Charter school rises as Fair Oaks elementary declines in enrollment

Students hold up a banner at a April 4 Redwood City School District board meeting. Post photo by Emily Mibach.

Daily Post Staff Writer

While Fair Oaks Elementary’s enrollment is shrinking, the charter school it shares a campus with in North Fair Oaks is seeing an increase in enrollment.

Fair Oaks and Connect Community Charter each have about 220 students. But next year Connect expects 240 students while Fair Oaks anticipates 186, though 40 requested transfers.

Because of the enrollment drop at Fair Oaks, the Redwood City School District will be voting April 25 on whether to close the school come June.

In the past decade, the school has lost 292 students, according to the district’s numbers.

Connect Principal Michael Bachicha said one of the reasons his school has seen an increase in enrollment is because it has slowly expanded to offer kindergarten through eighth grade.

He said Connect, which opened in 2013, is not actively recruiting students. Much of the promotion for the school is done by parents talking to one another, Bachicha said.

Most of the school’s 217 students started with Connect as kindergarteners, Bachicha said. Of those students, 97 would have gone to Fair Oaks had Connect not been an option.

Connect also gets students from all over the district and has 32 who don’t live in the district at all, according to Bachicha.

One reason why parents might be choosing to enroll their children at Connect is because its test scores are higher than its neighbor’s. In English, 22% of students met or exceeded state standards at Connect while 20% did so at Fair Oaks.

There was a greater difference in math, with 22% of Connect students meeting or exceeding state standards and 14% doing so at Fair Oaks.


  1. When parents are given a choice, things like this happen. If the Redwood City School District wants to stop the enrollment decline, they need to step up their game and do a better job educating kids. Or else families will go elsewhere.

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