Students at the Village Charter School in Trenton had unacceptably low NJASK scores. The school had not met Annual Yearly Progress for three years. So, the K-8 school took steps to turn that around, including using intensive data analysis, professional development, an all-staff bonus, and a 1:1 student laptop program.

The effort worked, and the results were impressive: Significant improvement in NJASK scores within a few years, including an additional 25 percent of students achieving math proficiency. The head of the charter school during that period of success, Dr. Leigh Byron, then moved on to found STEMCivics Charter School, a high school in Trenton, with expectations of forging more success. STEMCivics opened in September with 100 students, some of them graduates of Village.

Village Charter School – whose name was chosen as an impetus for bringing students, family and the community together as a village of working and learning friends – continues to serve as an investment in Trenton’s future. This program explores how one school beat the odds, and attained achievement growth in a short time.


Dr. Leigh Byron, founder and head of school, [email protected]

Selected for presentation at NJSBA Centennial Workshop 2014