The New Jersey Department of Education in July granted final approval for four charter schools to open in September, welcoming their first classes for the 2015-2016 school year.

The four schools, serving students in Bridgeton; North Plainfield/Plainfield; Jersey City; and Pleasantville/Atlantic City, “directly align with the mission of the Department to ensure that all children, regardless of zip code, receive a high-quality public education,” according to  Education Commissioner David Hespe. Each school has plans to expand its grade and pupil enrollment over the next four years.

“This administration has made expanding high-quality public school options a priority for the students and parents of New Jersey and these charter schools will provide enhanced opportunities for our students to succeed,” Hespe said.

In order to be granted a charter, each charter school applicant team was required to meet the NJDOE’s multi-stage approval process. After receiving initial application approval, the department conducts a “preparedness visit” and reviews each proposed charter school’s academic and operational components to ensure that the applicant has the capacity to provide a high-quality educational program from the first day of school. The commissioner and department staff review this information, prior to granting a charter school final approval to open their doors.

With the opening of these four charter schools, there will be a total of 89 charter schools operating in New Jersey. Since 2010, the department will have opened 39 new charter schools and closed 17 of the lowest-performing schools for poor academic performance or organizational and fiscal issues.

The new charter schools are as follows:

Charter School (approved to open in September 2015)District(s) ServedYear 1 Grades (Enrollment Projection)Year 4 Grades (Enrollment Projection)
Bridgeton Public Charter SchoolBridgetonK-1 (108 Students)K-4 (285 Students)
College Achieve Central Charter SchoolNorth Plainfield, PlainfieldK-2, 5-6 (346 Students)K-9 (1,013 Students)
Empowerment Academy Charter SchoolJersey CityK-1 (192 Students)K-4 (576 Students)
International Academy of Atlantic City Charter SchoolPleasantville, Atlantic CityK-3 (354 Students)K-6 (698 Students)