There are four currently K-12 operating military schools in California—two private/independent and two public/charter—that are accredited by recognized agencies. Read this article to find out more about military schools in California.
The four military K-12 schools currently operating in California and having accreditation from recognized agencies reflect the changing history of the military school in the United States. For many years, military school has been primarily a private, all-male, boarding school experience, but this is not longer true: public military schools are springing up across the country in the form of charter schools, thereby offering an alternative choice to public school students for a school with a different environment and atmosphere.
These school all have some similarities: they can generally be considered college preparatory schools (even though St. Catherine’s is for younger students)—that is, they foster an environment of academic excellence and high expectations for students to develop and exhibit personal character and leadership abilities.
This set of four military schools also has some important differences. Let’s get an overview of these military schools in California to help distinguish them.
• Army and Navy Academy is an all-boys military school in Carlsbad, California, serving grades 7 through 12 and accepting both day and boarding students. It is accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). It was founded in 1910. It claims a 10–1 student–teacher ratio and a curriculum based on the entrance requirements of the University of California.
• California Military Institute is a coeducational public charter school in Perris, California, serving grades 7 through 12 students who live in four counties: Imperial, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It was founded in 2002. Although recently founded, CMI students have excelled on the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)
• Oakland Military Institute is a coeducational public charter school in Oakland, California, serving grades 6 through 12. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It was founded in 2001 by Jerry Brown, who was the Mayor of Oakland at the time, as a school that would combine high academic expectations with emphasis on character, conduct, leadership, and patriotism. It was the first charter school approved by the California State Board of Education.
• St. Catherine’s Academy is a military school for boys in Anaheim, California, serving grades kindergarten through 8 and accepting both day and boarding students. It enrolls about twenty percent international students. It is accredited by the Western Catholic Education Association and the Western Association of Schools And Colleges (WASC) and is a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools. It was founded in 1889. It is distinguished as being the only US grade school that combines Catholic and military tradition.