has been the best situation despite many outside concerns that our son get the "socialization" skills through the traditional route in the public school system. Really? I think some of the greatest kids I've met have had non-traditional educations.   We supplement with many outside activities that include sports, music, art etc. where he is exposed to kids his own age.  

It would have been easy to just stay in the public school system where the emphasis seems to be to teach to the test so the school receives accolades for exemplary work. The fact that you are thinking about this at age 6 is fabulous.

Best of luck in your search!