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Christie Administration Continues to Increase Options for Students with Nine New Charter Schools Opening in September

This is the largest number of charter school openings in the state since 1999

For Immediate Release Contact: Justin Barra
Date: July 15, 2011 609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration announced today that nine new charter schools will open across the state in September 2011. The Department of Education also announced that 21 previously approved schools will be granted a planning year with the anticipation of opening in September 2012. 

“Governor Christie and I strongly support the growth of high-quality charter schools to increase the number of options for New Jersey students, because our number one priority is to ensure that all students graduating high school are college and career ready,” said Acting Education Commissioner Christopher D. Cerf. “The Christie Administration’s commitment to approving quality charter schools demonstrates the high bar that we must have for any school that is serving New Jersey students.”

The expansion of high-quality charter schools has been a top priority of Governor Christie’s education reform agenda. The Department of Education has two rounds each year during which groups may apply to open a charter school.  The Department of Education approved charters in September 2010 and January 2011.  However, schools must pass an additional “preparedness review” in June in order to show that they have in place a high-quality academic program, and that they have met all regulatory requirements to open in September. This preparedness review is the final check that the school has the factors in place to offer an excellent education for its students.  When the school takes a planning year, the leadership has additional time to continue to develop the academic and operational components of the school, which are crucial to ensuring that it will be successful when it opens the following year.

One school, Atlantic Prep Charter High School, serving Atlantic City, Egg Harbor, and Pleasantville, was not granted a planning year because it failed to demonstrate sufficient progress towards readiness.

“We think that all of the schools taking a planning year have the potential to offer a high-quality educational choice for students,” said Carly Bolger, Director of the Charter Schools Office. “However, we believe these schools need additional time to plan and develop, and we will not open a school that we do not believe will be among the best schools in the entire state.”

A list of schools can be found below:

Opening in September 2011:

John P. Holland – Paterson
M.E.T.S – Jersey City
Great Oaks – Newark
Roseville – Newark
People’s Prep – Newark
Passaic Arts and Sciences – Passaic
Dr. Lena Edwards Charter School – Jersey City
Millville Charter School – Millville
Kingdom Academy Charter School – Gloucester

Planning for September 2012:

Arete Charter School – East Orange, Orange
Atlantic City Community Charter School – Atlantic City
Bright Horizon Charter School – Penns Grove-Carneys Point
Camden Community Charter School – Camden
Promise Charter School for Excellence approved as Dr. Thurman Evans Charter School for Excellence – Linden, Elizabeth, Roselle
Global Visions Charter School – Egg Harbor City, Galloway Township, Mullica Township
Lillie Mae Jenkins Charter School of Science and Technology approved as Martha Palmer Chaneyfield Charter School – Newark
New Day Charter High School – Newark
Shalom Academy Charter School – Teaneck
Spirit Prep Charter School – Newark
Vailsburg Prep Charter School – Newark
Forest Hill Charter School – Newark
New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School – Newark
New Jersey Virtual Charter School – Camden, Perth Amboy, Neptune, Paterson
Willingboro Charter School – Willingboro
Benjamin Banneker Preparatory Charter School – Willingboro
DREAM Preparatory Academy Charter High School – Jersey City
Thomas Edison Energy Smart Charter School – Franklin Township, North Brunswick, South Brunswick
100 Legacy Charter School – Irvington
Princeton International Academy Charter School – Princeton, West Windsor, South Brunswick
Excellence Charter School – Camden