Learn About Us

Albert Einstein Academy Charter School is a tuition free, public school within the San Diego Unified School District. It is a  charter  school, with an independent teaching and educational model.

See below to learn more about

  •  Our mission 
  •  Our history 
  •  Our curriculum 
  •  Our charter 
  •  Our location 

To find out more about enrolling your child, please click  here .

OUR MISSION
Our mission is to provide an internationally oriented, culturally and linguistically diverse, academically rigorous and socially responsible educational experience for children of all races, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds that prepares our students for future success.

We accomplish this mission by “providing each student with roots and wings to thrive in a global world.” Our students grow roots through celebration of the diverse cultural and linguistic heritages and traditions of our school community and the acquisition of foreign languages (German-English  immersion  K through 3rd grade; Spanish instruction added in 3rd grade). Students gain wings through exploring a rich curriculum based on the internationally acclaimed  International Baccalaureate  model.

OUR HISTORY
In early 2000, a small group of dedicated parents and professionals discussed the development of an independent charter school that would have a dual instructional focus of German-English immersion within the context of a rigorous academic instructional model. After more than two years of preparation and research, this group submitted a formal  charter proposal  to the San Diego Unified School District for approval. The charter was approved in May 2002 with a unanimous vote of 5-0.

The Albert Einstein Academy Charter School opened its doors to San Diego children in September 2002. The school opened with an enrollment of approximately 30 children in grades K-3 and was initially housed in a church near San Diego State University.

By Fall 2004, the school had over 200 students and had expanded to include grades K-5. Our Academic Performance Index (API) ranking for the 2003-2004 school year was “10” with a score of 868 which met all of our Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) goals. Given our success in recruiting families and in providing strong educational outcomes, the school community dedicated itself to working with the San Diego Unified School District to find a permanent home for the school.

On March 8, 2005, the San Diego Unified School District awarded our school our own site at an available school campus located at Ash and 30th on the edge of Balboa Park (see  Our Location  for map and pictures of our new school site). This site is within 1 1/2 miles from the zoo, multiple museums, the symphony hall, and downtown San Diego and provides an outstanding location for the school’s multi-lingual, multi-cultural focus.

Our plan is to add one to two additional grades each year until 8th grade has been reached. We are currently enrolling grades K though 6. We plan to open a  middle school  in Fall 2006.

OUR CURRICULUM
By mandate of the California State Board of education, our curriculum aligns with the  California State Content Standards and Benchmarks . In addition, our curriculum incorporates elements of 5 specific educational models that are supported by international research as promoting cognitive development in young children. These include:

  •  International Baccalaureate (IB) program ,
  • Foreign language instruction through  immersion ,
  •  “Whole child” enrichment activities ,
  •  Small class sizes ,
  •  Parent involvement , and
  •  Uniform policy .

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

Albert Einstein is currently in the process of becoming accredited as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) school. IB is an internationally recognized educational model begun in 1968 that combines the best of different educational systems world-wide into a full and rich international curriculum. This outstanding education methodology and diploma not only encourage children to a life-long love of learning, but allow students to access top-notch universities around the world. The IB program is coordinated world-wide from Switzerland.

The IB program is designed to be implemented at a school site over a two-to-three year period of time. During this time, teachers go through specific training provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization designed to give teachers expertise in the methodology of the program. The IB program identifies six subject areas (languages, social studies, mathematics, science and technology, the arts, and personal, social and physical education) that are taught as interdisciplinary units. These thematic, inquiry based units of instruction focus on structured questioning methods that promote higher-level questioning and global mindedness that encourage and enhance a child’s natural curiosity. We intend to become an authorized IB school in the next two to three years and plan to be certified by Fall 2008.

If you are interested in learning more about the IB curriculum, please see  Helpful Links .

Immersion Model

In immersion education programs, immersion in a foreign language serves as the vehicle of instruction in subjects, including reading and math, rather than the subject of instruction. Early exposure to foreign languages through an immersion model has been found to promote enhanced verbal and reasoning skills. Immersion also creates a unique multi-cultural learning environment that fosters global awareness and understanding.

At Albert Einstein, we provide foreign language instruction through a German-English dual immersion model. With children beginning in kindergarten, 50% of their daily instruction is given in the German language. Consequently, the instruction of the different subject areas is equally divided into German and English based lessons. We assess our students’ German language development based on the Scope and Sequence and academic standards from the state of Bavaria, Germany. This overlay of the German and Californian academic standards creates an wonderful dimension to our curricular development and openness to international best education practices, enriching the perspective of our school community.

To further strengthen to the international focus of our school, an additional language, Spanish, is added to the curriculum in the third grade. Through this approach, students at Albert Einstein have exposure to both Germanic and Latin-based languages and have a solid foundation for superior English language skills. We are hoping to add a third language in the  middle school  years.

Parents do not need to speak either German or Spanish if their child attends our school. Tutoring is available on the school site should children need additional help outside of the classroom. Alternatively, some parents choose to make learning a new language a family activity and have had tutors for the whole family in the home. We also offer classes for parents in German and Spanish after school and in the evening. There are a number of websites that can provide assistance for students and their families as well (see  Helpful Links ).

For more information on immersion programs, see  Helpful Links .

“Whole Child” Enrichment Activities

Albert Einstein once said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

The Albert Einstein curricular model embraces that statement by encouraging “whole child” enrichment activities. The IB model identifies six core subject areas: languages, social studies, mathematics, science and technology, the arts, and personal, social and physical education. Many public education programs today have cut four of these areas–social studies, science, the arts and personal and social growth– to allow concentrated focus on reading and math. At Albert Einstein, we firmly believe in the importance of these enrichment activities for a child’s cognitive and personal development. Currently, these activities are provided in the regular classroom and in our after-school programs. We also have an active, affiliated foundation, the  Kinder Foundation , raising dollars to supplement our existing programs.

Small Class Sizes

There is excellent research now to indicate that children learn best in small school environments with small class sizes. Our program, through its  charter , is mandated to have small class sizes and small teacher to student ratios in all grades. This allows for individualized instructional plans and instruction that challenge all children at their unique educational potential.

Small class sizes is integral to our curricular model at Albert Einstein. As mandated by our charter, class size is limited to twenty students for grades K-6. We are currently developing plans for our Middle School; we project that class size will be limited to no more than 25 students in the Middle School years.

Parent Involvement

Learning best occurs when parents participate in their children’s educational program. According to a U.S. Department of Education 1996 report, 4th grade reading skills were better when parents were involved in the school than when they weren’t, even when parents’ education and financial resources were the same.

Albert Einstein requires that parents of students commit to approximately 5 hours/month of volunteer time. Parents have different demands on their time and different talents and skills. Thus, parents are offered many different opportunities to volunteer at Albert Einstein and roles for each family are individualized to work best for that family. For example, parents can help in the classroom, make copies or grade papers, or volunteer to chaperone field trips. Parents have also served on different school committees or organized events.

Parent involvement is coordinated by the  Parent-Community Council .

Uniform Policy

Many schools have moved towards a mandatory uniform policy for a number of reasons including sense of community, easy recognition of students on the school campus, decreased competition among students regarding appearance, and fewer issues related to acceptability of clothing, particularly in the middle school years.

At Albert Einstein, we have found that the wearing of uniforms improves behavior, builds inclusion and encourages unity. Our students feel part of something special when they wear their uniforms.

Our basic uniform includes navy blue, pants, shorts, shirts or jumpers and red, white or navy blue collared shirts. Jackets or cardigan sweaters must be solid navy blue or red. Logos must be attached to the left front of all shirts or jackets. Black, closed-toed shoes are also required. Uniforms must be clean and in good repair.

These items can be purchased at uniform stores or at stores like The Gap, J.C. Penny’s , Mervyn’s and Target. In addition, patches with our school logo can be purchased for $1.00 in the school office and need to be sewn on children’s shirts, sweaters and jackets on the chest below the left shoulder. These can also be embroidered on at minimal cost; contact Mark Dice, a parent at the school, who runs Strickly Custom (phone: 619-440-6275; fax: 619-440-6255).

Note: in the fall and spring, the school community sells gently used items that children have outgrown. Please see the  Parent Handbook  for more information.

OUR CHARTER

Charter schools are public schools supported by tax dollars that are permitted to implement innovative programs beyond state and district mandates. Charter schools in California can create their own curricular approach and governance but must adhere to the  California State Content Standards and Benchmarks  set by the California State Board of Education. Teachers at charter schools in San Diego County can be district employees and receive equal salary and benefits. The advantage of being a charter school is the increased curricular autonomy; the challenge is that a charter school also has increased academic accountability for student success.

Albert Einstein has thrived because the freedom to develop a curriculum designed to prepare children to thrive in a global world; we also believe the challenge of increased academic accountability has promoted a school-wide vision for academic success. We invite you to read our charter.

To read our school charter, please click  here 

OUR LOCATION

As of Fall 2005, Albert Einstein is located at 3035 Ash St (cross street 30th Street) in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego near Balboa Park. This location is close to downtown and easily accessible by freeway (several blocks off the 30th Street Exit on I-94 and approximately 1 mile off the I-5 at the Pershing exit).

To find how to get to our school building, click here for a  map  and directions.

Our location helps promote our multi-lingual and International Baccalaureate program. The neighborhood is culturally diverse. Balboa Park museums, Symphony Hall, the Children’s Museum, the San Diego Zoo, and the downtown cultural venues are all nearby and allow us to guide our students to become true citizens of the world.

The success of our school is partially related to the support and commitment of our neighborhood community partners. Some of our community partners assist the school financially; see the Kinder Foundation website at  http://www.thekinderfoundation.org/partners.htm  for names. Other community partners support the school in additional ways by helping to beautify our campus, providing after school activities, and supporting the school in its mission.

Check out our campus below!

If you are interested in enrolling your child, please click  here .