The seeds for FAME Public Charter School were planted five years ago. Our school was initially chartered through the Sunol-Glen Unified School District in 2001. At that time we were known as the Bay Area School for Independent Study (BASIS). We began serving students in grades K-12 during the 2002-2003 school year. During our first year we enrolled 425 students. By the end of our third year we were serving 645 home-study students in grades K-12.
BASIS had its roots in the homeschool movement. Before the enactment of the California Charter School Act in 1992, parents seeking alternative educational opportunities for their children had few options. With the establishment of charter schools, California opened the door for new and innovative schools such as ours to open. Parents and students were already learning at home and BASIS became an anchor and support for many families who were seeking validation, collaboration, and connectivity within their chosen educational model. BASIS offered two enrollment options. One allowed students to receive daily instruction through classes taught at our Oakland Resource Center. The other allowed students to work at home with their parent educators monitored by a credentialed BASIS teacher. Our method, now known as Personalized Learning, relied on the empowerment of parents to partner in the educational process and work closely with teachers and other support staff to ensure that students made appropriate academic and social progress.
By the end of the 2004 school year it was clear that we had outgrown our space in Oakland. We began looking for a new location for our resource center. We found such a location in San Leandro and moved our resource center to its current location in May of 2005. This involved much renovation of the site and was a huge community effort. During this time we began analyzing the long-term goals and needs of the school and the communities we served. Demand for our Personalized Learning program remained high, however, we found that many families sought a more traditional educational option that could effectively serve diverse communities and ethnicities that had historically been underserved. We petitioned the FAME Charter through Alameda County and were awarded the first countywide charter on May 10, 2005 and became FAME Public Charter School. The BASIS charter was officially closed June 2005.
With the establishment of FAME Public Charter School, we were now in a position to offer three distinct programs geared towards the individual needs of our students and their families. Our original concept remained: provide innovative, individualized instruction. Only now we could provide more choice within the same umbrella school. FAME Independent Study is a unique concept that allows maximum flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of our students, parents, and local communities.