About Us » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions



Is Trade Tech part of Vista Unified?

Trade Tech is an independent charter school. Our charter is authorized by Vista Unified School District. We have our own Board of Directors that sets policy (in accordance with CA Ed Code). We are fully accredited by WASC.

Who attends Trade Tech?

We are an alternative high school serving students in 9th-12th grades. Students can either begin with us as freshmen, or transfer in later from another high school. We are not bound by a service area; students come from all over North County, with the majority residing in Vista. We are located within close proximity to bus stops and a Sprinter station, so using public transportation is convenient. 

What is your graduation rate?

Our graduation rate is 97-100% each year. We are considered an alternative school (DASS) and we excel at supporting transfer students who may be credit deficient. Most are able to get back on track and graduate on time! 

Can Trade Tech graduates go to college?

Yes! We offer all of the courses required to meet A-G requirements, though not all of them are required to graduate from Trade Tech. Over 60% of graduating seniors attend a 2 or 4 year college after graduation and 50% have earned college credits while attending Trade Tech. Tuition is waived for high school students attending MiraCosta and/or Palomar while enrolled in high school (though they still need to pay their student fees and rent any books and purchase materials). Most importantly, Trade Tech staff support each student in mapping out and achieving the goals set in their Personal Learning Plan (PLP).

Do you have sports at Trade Tech?

Yes, we currently have co-ed Flag Football, Soccer and Basketball. We play against other schools our size in the area and are not CIF.

Why doesn’t Trade Tech offer AP Courses?

Our program prioritizes students earning college credits directly from Palomar or MiraCosta.  Those credits will transfer directly to wherever they attend college in the future, as well as counting at Trade Tech for high school credit. Students can choose from the vast array of classes offered at these two colleges.

Does Trade Tech have dances and activities?

Yes! We have dances a couple times a year, including a prom in the Spring. Our Leadership class plans social events. These include game nights and movie nights. We also have clubs that meet regularly at lunch time and/or after school. 

What is Advisory?  Why is it required?

The heart of our program is relationships. Trade Tech students have many allies on campus, their Advisor is their primary staff contact. Advisory class focuses on establishing and achieving a Personal Learning Plan to ensure all graduates are ready to smoothly transition into life after high school. During this class, students engage in weekly grade checks, learn soft skills for the work world, participate in social emotional learning, and explore college/career pathways. 

Do you have qualified teachers?

Yes, every one of our teachers holds a valid California Teaching Credential in the subject matter for which they are instructing.

My child has an IEP or a 504, can they still attend Trade Tech?

Yes! Trade Tech has a team of highly qualified Education Specialists and delivers all services in a full inclusion model. 

Is Spanish required for graduation at Trade Tech?

No. Two years of classes in a language other than English is a requirement for admission into a 4 year university (E). It is not a requirement for graduation in the State of California (though most districts do require it). However, we do offer Spanish 1-4 for all students who would like to take it for college preparation or as an elective.

Do Trade Tech students have to take English 12?

No. English 12 (Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum, aka ERWC) is not a requirement for graduation. Just like Spanish, it is a requirement if you wish to go directly to a 4 year university. It is offered, and students are encouraged to take it, but it is not a graduation requirement.

Why do most districts require more core classes for graduation?

Trade Tech is focused on CTE (Career Technical Education) and requires the minimum standards for graduation set forth by the State of California to make space for participation in our many CTE Pathways. While many school districts have adopted A-G as their minimum graduation requirements, Trade Tech’s focus is preparing students for sustainable wage work after high school through our CTE Pathways. These include Commercial and Print Art, Digital Media, Game Design, Residential Construction, Manufacturing and Machining, Health and Fitness, and Transportation. We are adding Education and Biotechnology. 

How many credits are required for graduation?


Can students graduate early (in 3 years)?

Yes.. Students must submit the application to graduate early prior to the start of their 11th grade year and take (and pass) two college courses (Political Science 101 and Economics 101)  in place of Civics and Economics. (See the Graduation Requirements tab for more information.) 

Is food provided for students at Trade Tech?

Yes, both breakfast and lunch are served daily for students who would like to eat during our designated meal times. We currently contract with Top Notch Catering to provide food to students.