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    Jon Zlock

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For Release: October 1, 2003


Commissioner Librera Presents Charter
to Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today presented New Jersey’s newest charter school to the State Board of Education. Commissioner Librera and State Board of Education President Arnold Hyndman welcomed representatives from Paterson’s Charter School for Science and Technology. The school’s charter has been granted through June 2007.

"The granting of this charter is the result of the hard work and diligence of the school’s founders and board of trustees, who worked with Department of Education staff to successfully complete their application and their start-up activities," Commissioner Librera said. "I would like to congratulate them on their charter, which testifies to their commitment to providing New Jersey’s families with expanded public school choices and opportunities."

"Each new charter school is an opportunity for improved teaching and learning in our public schools system," said Dr. Hyndman to the school’s representatives. "We wish you every success as you meet the challenges to provide the children you serve with a superior education."

The Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology has been approved this year to serve a maximum of 178 students in grades six through nine. It intends to serve a maximum of 497 students in grades 6-12 within the next four years. The school’s mission is to provide students with a standards and equity-based academic program devoted to all areas of New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards. Special emphasis will be placed on science and technology in both subject content and method of instruction. Through this program, the school hopes to inspire students to pursue increased opportunities for advanced study and/or employment in science and technology.

Assistant Commissioner Richard Ten Eyck congratulated the school’s representatives, saying, "You have accomplished the daunting task of creating a new school…You may be assured of our support as you seek to provide an innovative, exemplary education to the children you serve."

Charter schools are public schools operated under a charter granted by the Commissioner of Education. Each charter school is independent of the district board of education and is managed by a board of trustees. The State Legislature authorized the creation of charter schools in 1995, and the first charter schools opened in 1997.

A full listing and description of New Jersey’s charter schools is posted on the Department of Education’s Web site at the following link:

http://www.nj.gov/njded/chartsch/allcharters.shtml

The projected enrollment for the 48 operating charter schools for September 2003 is approximately 14,000 students. Fourteen counties have approved charter schools. The average enrollment in a charter school is 193 students and the average class size in charter schools is 17 students.

In July, the Department of Education received nine new applications for charter schools that would open September 2004 or September 2005. The Commissioner is now reviewing those applications and will announce the results of his review in mid-January 2004.