Parents & Students

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • How do I enroll my student?

    Fill out the Application to Enroll HERE. Our registrar will contact you when they review the Application for Enrollment and provide you with next steps.

  • I don’t live in Chico, can my student enroll?

    Yes! We have many students from the surrounding area. The rule of thumb is that if you can consistently and reliably get your student to school on time, every day, you don’t have to live in Chico. There are no online schooling options.

  • Do I have to have high grades to be eligible to apply?

    Inspire is open for anyone (grades 9-12) to apply. There are no limitations based on academic achievement. 

  • Does it cost money to go to Inspire?

    No, Inspire School of Arts & Sciences is a tuition-free, donation-dependent public charter high school. No student is offered or denied enrollment based on financial capacity. However, each school year we must raise money in private funds to underwrite the arts & sciences programs, and we rely on parents and the community at large to help us reach this goal. 

    We strongly encourage families to consider donating, even just $5 a month makes a difference. 

    We lovingly accept any community based donations as well. Your generous donations help us enrich the lives of local youth for generations to come! 

Physical Education

  • Is Physical Education required at Inspire?

    Yes, students must fulfill four semesters of Physical Education to be able to graduate.

  • What are my options for Physical Education?

    Two options are available for Inspire students to fulfill their physical education requirement. The first being taking class through Inspire’s dance program, which teaches various styles throughout the course of a year. We currently offer five levels of dance, ranging from beginner to advanced.
    The other option for fulfilling your Physical Education requirement is through Independent Study Physical Education (ISPE) where students must independently exercise outside of school hours and complete the work asynchronously.

  • Does Inspire have sports teams?

    Yes! Inspire is happy to announce that we are now offering 3 different sports opportunities: Golf, Ski, & Mt. Biking! Contact Mr. Hardy, if you’d like more information. Alongside our new sports opportunities, students enrolled in Dance 4 or 5 are automatically a part of Inspire Dance Company, these dancers have opportunities to compete at dance competitions and more.


  • What is Advisory?

    Advisory functions as a homeroom. Students are assigned to an Advisory for all four years.

  • What is the house cup?

    The house cup is a trophy that all advisories compete for throughout the year through gaining spirit points, you get spirit points by dressing up for spirit days and participating in rallies. The winning advisory of the house cup gets to keep the trophy in their advisors room for the next year, gets a party for the advisory, and bragging rights over the rest of the school. 

  • Why is advisory beneficial?

    Advisories give students new to Inspire a chance to bond with their peers and a teacher who will be with them during their time at Inspire. During advisory students will get study time, career and life planning advice, and other social activities.

  • Can I switch advisories?

    Not without a very serious and compelling reason and a conversation with Administration.


  • How many classes would a student take at Inspire?

    There are eight class periods where students will be enrolled in academic, elective, and other classes.

  • How does the A/B schedule work?

    A Days are Monday & Wednesday; students attend classes 1-4 and Advisory. B Days are Tuesday & Thursday; students attend classes 5-8 and Advisory. Fridays alternate between A days and B days. Fridays there is no Advisory and students have early release.

  • How long is each class period?

    Each class period is 80 minutes long with a 5 minute passing period in between. Advisory is 35 minutes long.

  • What is considered an excused absence?

    Education Code Section 48205:
    1. Illness whether physical or mental (up to 10 without doctor’s note)
    2. Quarantine
    3. Medical or dental appointments
    4. If student has custody of a minor who is ill
    5. Justifiable personal reasons
    a. Court appearances
    b. Funeral/memorial service
    c. Religious holidays
    d. Employment conference
    e. Judicial proceedings
    f. Visiting an active duty family member

  • What is considered an unexcused absence?

    If a student is…

    • Late for any class 30 minutes for any period
    • Absent from any one class period for 30 or more minutes
    • Absent without notifying the school
  • What will Inspire do if you have an unexcused absence?

    Inspire will…

    1. Notify family
    2. Assign Saturday School
    3. Possibly refer to School Attendance Review Board
    4. Possibly refer to District Attorney
  • What if a student is tardy?

    Tardies require students to serve detention of student’s choice:

    • 30 minutes of study time or 15 minutes of service
    • Detention must be served within FIVE school days of being tardy or it becomes a Saturday School.
    • If a student has 6 or more tardies, they will be assigned Saturday School. 


    • Only ONE non-medical tardy can be cleared per semester (two per year).
      • This is a tardy that parents/guardians can excuse for something non-medical (i.e. traffic, alarms didn’t go off, etc). 
      • Parents must email, call, or come to the office.
    • ALL medical/legal tardies must have an official note to be excused (not a parent/guardian).
      • This counts for doctors, dentists, therapists, court dates, etc.
    • Tardiness due to transportation will be documented as unexcused but NO detention will be assigned within reason.
  • How does one serve a detention?

    Detentions can be served with any teacher who is willing: at lunch or after school.

    • Report to the Art room Monday-Thursday by 3:35.
    • No electronics are allowed in detention other than a Chromebook for coursework.
    • In addition to serving detention – for every six unexcused tardies, a Saturday School will be assigned.
    • If students are truant to any class period Saturday School will be assigned.
    • Students who fail to serve assigned Saturday School will receive further consequences from the school Principal or Associate Principal.


  • What is Fellowship of the Yellow Slip?

    Lunchtime English Support
    9th graders will get a Yellow Slip for lunch from Mr. Hopkins.
    10th-12th graders will be referred by their teachers.
    English help will be given in IC-8, Mr. Hopkin’s Room each lunch.

College & Career Prep Curriculum

  • What is a “College Prep” class?

    College prep classes, indicated by a “p” on student transcripts, meet the curriculum requirements set by the University of California. These classes count towards the 15 A-G classes students must take to be eligible to apply to a CSU or UC school.

  • What are A-G classes?

    Students wishing to apply to a California State University or University of California (CSU/UC) school must complete at least 15 courses that satisfy the A-G requirements with a grade of C or better. A complete list of Inspire’s A-G classes can be found here:

  • What are CTE Pathways?

    Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways are determined by the California Department of Education (Ed Code §51226). By taking certain classes in succession students will fulfill a pathway, indicating competency in that area. These pathways are visible on student transcripts.


  • What is a Charter School?

    A charter school is a public school funded with public money and operated independently of the local school district. A charter school is considered to be a “school of choice.” This simply means that no one is assigned to come to our school as dictated by regional maps. Interested parents and students can choose to come to Inspire School of Arts & Sciences.

  • Is there a tuition fee?

     No, Inspire School of Arts & Sciences is a tuition-free, donation-dependent public charter high school. No student is offered or denied enrollment based on financial capacity. However, each school year we must raise money in private funds to underwrite the arts & sciences programs, and we rely on parents and the community at large to help us reach this goal. 

    We strongly encourage families to consider donating just $5 a month

    We lovingly accept any community based donations as well. Your generous donations help us enrich the lives of local youth for generations to come! 

  • What is the purpose of Charter Schools?
    • Improve student achievement.
    • Increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for students who are identified as at risk of academic failure or academically gifted.
    • Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.
    • Create new professional opportunities for teachers.
    • Provide parents and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.
    • Be accountable for meeting measurable student achievement results.
  • What are the requirements to be accepted into a Charter school?

    Any child who qualifies to attend a California public school under the laws of California is also eligible to be accepted into a charter school. Parents must apply for the school they are interested in having their children attend by the stated application deadline.

  • Is Inspire School of Arts & Sciences a part of the Chico Unified School District?

    No. Inspire is an independently operated public charter school under contract with the State Board of Education.

  • Am I permitted to enroll in a charter school that is not located in the local school district in which I live?

    Yes. Students enrolling in charter schools are not restricted to one local school district. Parents may choose the school that they feel is most appropriate for their child. Charter schools in California must admit any child residing in California who is qualified to attend California schools regardless of the school district in which the child resides.

  • What do I do if I have an issue with a charter school or its board?

     First, talk to your child’s teacher and/or school administrator. Schedule an appointment so that you have sufficient time to talk with the teacher or school administrator. Ultimately, the charter school board is responsible for all aspects of the school’s operations, including resolution of disputes or concerns brought forth by parents. The decision of the non-profit board, much like that of an elected school district board, is final. If after all concerns have been exhausted and there is still not a satisfactory resolution, you may contact the Office of Charter Schools and ask for the consultant that is assigned to the school.

  • Do charter schools take state mandated tests?

    Yes. All charter schools are required to take the state mandated tests. Information about all state tests is located here. 

  • What restrictions exist for charter school calendars?

    The start and end dates contained in general statute for traditional public schools do not apply to charter schools. Charter schools must provide 185 days or 1025 hours of instruction.

  • Does Inspire School of Arts & Sciences teach common core and administer State End of Grade Exams?

    Yes. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences is actively working to update our curriculum to be in line with Common Core standards. We also work to ensure each year more of our classes are considered “College Prep” by the California A-G standards.

  • Are Inspire School of Arts & Sciences teachers highly qualified and California certified?

    Yes. Highly Qualified Teacher means a teacher who holds at least a Bachelor’s Degree and has demonstrated subject area competence in each of the core academic subjects in which the teacher teaches. This definition, however, does not override the fact that Federal laws or regulations may require teachers in certain subject areas to hold a teaching license (e.g., special education teachers who teach core academic subjects).

  • Is a Charter school required to provide transportation?

    The charter school may provide transportation for students enrolled at the school, but is not required to. The charter school must, however, develop a transportation plan so that transportation is not a barrier to any student who resides in the local school district in which the school is located. The charter school is not required to provide transportation to any student who lives within one and one-half miles of the school. Charter schools must provide transportation to students who enroll and have transportation on their IEP as a “related service.”

  • Must charter schools serve students with disabilities?

    Yes. Since charter schools are public schools, they must provide special education and related services to all eligible students. Charter schools must provide all special education support identified through the IEP process to students with disabilities determined eligible for EC services (including adapted PE and transportation).

  • Are Charter schools required to follow my IEP from the previous school?

     When a child enrolls in a charter school with an IEP from a previous school, the charter school must follow that IEP until the charter school IEP team meets to review and revise the IEP or develop a new IEP.

  • What grades does Inspire School of Arts & Sciences serve?

    Inspire School of Arts & Sciences currently serves students in grades 9-12

  • Are parents required to volunteer?

    Parents are not required to volunteer, but for parents that are interested in engaging as volunteers, there are multiple opportunities to help out with fundraising, events, and after-school activities. Inspire depends on the support of parents, and the outward community. If you are interested in how you can plug in as a volunteer, contact Becky Brown at

  • Does Inspire School of Arts & Sciences serve breakfast and lunch?

    Yes, each day healthy and nutritious meals are prepared at a Chico Unified facility and delivered to Inspire campus. Inspire provides meals free of cost to all students regardless of income level. Currently, parents are not required to submit meal applications but are encouraged to do so for funding information.


  • Is dual enrollment offered?

    Any student can take courses at Butte College for free to earn college and high school credit. One semester of a college class earns a student 10 high school credits. Concurrent Enrollment Classes must be taken outside of the Inspire school day. Students who are interested in taking Butte College classes while still enrolled at Inspire can find more information below.

    Juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible to take classes at Chico State through High School Scholars for a nominal fee. These classes can be taken during the Inspire School day.

    Inspire currently only offers one dual enrollment class: Music Theory. Students take the class at Inspire and earn both high school and college credit.

  • What AP classes are offered?
    • AP English Language and Composition
    • AP English Literature and Composition
    • AP Calculus
    • AP Statistics
    • AP Music Theory
    • AP Biology
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Environmental Science
    • AP Government
    • AP US History
    • AP Spanish
  • How many students attend Inspire?

    Our charter capacity is 480 students. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences opened in the fall of 2010 as a school serving
    approximately 265 students in grades 9 through 11 (120 freshmen, 80 sophomores, and 65 juniors) and has expanded to serve approximately 450 students in the 2015-2016 school year. The school size within the 9-12 program will not exceed 480, which small-schools researchers suggest is the approximate size to reap the benefits of small learning environments.

  • How long has Inspire been around?

    In 2010, faculty and staff from CUSD and Chico State collaborated on the initial design for a locally funded charter school. One that would combine the academic and extracurricular rigor of the larger high schools, with a smaller, more personalized learning environment. This Charter, called Inspire School of Arts & Sciences, would be motivated by the belief that one size does not fit all students, and, at its core, is a deeply collaborative effort between teachers, parents, students and community members–all dedicated to providing a unique, personalized learning environment in which students are encouraged to explore their interests and develop their talents. The past ten years have only affirmed what we’ve always known to be true– our model is inspirational.

    Inspire School of Arts & Sciences delivers a program that is unlike any other in Northern California which they have proven for over 10 years.

Student rights

  • Does Inspire have a free speech policy?

    Yes! Inspire does have a free speech policy that protects students in areas such as, but not limited to, their art, their writing, and their discussion. If a student feels their free speech to be violated they can contest it. More information on the free speech policy HERE

  • Does Inspire have a dress code?

    Yes, Inspire has a dress code that encourages individual expression while prioritizing safety. The full dress code can be read HERE.

  • Title IX

    Read the Title IX information HERE.