GOALS Academy is a nonprofit, public charter school located in Anaheim, California. We are also fiscally sponsored under Growth Opportunities through Athletics, Learning, and Service (GOALS), a 501(c)3 Nonprofit organization that provides numerous programs throughout the region to under-served youth. We are writing today to introduce our programs and demonstrate our alignment with your foundation’s goals.
The mission of GOALS Academy is to produce well-rounded, self-confident, community-conscious, high achieving graduates who successfully transition into higher levels of education, community involvement, and citizenship. GOALS Academy will achieve these goals through a strength-based, comprehensive academic program with enrichment in visual/performing arts, STEAM, athletics, and service learning.
Members of the GOALS Academy create an enriched and engaging learning environment in which interests are discovered and transformed into strengths. Character is refined through self-awareness, acceptance of others, and service to the community. Above all, there is a commitment to ignite a love for learning and inspire a quest to fulfill one’s unlimited potential as a unique human being.
The founding director, Debra Schroeder, served as a teacher, curriculum specialist, vice principal, principal, and director in the traditional public school system. She retired in the summer of 2014, and then proceeded to co-create GOALS Academy with a group of teachers and David Wilk, the Executive Director of GOALS. Dr. Schroeder’s experience alerted her to the limitations within the public schools due to the size of the schools and the district. Scholar needs were often ineffectively or inefficiently addressed. This inspired her to join forces with GOALS and the motivated teachers who also felt the same limitations in their own professional experiences. The result was a small, independent, public charter school to benefit the families in Anaheim.
GOALS was originally founded by the Walt Disney Company in 1994. The mission of the vastly expanded not for profit organization has remained the same. Within each of the main focus areas of our programs, GOALS has diverse operating programs that offer exciting opportunities for youth ages 6 – 19 years of age.
GOALS has a host of interrelated operating programs which fall under the three fundamental themes of youth development in athletics, learning enrichment, and community service to help others. Some of these operate year-round, while others operate seasonally. All have a common denominator of being offered free of charge to youth ages 6 to 19 in specifically targeted communities. GOALS works closely with local governments, school districts, and other community entities in tailoring program services to specific needs and opportunities in given areas.
GOALS is an Anaheim-based, nonprofit organization that is the parent organization for GOALS Academy. It has been in existence since 1994. Every year, GOALS serves thousands of youth with a focus on Growth Opportunities through Athletics, Learning, and Service. The headquarters and other major facilities are clustered in a campus-like setting over a 1/4 square mile area known as GOALSLand. GOALS Academy is adjacent to GOALS Headquarters, and the school’s scholars have an opportunity to participate in a variety of free after-school enrichment programs, including:
- Athletics and fitness
- Field trips
- Homework support
- Interest-based mentoring
- Language acquisition
- Visual/performing arts
GOALS Academy was opened in 2015 as a TK through 6th grade, free, public charter school. Utilizing a rigorous academic program, we focus on each scholar’s interests and talents, and convert them into strengths. Our goal is to offer enrichment opportunities infrequently found in the traditional public school setting. Personalized mentoring also requires that the school remain small, with a maximum enrollment of 240 scholars.
Large enrollments in the Anaheim Elementary School District often present constraints for families with few choices. By offering school choice to these families, we have a significant impact on our scholars by providing a smaller environment in which their education can be more focused on their individuality, and less on numbers. This enables us to provide personalization of instruction with our strength-based approach. This has also inspired those who had left the public-school system to give public education another try. The extensive waiting list to enter our school is indicative of the need for an alternative to the traditional public school setting.
Although our school does not believe in narrowing the curriculum with high stakes assessments, our school outperformed with better than average scores among our authorizing school district in our inaugural year. The CAASPP assessment tool is based on national Common Core standards in English-language arts and mathematics. It is currently shifting to also assess mastery of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Granted, both the district and GOALS Academy have room for growth if one believes in the validity of the computer-based CAASPP testing. The data below associated with the CAASPP can be found on the new California Department of Education (CDE) Dashboard, which can be found at https://www.caschooldashboard.org.
- GOALS Academy English Language Arts (3-6) – Low
- 39.5 points below level 3
- GOALS Academy Mathematics (3-6) – Low
- 57.4 points below level 3
- Anaheim Elementary School District English Language Arts (3-8) – Low
- 55.7 points below level 3
- Anaheim Elementary School District Mathematics (3-8) – Low
- 64.7 points below level 3
Our school is located in Central Anaheim, which has a large homeless population. We primarily serve scholars and families in Central Anaheim, California. However, unlike a traditional public school, a charter school does not have enrollment boundaries. As such, we can serve scholars located outside of our district boundaries as long as they have transportation. We are located in Orange County, California. However, we have some scholars who reside in Los Angeles County and Riverside County.
The scholars of GOALS Academy are more diverse than those found in the surrounding schools located in Central Anaheim, both in terms of socioeconomic status and family background. This provides GOALS Academy scholars with opportunities to embrace each other’s ethnicities and cultures. The following is a summation of the demographics of our scholars:
- School Meal Statistics: 151 scholars on Free/Reduced Meal Program, or 63%
- Gender: 112 (47%) Females and 126 (52%) Males
- Hispanic: 158 or 66%
- Self-Declared Designation:
- Guamanian – 1%
- White – 199 or 84%
- Vietnamese – 6 or 3%
- Hawaiian – 1 or < 1%
- Filipino – 2 or < 1%
- Black – 16 or 7%
- Chinese – 5 or 2%
- Korean – 4 or 2%
- Other Asian – 2 or < 1%
- Native American – 1 or < 1%