About Us » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Are you a part of Vista Unified?

No.  Trade Tech is an independent charter school.  Vista Unified is our Authorizer and monitors our compliance with the state Education Code.

Trade Tech is a separate Local Education Agency (LEA) in California.  Vista Unified is also an LEA in California.

Trade Tech has its own board and board policies.

Do girls attend Trade Tech?

Yes, about 30% of our students are female. Females are finding out that they are very good at the skills we teach and they are in high demand.  There are more females in engineering degree programs than males. That is true of Bachelors, Masters and PhD Programs.

Do you have sports at Trade Tech?

Yes, we currently have co-ed Flag Football, Soccer and Basketball.  We are NOT a CIF school.  We play against other schools our size that are not CIF as well.


Can your graduates go to college?

Yes, over 60% of our graduates attend a 2 or 4 year college after graduation.  Additionally, over 50% or our graduates have earned college credits while attending Trade Tech.  Several of our courses are Articulated with Palomar College to earn credit after completion with a B or better.  And many of our students attend classes through Palomar or Mira Costa while at Trade Tech.  The tuition is waived for high school students.  They still need to pay their student fees and rent any books and purchase materials, but the per credit fee is waived while in high school. Note we highly discourage students younger than 15 from taking college courses due to restrictions with registration at the colleges.

Most of our courses are a-g approved for admission to UC and CSU colleges and we are fully WASC accredited.

Why doesn’t Trade Tech offer AP Courses?

AP courses are overrated.  Students take a difficult course in high school and then the parent pays around $100 for each AP test a student takes.  If the student gets a 3 on the test many colleges will accept it for credit, either subject area or elective.  If the student gets a 4 or 5, most colleges will accept it for credit, either subject area or elective. Overall around 51% of students get a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP exam. So the other half, wasted time and money and will get nothing from it because they did poorly on a single test. The half that passed may get credit for it depending on which university they attend.

Our preference is that students take advantage of the tuition waivers at Palomar or Mira Costa.  They will earn college credit from an accredited college.  That will transfer directly to wherever they attend college and it transfers back to Trade Tech for high school credit (and they do not have to take that class in high school). And the cost is about a $20 student fee and whatever books and materials cost.  Last year, the average college textbook cost $24 to rent.

Does Trade Tech have dances and activities?

No Dances, Yes Activities.  We do not have dances, but there are typically activities that our leadership or senior survey and host for all students.  One of the most popular activities is game night.  Many of our students attend Proms and other dances with friends at other schools.

What is Advisory?  Why is it required?

Our Advisory Model is focused on Guidance, Support and Interpersonal Skill (also known as Soft Skills and Citizenship) development.  It is the core to goal setting and students learning about the World of Work and expectations of being an adult. Additionally, students review their grades and have a specific person to go to in order to get guidance and support in school and towards their future.

What is your Graduation Rate?

Our graduation rate is between 97 and 100% each year. We are an alternative school (DASS) in the state that allows us to work with students that may be credit deficient and get them back on track.  Most of our students never need credit recovery. DASS schools report a one year graduation rate and 5th year graduates as well.

Can students Graduate Early (in 3 years)?

Yes, but it requires students to take two college courses in place of Civics and Economics.  If your student wishes to choose this option, please have them work with their Advisory.  Please note that timelines and specific courses must be adhered to.

Students must:  

  • Form must be completed and submitted prior to August 31st, at the start of the junior year.  
  • Have a 2.5 GPA or high or both semesters of 10th grade  
  • Must take Political Science 101 from Palomar or MiraCosta College  
  • Must take Economics 101: Principles of Macro Economics from Palomar or MiraCosta College 
  • Students who graduate early will not be able to participate in senior activities. 
  • Early graduates may still participate in the commencement ceremony.

Do you have qualified teachers?

Yes, every one of our teachers holds a valid California Teaching Credential.

Do you have gangs or bullying at your school?

We are a public charter school and are required to admit all students that apply according to our enrollment policies and lottery. 

That said, we do not accept any gang behavior on our campus and closely monitor all student activities.  We follow the guidance from local police departments and other experts in minimizing gang activities.

We also do not allow any bullying on our campus.  We work through Advisory to train students to identify bullying and report is so that we can create a safe culture for all students on our campus.

My child has an IEP or a 504, can they still attend Trade Tech?
     Yes, Trade Tech is a public charter high school.  If you have specific concerns regarding your child's learning, please reach out to our staff.

Is Spanish required for graduation?

No, the foreign language is a requirement for admission into a 4 year university.  It is not a requirement for graduation in the State of California. Please check with the college you wish to attend and work with your advisor.

Do I have to take English 12?

No, English 12 is not a requirement for graduation in the State of California.  It is a requirement if you wish to go to a 4 year university straight out of high school.  Please check with the college you wish to attend and work with your advisor.

Why do other districts require more core classes and foreign language for graduation?

I cannot speak to other districts.  Trade Tech implements the minimum standards for graduation in the State of California and works through Advisory with students to determine the additional courses they need or want to take. The only additions at Trade Tech to the state minimum requirements are Personal Finance and CTE courses.  220 credits are required to graduate.

Can we get free lunch at Trade Tech?

Yes, we do use the federal forms and qualifications for the free nutrition programs.  Students that qualify, are eligible to receive breakfast and lunch at no cost.  If a student wishes for food at nutrition or a second meal, they will need to have money in their meal account. We are not a part of the Federal Nutrition Program.  This may affect any PEBT benefits you receive.  Please check with your benefits program for more information.

What classes are required at each grade level?

For the 2021-2022 school year, students will take:

All students in every grade take Advisory. 

“Elective” classes include all classes a student can choose to take, including additional core classes.

9th Grade

  • English 9
  • Earth Science
  • Health and Fitness 1
  • Mathematics: Pre-Algebra, Integrated Math 1 or Integrated Math 2 (placement test required by the State of California)
  • 9th Grade Academy
  • Exploratory 1: Introduction to Digital Media and Introduction to Mechatronics
  • Exploratory 2: Introduction to Construction Tech and Introduction to Manufacturing

10th Grade

  • English 10
  • Lab Biology
  • Mathematics: Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Integrated Math 1, Integrated Math 2 or Integrated Math 3
  • World History
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

11th Grade (some 11th grade students may qualify for a reduced schedule and take up to 2 fewer courses)

  • English 11
  • US History
  • Personal Finance
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

12th Grade (some 12th grade students may qualify for a reduced schedule and take up to 6 fewer courses)

  • Civics and Economics
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective