What is a charter school?:
- Is a public school open to all students on a space-available basis.
- Is independent of the local board of education.
- Is managed by a board of trustees who are authorized by the State Board of Education to supervise and control.
- Is granted a four-year initial charter by the Commissioner of Education that may be renewed for a five-year period.
- May not charge tuition.
- Is located in its district of residence.
What is the relationship between a charter school and a district board of education?
- A charter school operates independently.
- Funding for a charter school comes from state and local taxpayers through its district board of education.
- A district board of education is responsible for transportation of charter school students residing in its district on the same terms and conditions as the students attending other district public schools.
Who may establish a charter school?
- Teaching staff members.
- Parents with children attending the district schools.
- A combination of teaching staff members and parents.
- Institution of higher learning in conjunction with teaching staff members and parents of children attending the district schools.
- A private entity located within state in conjunction with teaching staff members and parents of children attending the district schools.
Who can attend a charter school?
- All grade-eligible students from its district of residence may attend on a space-available basis.
- If applicants exceed available spaces, a charter school is required to use a random selection process.
- Preference is given to children of the charter school’s district of residence.
- If space permits, non-resident students may attend.
- Students must first be registered in their districts.
- Enrollment priority is given to siblings of students currently enrolled in a charter school.
- A charter school cannot discriminate in admission policies on the basis of intellectual or athletic ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, status as a handicapped person, proficiency in the English language, or any other basis which is deemed illegal if used by district boards of education.
- A charter school may target admission to particular grade levels or areas of concentration.
Who is the staff of a charter school?
- A lead person who may be called a principal, director, headmaster, or other similar title.
- Classroom teachers and professional support staff holding appropriate New Jersey certification.
- Other non-certified support staff as needed.
What is the educational program at a charter school?
- Charter school students are required to meet the same academic performance standards as district school students.
- The charter school curriculum must address the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.
- A charter school must make available the educational program as prescribed by an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a student with educational disabilities.
The mission of the PCSST supports our vision for a new public school that:
Will encourage all students to not just graduate but desire to pursue higher education or occupations that will continually challenge their intellect;
Will work to transform all students into citizens who think independently, critically, creatively, and morally;
Will foster self-esteem and engender all students to view themselves as valuable and to take responsibility for their actions;
Will be an enthusiastic, dynamic learning environment staffed with instructors committed to teaching to high standards and meeting the learning needs of students, both collectively and individually;
Will be a learning community with and established, accessible connection between the quadrangle of stakeholders – students; parents; school; and community – which nurtures and supports for all students their academic , emotional, and physical development;
Is a learning environment that sustains high academic achievement for all students through ongoing authentic assessments and open accountability to all stake holders.
The mission of the PCSST articulates a public school model that promotes education reform in that it is responsive to the needs and hopes of the stated goals and objectives adopted by the State Board of Education in a strategic plan that, during its first four years of implementation, launched major initiatives and reforms of the education system in New Jersey.