Our History

A Community Vision

Graphic from Original Graduate Profile
1991-92: Visioning Conferences

ACLC's story began during the 1991-92 school year, when the Alameda Unified School District, in collaboration with the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, held a series of community conferences to envision the future of public education. About 1,200 students, educators, and community members participated. They produced a "Graduate Profile" identifying the skills and qualities of their ideal 21st century graduate. From there, key attendees designed an educational model to cultivate these skills and qualities.

See ACLC's Current Graduation Standards

A New Kind of School

Old Photo of the Original ACLC Center
1996: ACLC Opens its doors

In 1996, ACLC, then called the Arthur Andersen Community Learning Center, opened as an "incubator" for educational innovation within Alameda Unified. As envisioned by conference attendees, the new school offered self-directed and project-based learning in the context of interactive and democratic school institutions and a community-oriented culture. Rather than traditional classrooms, students and teachers (renamed "learners" and "facilitators"), occupied a large, purpose-built learning space known as "the Center".

Learn about ACLC's Democratic Model

Learners With Engineering Project
2001: ACLC Becomes a Charter School

In 2001, ACLC became a district charter school so that its stakeholders could be more directly involved in its educational and financial decisions. Charter status allowed the school to seek its own grants, determine its own standards, and enact policies that met the needs of its unique learning environment. The first ACLC Governing Board included facilitators, parents, learners, community members, and a school district representative.

See ACLC's Current Charter

California Distinguished School Seal
2007: Excellence Recognized

In 2007, after a decade of extraordinary learner success (in terms of academic performance and college admissions), ACLC was named a California Distinguished School--the first charter school in Alameda to achieve this honor. Since 2007, ACLC has received numerous additional honors, including being cited by US News & World Report as among the "Best High Schools in the Nation" for many years running.

Learn about ACLC's Continued Success

2012: ACLC Hawks Defy the Odds

The leadership and determination of ACLC learners is well-illustrated by the story of the ACLC Hawks. During the 2011-12 school year, when they were suddenly excluded from playing on Encinal High School's teams, a band of determined ACLC learners took it upon themselves to field their own varsity baseball team. Exceeding all expectations, the team made it to the CIF North Coast Section play-offs. They also tied the national record for the total number of stolen bases, and set the national record for stolen bases per game!

From the Archives:
Photo of ACLC Front Door
2014: ACLC Gets a new home

After sharing a campus with Encinal High School for 17 years, ACLC moved to 1900 3rd Street in 2014 (as did our sister school, Nea CLC). A new "Center" was created by combining three large classrooms. With the Alameda Boys & Girls Club on site, and the College of Alameda just down the street, ACLC learners gained easy access to college classes and affordable aftercare services. In 2018, ACLC added two classrooms to the site.