Skip to content


The Eel River Charter School is located in a small, very remote valley in the northeastern mountains of Mendocino County and serves 50-60 students, predominately of Native American, Hispanic, white and blended ethnicities. The local economy is inactive, with few opportunities for employment other than ranching, government/education, and small-scale agriculture. Historically, 96% or more of our students qualify for the free breakfast and lunch program. Round Valley is home to one of the largest and oldest Native American reservations in California, Round Valley Indian Tribes. 


ERCS' mission statement: Working with families in community through holistic teaching to develop educated, responsible, compassionate people.  The Eel River Charter School’s mission is to develop students who are competent, confident, productive and responsible young adults, who will possess the habits, skills and attitudes to succeed in school, and who will be offered the challenge of a post-secondary education and satisfying employment.  In addition, the mission is to engage parents/families in the educational process, thereby providing the support structure and overlapping spheres of influence necessary for students to attain an integrated perception of learning.  To that end, families are encouraged to contribute a minimum of 2 hours per week per child to the school.

The average of the classes yields a 18:1 student-teacher ratio. By including 3 full-time aides, the ratio of students to instructional personnel becomes 9:1. The school operates without a principal, and administrative staff is kept to a minimum in order to direct as much funding as possible into the classrooms. The school is governed by a Board composed of parents and community members. Transportation, food services, special education services, and extracurricular sports opportunities are provided by Round Valley Unified, as per MOU agreement.


The philosophy of the Eel River Charter School is grounded in the belief that learning opportunities and accomplishments can best take place when:

  • students have the opportunity to exercise their own choices giving them a feeling of control over their own learning
  • schooling is viewed as one aspect of an education
  • learning is viewed as a boundless experience
  • an educational alliance is formed with a seamless web of educators, students, parents, businesses, community services and local   stakeholders - all dedicated to the learning experience

Eel River Charter School is chartered #32 with the State of California, having opened its doors in 1994. We have a prime, downtown location across the street from the Round Valley Public Library and one street over from many local businesses. If you are ever in the area stop by to say hi!


Logo of California Charter Schools Association