Paterson Arts and Science Charter School, a kindergarten through 5th grade elementary charter, will open its doors to Paterson students this fall, according to the New Jersey Department of Education, which gave the charter final approval earlier today.
Charter schools are private schools funded by public school money with their own administrators and support staff. When a student is accepted into such a school, the district in which that pupil belongs, must provide 80% of their education funding — money follows the student.
“Students will enter kindergarten through grade 5 in the first year with one additional grade being added in each of the following years , until it serves kindergarten through grade 8,” according to an application document for the school.
The school, located on 151 East 33rd Street, was approved previously; today’s approval simply gives it the final nod to begin operation in September 2013. “The Department conducts a multi-stage approval process to ensure that all charter applications approved will become high-quality schools. Each year, the Department of Education conducts a “preparedness review” to evaluate whether a charter applicant approved in a previous round has the academic and operational components in place to offer a strong educational program. Applicants submit information to the Department by June 30, and the Commissioner reviews that information to determine which approved charter applicants will receive their final charter to open their doors in September,” according to the department.
Chris Cerf, commissioner of the department says, “We must hold a high bar for any school that serves New Jersey students, and we are confident that these schools have the academic and operational components in place to provide a high-quality choice on day one.” Mr Cerf’s department closed 10 schools around the state due to bad performance.
Prior to the approval of this school, there were only three other charters in Paterson, now there is a total of four charter schools in the city.