While the city of Chula Vista plans for a convention center and businesses to occupy the bayfront, a new high school is making its way to the ocean.
After years of planning, Bayfront Charter High School — a new charter school administered by the Chula Vista Elementary School District — is set to open its doors July 23.
“We’ve been looking at developing a high school for quite a few years, it’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” said
Dr. Kevin Riley, executive director of Mueller Charter School and Bayfront Charter High School.
Bayfront Charter High School is to serve as an extension of Mueller Charter School, which originally started out as an elementary school before it converted to a K-8 school in 2006.
Riley said the new high school came to be after the community continued to show interest in it.
“Parents from the very beginning started to … ask when is it (Mueller School) going to go to a high school,” Riley said.
For years he heard the community’s demands for a new high school but said there wasn’t any available space for one.
Then last October Riley stumbled upon the campus of United States University, which had the space to house about 150 ninth- grade students and about seven teachers.
Riley said most students who attend United States University at 830 Bay Blvd. take classes online, so a lot of their space was unused and therefore subleased to the new high school.
“So it just made sense for them to partner with us in creating that kind of space for high school kids,” Riley said.
Riley said the lease is an annual one and the amount of the lease is dependent on the number of students and classes that are needed.
Riley said Bayfront Charter High School will provide students with a different experience compared to that of a non-charter high school.
“The idea is to create a personalized intimate atmosphere where students have very strong relationships with the staff, with each other and with the community,” he said.
Riley said currently the school is accepting applications for students to attend. He said a lottery won’t be held for admission — at least not in its inaugural year.
So far the school has received 80 applications, Riley said.
Since the high school is on a college campus, Riley said it gives students a college environment as it features a 106-seat lecture hall.
Riley said with the high school being located at United States University, it gives them some stability.
“Most charter high schools, one of the challenges is they end up in buildings that they have to constantly move around in and we’re not going to do that,”
He said the new high school focuses on college and career pathways.
All of the courses will be designed to meet the requirements of a University of California school and will be consistent with the Common Core state standards.
Riley said Bayfront High School will participate in competitive sports except for football. He said the school just applied to be part of the Pioneer League.
Riley insists the new charter school does not pose any competition to the Sweetwater Union High School District, a district where most of the Muller students attend once they enter high school.
“It’s not really about competing with them,” he said.
“There’s plenty of kids, there is something like, I don’t know, 6,000 kids within 10 miles of Bayfront Charter School who will go into ninth grade next year. So there are plenty of kids, we’re looking at it being less competition and more of an option for parents.”
To apply for admission to the charter high school visit www.bayfrontcharter.com.