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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have questions, please email us.

What should I know about Meraki High School?

Meraki is an independent study (yet daily attendance expected) high school, which focuses on college and career readiness, while growing self-starters, independent thinkers and responsible young adults.

Expectations of enrolled students include: 

  • Regular self-assessments including Presentation of Learning and public exhibition of pojects
  • Participation in school-wide and content area projects
  • Multiple self-directed personal projects 
  • Direct Instruction in content area coursework
  • Maintenance of digital portfolio--currently Google site
  • Four years of Physical activity & wellness
  • Career preparedness
  • Financial Literacy
  • Peer led and/or advisor led book clubs-examples include: Lord of the Flies, Tunnel 29, The Physics of Superheroes, Every Tool is a Hammer
  • Commitment to Rise Ups:  Community, Responsibility, Challenge
  • Completion of San Juan Unified graduation requirements AND additional Meraki requirements as designated

Benefits of enrollment include:

  • Early college course enrollment via local community colleges
    • 30% of our students co-enroll in college courses
  • Local internships
  • CTE Arts, Media & Entertainment pathway
  • Active Student Government with emphasis on leadership
  • Maker Space including 3D printing, laser cutter, Industrial tech, robotics, jewelry, welding, etc.
  • Small student-led “crash courses” which may address critical thinking, engineering, finance, creativity, etc.

Where is Meraki located?
10700 Fair Oaks Blvd. Fair Oaks, CA 95628.  We are walking distance from the river, FO Public Library, and the Fair Oaks Village.

What is Meraki?

Meraki is a public independent study high school that offers a unique approach to education.  We believe in preparing students academically, personally and professionally for their future.  Through our motto “Rise Up”,  we support our students in rising up to challenges and responsibilities along with rising up to support our community.

How does the enrollment process work?

The San Juan Unified Open Enrollment period is in December and January each school year. If a student misses Open Enrollment, there is a chance to get in with an Intra-district Transfer later in the spring, though space is not guaranteed. Meraki currently serves grades 8-12.

In-district families:

Priority enrollment for district residents exists.  Per district policy, if space is not available for all applicants, acceptance will be made through a random computerized lottery which is not on a first come, first serve basis. Applications must be submitted to San Juan Central at 3700 Garfield Avenue, Carmichael.

Out-of-district families:

If you reside in a district outside of San Juan Unified, please submit an interdistrict transfer application between the enrollment dates. The interdistrict transfer must be attached to Meraki application and submitted to San Juan Central, 3700 Garfield Avenue, Carmichael. If you have any further questions, please call (916) 726-5826.

What are the school hours and what does a daily schedule look like?

  • Expected attendance on campus: 5 days a week

  • Meraki School Hours: 

    • Drop off as early as 7:30am 

    • Breakfast and/or learning support as needed: 8am - 9am

    • Learning Opportunities: 9am - 2pm  

    • Clubs/extracurriculars: 2 - 3pm

Pick-up no later than 4pm

What are your class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios?

Currently, our advisory class is approximately 20:1.  Other “courses” rarely top 20 students and most hover around 10-15  students per advisor.  Instruction is often held in small collaborative groups or in 1:1 environments.

Does the school have a set curriculum?

Meraki follows California State Curriculum standards. In addition, students may choose online courses for a set curriculum.

Do Meraki students really take college courses in high school?

Yes!  Our students take a variety of courses at Sierra, ARC and Folsom Lake college.  Several of our year 3 and 4 students are enrolled each year in college courses which count towards high school graduation as well as their college degrees.

If they take a college course, can they get extra help from a teacher at Meraki if needed?

Yes!  Advisors are available for personalized 1:1 assistance and because several of our students take college courses we always encourage study groups!

Is self-directed learning a paramount skill that needs to be present upon acceptance or is this developed over time?

A willingness to consistently engage in strategies to build self-directed learning is all that is needed to be accepted.  We work together to build those skills over time.

How important are time management skills with independent study?

A 14 or 15 year-old with good time management is way ahead of their peers. This critical skill can be developed, however, through the experiences of goal-setting, creating benchmarks for self-tracking, and celebrating accomplishments. Our graduates have figured this out through necessity and coaching.

Do students take a PE class? Meraki advisor, Dan DeJager, offers many different options to complete PE requirements, such as crash courses and flows*. Students will also be able to do their own activities if they choose.

How do students participate in sports or other extra-curriculars?
Per CIF regulations, students are eligible to participate in organized sports at their resident high school.  Students are also eligible to join programs such as band and/or ROTC with cooperation from their resident high school.

Will all grade levels work together, or will they be separated?
Advisories will have mixed grade levels to provide vertical peer mentoring for our students and all crash courses, deep dives and flows will have mixed grade levels.  Students can always expect to be collaborating with students outside their grade level.

How will progress be tracked?
A system called LiFT  tracks students' work in all content areas.  Students can upload evidence of reaching mastery into a portfolio, and parents can view progress towards completion.

Are there grades?
Yes, grades and traditional transcripts are utilized for college eligibility, transfer, and athletic eligibility.

Will Meraki have homework?
yes, Independent Study expects students to be engaged in learning outside school hours. 

Does Meraki have a focus on a particular subject area?
Yes.  Along with a focus on academics, Meraki focuses on our motto of “Rise Up” which challenges students to rise up to challenges, to responsibility and for their community.  We also place a heavy focus on goal setting, self-assessment and reflection.

Do Meraki students participate in state testing?
Yes, our 11th graders take the same test as all public school students. We also administer the PSAT free to all interested students.

My student is an English Language Learner. Can they still be accepted into Meraki?
Yes. Students need to be able to access information as they do most of their work independently, but this also creates more time and flexibility for self-pacing.

Does this school serve students with special needs?
If a student qualifies for Special Education, it will depend on what the IEP requires. The Special Education Department for San Juan District will review each application on an individual basis to determine if needs can be met.

How will school meals be provided for those on free and reduced lunch?
Free school meals are available for Meraki students.

What transportation options are available?
Students can use Regional Transit (RT) to get to the school. RT currently offers free rides for all students, they just have to show their student ID.  We will also have a ride sharing program. For more information on ride sharing, email Clarissa French at