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AMPS History

Where We Started

Amethod Public Schools, or AMPS, (formerly Oakland Charter Academy Inc.) operates the oldest charter school in the East Bay. The AMPS system is a nonprofit corporation originally founded in 1993 designed to produce the academic advancement of disenfranchised middle school and high school aged youth from East Oakland, CA.

After a tumultuous beginning Oakland Charter Academy (OCA) underwent a reorganization and recommitment phase in 2004. Since then the organization and schools have become a network that offers a nationally recognized No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School, only the second public middle school in the history of Oakland Unified School District to receive such a distinction.


AMPS believes that higher education is the surest path to future success for poor families,  and that having high expectations of all students is an absolute necessity. Drawing the best from every student takes immense effort from the teachers, families, administrators, and students; but the results are well worth it.  We reason that some of the keys to drawing the best from every student requires schools to have; high expectations; highly effective teachers, academic rigor, professional development, and stakeholder commitments. 


Over the past decade, AMPS has opened six distinct sites in the Oakland and Richmond area. AMPS is successfully serving 1600 students in distinct neighborhoods of the East Bay and are achieving far greater results than comparable schools on many key performance metrics such as standardized test scores, graduation rates, attendance, and college acceptance rates.


Oakland Charter Academy (OCA) 

OCA was established in 1994 and is the flagship of the AMPS organization. OCA was the fourteenth charter school authorized in California. OCA received recognition for achieving API scores in the 900's, and in 2008, OCA became a nationally recognized No Child Left Behind and Blue Ribbon School.



Oakland Charter High School (OCHS) 

OCHS was established in 2007, is currently the seventh highest performing high school in California outranking many high schools in the more affluent areas of California.  Over 97% of our graduating seniors have been admitted to four-year universities through the past seven years. OCHS was selected as a California Distinguished School in 2012 by the California Department of Education.



Richmond Charter Academy (RCA) 

RCA middle School  was established in 2012 located within the boundaries of West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) represents the organization’s first school to operate outside of the OUSD umbrella. Currently the school, which is located in Central Richmond, is serving a 100% minority demographic and seeks to change the areas dismal academic record. In its first year of operation, RCA became WCCUSD's highest performing middle school with an 812 API score thereby making it the highest performing middle school, (grades 6-8), ever in the history of WCCUSD since the inception of the API and Public Schools Accountability Act of 1998.



Downtown Charter Academy (DCA)

DCA Middle School was established in 2014 in the Downtown Oakland region where it quickly became a neighborhood middle school. Following the similar traits of the AMPS middle school model, but with a flare of Downtown community aspects,  DCA serves students in 6th-8th grade and has quickly became one of the highest performing schools in the city. With a very active student body, the school offers a multitude of added programs that couple the rigorous academics offered to every student. 



Benito Juarez Elementary School (BJE)

BJE was established in 2014 and is located in the beautiful Marina Bay area of Richmond, CA. By taking the name of the hero and first president of Mexico Benito Juarez, AMPS focused on building on the community pride that defines the City of Richmond. Currently BJE serves a K-5th grade student body. BJE has quickly become a high performing community school and was highlighted by the State of California as a school that performed better than most bay area elementary schools in the new common core state aligned exams (CAASP) in 2015. 



John Henry High School (JHHS)

JHHS was established in 2015 in Richmond, CA. Named after the "everyman" folk hero John Henry, who has been exemplified with a strong determination and work hard attitude, a message that we seek to instill to every child. JHHS opened in the Fall of 2015 with a 9th and 1oth grade student body.  JHHS is projected to complete the build out of their new permanent facility at the Marina Bay South neighborhood in Winter 2016. Along with rigorous college (A-G aligned) courses, John Henry High also offers clubs, community service opportunities and a sports program.