Four New Charter Schools to Open in Newark

DOE's final approval comes on heels of tumultuous city school board vote

Nine charter schools, including four in Newark, received final approval Monday by the state Department of Education to open in September.

Paulo Freire Charter School, 100 Legacy and virtual charter schools Merit Preparatory of Newark and Newark Prep will open their doors this upcoming school year, bringing the total number of charters in the state to 86 and joining nearly two dozen already existing schools in the city.

The just-approved schools, as well as existing ones, will be measured against new Performance Frameworks designed to improve oversight and accountability for the schools by setting clear expectations, DOE said in a press release. The schools will be evaluated in three comprehensive areas: Academic, organizational and financial performances.

"Charter schools are granted autonomy in exchange for accountability, and we at the state level will continue to hold all charter schools accountable for results to ensure that they offer all students a high-quality education and an equality of opportunity," said Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf in a statement.

(See attachment on this article for details on standards of the Performance Frameworks. See a list of all charter schools below.)

Two Newark charters, NJ Virtual Academy Charter School and Forest Hill Charter School, were granted a planning year which they will use for continued academic and operational development.

Meanwhile, three Newark charters, Lillie Mae Jenkins, New Day Charter High School and Spirit Prep, were denied approval by the state because "they failed to demonstrate sufficient progress towards readiness," according to the press release.

Mashea Ashton, chief executive officer of Newark Charter School Fund, a nonprofit foundation that supports city charters through grants, welcomed the four new schools to Newark's "thriving public school community."

"Each one of these schools approved by the state offers Newark families public school options that were previously unavailable in the city," said Ashton in a statement. "As part of our mission, we will work to ensure these schools have the resources to provide a high-quality education to Newark's children."

Each year, the DOE conducts a preparedness review to assess whether a charter applicant, approved in a previous round, are academically and operationally capable of providing a strong educational program. This year, applicants were required to submit documentation of compliance with state regulations to the DOE by June 30, at which point the staff conducted a site visit of the school facility. The information is then reviewed for approval by Cerf and DOE officials.

NJ Virtual Academy and Newark Prep, as well as Spirit Prep, are managed by K12 Inc., an online education contractor, with NJ Virtual Academy having started enrolling students in April. Students at Spirit Prep and Newark Prep will take classes in a brick-and-mortar settings as well as online under the schools' "blended learning" model, NJ Spotlight reported. Newark Prep will be placed in the historic former First State National Bank building at 570 Broad St. in downtown Newark.

The state's approval comes on the heels of the Newark Schools Advisory Board vote earlier this month One day later, state-appointed , approving the short- and long-term leases for Newark Legacy, North Star Academy, 100 Legacy and Team Academy Charter School, as well as Paulo Friere Charter School, the only contract approved by the board.

Several board members at the time to community stakeholders and the board as elected officials. Members said they were in discussion to see what, if any, legal action the nine-member advisory board could take against the veto.

Come September, Newark Legacy will occupy space within Madison Avenue School, North Star Academy within Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School, 100 Legacy within West Side NAF and Team Academy within 18th Avenue School. Paulo Friere will share space with existing Great Oaks Charter School at Burnet Street School.

Charter Schools Granted Final Approval



City Invincible Charter School


Knowledge A to Z Charter School


Thomas Edison Energy Charter School

Franklin Township (Including Somerset), North Brunswick, South Brunswick

Beloved Charter School

Jersey City

Merit Preparatory of Newark Charter School


Newark Prep


Paulo Freire Charter School


100 Legacy

Newark, Irvington

Benjamin Banneker


Charter Schools Granted a Planning Year




Atlantic City Community Charter School

Atlantic City

Charter School for Global Leadership


Camden Community Charter School


Hope Community Charter School

Camden City

Excellence Charter School

Camden City

New Jersey Virtual Charter School

Camden, Perth Amboy, Neptune, Paterson

Arete Charter School

East Orange, Orange

Jersey City Global Charter School

Jersey City

Forest Hill Charter School


NJ Virtual Academy Charter School


Trenton Scholars Charter School


Merit Prepartory of Trenton Charter School

Trenton City

Compass Academy Charter School


Charter Schools Denied Final Approval




Regis Academy Charter School

Cherry Hill

DREAM Prep Academy

Jersey City

Promise CS for Excellence

Linden, Elizabeth, Roselle

Lillie Mae Jenkins Charter School


New Day Charter HS


Spirit Prep


Bright Horizons

Penns Grove, Carney's Point

Princeton International Academy Charter School

South Brunswick, Princeton Regional, West Windsor-Plainsboro

Shalom Academy Charter School


Willingboro Academy Charter School


Related stories:

Be the first to know. Sign up for our newsletter | Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook

KC July 18, 2012 at 04:53 AM
This after recent reports on how these schools merely funnel monies to miscreant activities. Why aren't there any charter schools in middle class suburbia. And it isn't because the public schools are so great - they are falling apart while all money goes to the Abott Districts!
Trey-von Jones August 22, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Please read, sign and share my petition. Changes need to be made. http://www.change.org/petitions/newark-public-schools-change-the-graduation-requirements


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something