Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services ascribes to
the principle that education is an intricate component of
the treatment process for all of our clients.
Foster Youth placed by the Department of Probation in
residential settings require a very unique program.
Since students are continually placed in residential
treatment throughout the year and the length of stay
in residential placement is short, an average of 5 months,
a unique program is required to deal with the many
issues that these complications bring.
Many of these students have a history of multiple school
placements and a great deal of research is required
regarding their histories to come up with a viable
educational plan. Due to the problem of continual
enrollment, a program that is flexible and adaptable to
their needs is necessary. Optimist Charter School (OCS)
has developed a program designed to meet these needs.
In addition, students placed in residential programs by the Department of Probation present a
variety of challenges including poor school performance, behavioral and emotional issues, as
well as general distresses as a result of being away from their family. These specific issues can
create volatile behaviors and in order to address the needs of our student population, we have a
staffing pattern of at least one staff for every 10 students.
A core curriculum is provided to our students and electives such as art, music, and vocational
opportunities are available. Augmenting our classroom facilities are playing fields, a gymnasium,
a weight and exercise room, a swimming pool, a state of the art cafeteria, and a fully equipped
We also support structured, therapeutic programs where indicated. When students are placed
by the Department of Probation in therapeutic residential programs such as Optimist Youth
Homes and Family Services, it is imperative to develop an educational program whereby youth
care counselors, therapists, nursing staff, probation officers and administration can have direct
contact with their residents and work directly with the school staff to provide a united, team
approach. Optimist Charter School is on the same campus as the main residential facility which
allows direct communication and a cooperative team approach when working with residentially
placed youth who are accepted into the school.
Special Education needs are adhered to and Optimist Charter School is a member of the LAC-
Though Optimist Charter School is open to all students, we work primarily with
residential youth placed by the Department of Probation. Because of the high turnover
rate of this population, there will be students enrolling and disenrolling on a continual
basis. Our admission preferences are as follows:
1. Students placed by the Department of Probation in residential facilities
2. Students who are currently on probation and live with either a foster parent or legal
3. Residents of the District
4. All other applicants
For a more detailed description of our admissions process and application forms, please
The Accrediting Commission for
Schools, Western Association of
Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC)
is one of six regional accrediting
associations in the United States.
The Accrediting Commission for
Schools, WASC, extends its services
to over 4,500 public, independent,
church-related, and proprietary pre-
K-12 and adult schools, works with
16 associations in joint accreditation
processes, and collaborates with
other educational organizations.