We Conform To Our Students. Not The Other Way Around. ​​

John Muir Charter Schools (JMCS) is the best alternative high school in California for students looking to earn their diploma and prepare for a career their way. We meet you where you are and help you get where you want to go.

What We Believe

Everything we do – from who and how we teach, hire, and partner – is guided by our truths:

Respect connects us.

Community strengthens us.

Originality defines us.

Love guides us.

What We Do

We equip 14- to 26-year-olds to earn a high school diploma and prepare for a fulfilling career through job training and educational, social, and emotional support that fits into their lives. At JMCS, we fully believe you can graduate – because of and regardless of your experiences, skills, and dreams.

We make high school
practical – and profitable.

We don’t have to conform to fit in here. Our school gives 14- to 26-year-olds with diverse academic needs a personal, flexible, and rewarding pathway to graduation.

We open up
exciting career paths.

Every JMCS learner receives active — and often paid — job training. We partner with local workforce leaders looking to hire our students onto their teams.

We prioritize
everyday wisdom.

We intentionally practice skills that matter at work and in our personal lives. Our curriculum is designed to support financial goals and social-emotional health as part of academics.

We build
purposeful community.

We take the time to learn about and share our stories. Connected by respect and guided by love, we push each other because of and regardless of our experiences, skills, and dreams.

Convenient Locations To Learn And Work​

We partner with workforce leaders across California looking to hire our students onto their teams.

Northern California

Central California

Southern California

Train With Organizations Committed To Your Growth

Are you a workforce leader looking to partner with our high school?

JMCS exclusively works with organizations that provide California young people and adults with job training. We structure our model to support the independence and distinct goals of each partner, at each site, for each student.

Frequently Asked Questions

Quick facts about how to enroll in, partner with, or advocate for John Muir Charter Schools.

We are the longest running free alternative high school & job training option in California. We offer students the following personalized benefits:

  • Individualized high school graduation plans
  • Credit waiver eligibility
  • Career-related workshops
  • Paid job training
  • Electives based on student interests and goals
  • Small class sizes
  • Flexible school hours that accommodate job training

No matter where you’ve been, what you’ve been told, or why you’re here, you can graduate from our high school. Because here, we conform to you – not the other way around.

Enrolling at JMCS is easy:

  1. Apply to an eligible job training program.
  2. When prompted, choose JMCS as your high school.
Want step-by-step guidance? Click here, and we’ll reach out to help you find the right JMCS site for you. 

JMCS has 32 alternative high school and job training locations across the state of California. Find a site near you here.

JMCS students can select job training programs that fit their interests. Take a look at the types of job training our partners offer:

  • California Conservation Corps: Firefighting, trails, energy, construction, corps leadership
  • Local Conservation Corps: Landscaping, public lands and trail conservation, recycling, solar, construction
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Programs: Civic engagement, social impact, fire training, construction, parks and conservation, general vocational training and work readiness
  • YouthBuild: Counseling and leadership development, community service, construction, culinary

While it depends on the job training students choose, most JMCS students are eligible to receive a stipend. JMCS students can make up to $2,709 while earning their HS diploma and preparing for their dream careers.

Yes. You can see our accreditations from the Accrediting Commision of Schools here.

JMCS is a free alternative high school in California.
You won’t just fit in. You’ll feel at home. At JMCS, we believe that a complicated past fuels a purpose-driven future. There are people among our administration, faculty, staff, and students who have spent time in juvenile detention and prison facilities. Who left high school to focus on parenting or making money. Who have difficult relationships with their family members and community. If you’re worried about fitting in because of your history, know that we aren’t. You will succeed here because of – and regardless of – your experiences, skills, and dreams.

Your safety and dignity are our priority. We put the following in place to keep our schools a place where everyone knows they belong:

  • Small class sizes
  • Strict policy around bullying
  • Individualized academic attention
  • Annual DEIB and anti-bullying staff training

JMCS students with disabilities are valuable members of our learning community. We fully embrace and comply with the following to make our school sites welcoming and effective for these learners:

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Section 504 Plan
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Yes. You do not have to be a citizen to attend a JMCS school.

Many JMCS students are English language learners (ELLs). We’re committed to providing the following federally compliant process to keep language an asset – not a stumbling block – to education:

  • Identify students who need language support
  • Use expert guidance to make it possible for ELLs to succeed at school
  • Give staff the materials, facilities, and guidance they need to support ELLs
  • Check for success and make changes when needed

Get Started at JMCS Today

If you’re looking for an alternative high school in California designed for difference, you’re in the right place. Learn how we can help you get where you want to go.