Gold Rush Charter School, currently an accredited institution with over ten years of operating experience, began in early 2001 with three instructors, Kathleen Hansen, James Gallno and Eda Pardee, coming together with the goal of starting a charter school in Tuolumne County. A grant from the Walton Family Foundation helped provide the funds needed to research charter school legislation and create the original charter document.
An extensive search for a sponsoring district led to Keyes Union Elementary School District. The Superintendent, Tom Changnon, was experienced in working with charter schools and was persuaded that Gold Rush was a viable alternative to standard public schools and was worthy of sponsorship. A grant from the CDE enabled the school to open in September 2001. On our opening day, enrollment was 57 students.
In the spring of 2006, we were sponsored locally by Summerville Union High School District and began working with Dr. Keiter, the Superintendent. Our enrollment has grown to over 350 students and we expect to continue our growth and improvement with new programs.
The mission of Gold Rush Charter School is to provide a safe, nurturing environment of a free, public, student-centered education where K-12 students feel emotionally and academically connected in a standards-based education in home school, independent study, or optional class settings in Tuolumne and adjacent counties.
The vision of Gold Rush Charter School is for students to have golden minds of infinite value that never lose their luster. Students will master and appreciate academic and real world skills, discover possibilities to fulfill their potential in a critical and creative manner to build a better community.