Credo High School is a tuition-free, college-prep public charter school in Rohnert Park, California, inspired by Waldorf education and serving students in ninth through twelfth grades. The school opened with an initial ninth grade on August 22, 2011, and added a grade each year until it is now enrolled through twelfth grade in the 2014-2015 school year. As an alternative public school of the Cotati Rohnert Park Unified School District, Credo offers a rigorous academic curriculum that exceeds University of California ("a-g") admission requirements and includes a full complement of enrichment subjects, including Spanish, visual arts (painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture), practical arts (media arts, blacksmithing, woodworking), theater, music (Choir, American Music, Orchestra and World Percussions), movement, dance and physical education, biodynamic gardening and farming and a social-emotional learning curriculum. Credo is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and has an Academic Performance Index of 853.
Our mission is to offer a college preparatory high school program that: continues the education of graduates of the North Bay's Alliance for Public Waldorf Education grade schools; is committed to the core principles of public Waldorf education; and teaches and models social, environmental, agricultural, economic and personal sustainability.
In Latin, “credo” means “I believe." We believe in:
- The wisdom of youth
- The pursuit of truth, peace and love
- The value of creative expression and academic preparedness
- The interdependency of all life
- The practice of sustainability as a means to respect all life
- Leadership inspired by the highest good
- Practicing authenticity
- Welcoming responsibility
- Translating intentions into action
- Aligning individual capacities in service to others
- Engaging with and supporting our local community
- Developing ourselves as global citizens
- Taking risks that can yield learning and expansion
- Sharing our successes
- Celebrating our achievements
Credo High School has its seed in the imaginations of the founders and pioneering parents of the North Bay's public schools inspired by Waldorf education. The first of these schools, Sebastopol Independent Charter School, opened in 1995, followed by Novato Charter School in 1996, Woodland Star and Stone Bridge in 2000, Live Oak Charter in 2001 and Sun Ridge Charter School in 2003.
Parents, students, teachers and administrators in these K-8 schools, acutely aware that the Waldorf curriculum is planned to address students through twelfth grade, have been hungering for the opportunity of a public high school inspired by Waldorf education. In 2006, Woodland Star founder and then administrator Chip Romer and San Francisco Waldorf High School founder and director Allegra Alessandri met and immediately began imagining the development of a regional public Waldorf high school. In the fall of 2007, Chip Romer left Woodland Star to focus on high school development full time, and organizational development consultant Terri Ellis joined him as lead developers of the project. In March of 2008, a Founders Meeting was held, inviting the ongoing participation of over 60 people who had expressed interest in helping to develop a regional charter high school inspired by Waldorf education.
By May of 2008, a Development Team had been formalized. The development of the school was divided into 12 content areas, each with a discrete manager, with professional expertise in his or her content area, overseeing a team of volunteers. For three years, the Development Team met monthly to design aspects of the program and develop the community and culture of the school.
In May of 2010, school leaders approached the Cotati Rohnert Park School District, geographically central to the feeder school student population, to informally discuss the prospect of authorization. The proposal was warmly received. By June of 2010, developers had collected over 900 signatures in support of the school's charter document, which was formally submitted to the district in July 2010 and authorized in September.
Credo opened with its first class of ninth graders on August 22, 2011 in a campus located at 1290 Southwest Boulevard in Rohnert Park, California. In 2017, Credo moved to a new, permanent campus in Rohnert Park’s SOMO Village, planned to be the model sustainable community for North America. Credo remodeled 40,000 square feet of space that had previously housed a business incubator. The school currently has 23 classrooms, including four science labs, five art rooms, three music rooms, an art gallery, a large, central common space, a stage, a catering kitchen, a conference room, faculty work rooms and twelve offices. Outdoor space includes a regulation soccer field, games and recess field, outdoor classrooms and a two-acre farm.
Credo's API scores have consistently exceeded 800 with a current score of 853, placing Credo as third in academic achievement of 26 Sonoma County public high schools. Credo earned accreditation in January 2014 from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has had its academic courses approved by the University of California. Accredition was renewed for six years in 2017.
Our inaugural class celebrated their graduation on June 6, 2015, and since then we have graduated two more classes. Ninety-four percent of graduates to date met the University of California's "a-g" admission requirements (vs. only 30% of public high school graduates statewide).