New Jersey Department of Education

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Preparedness Review Process

Approved charter applicants must successfully complete the NJDOE's preparedness review before being granted a final charter and allowed to open. This review process occurs in June of the year the applicant is scheduled to open and is designed to determine whether approved applicants have the structures in place to ensure academic success, financial viability and organizational soundness. After a thorough review, the Commissioner will render a final decision in July for charters to open their doors in September.

In accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:11-2.1(i), approved applicants must submit, by June 30, the documentation not available at the time of the application submission including, but not limited to, copies of:

  1. A list of names of the current members of the board of trustees;
  2. The bylaws of the board of trustees;
  3. The Certificate of Incorporation;
  4. The Federal Employer Identification Number;
  5. The Credit Authorization Agreement for Automatic Deposits;
  6. The lease, mortgage or title to its facility;
  7. The certificate of occupancy for "E" (education) use issued by the local municipal enforcing official;
  8. The sanitary inspections report (if applicable) with "satisfactory" rating;
  9. The fire inspection certificate with "Ae" (education) code life hazard use at N.J.A.C. 5:70-4;
  10.  An organizational chart and a list of the lead person, school business administrator, teachers and professional support staff including required certifications and criminal background check status;
  11. A budget summary, budget narrative and cash flow statement for the following fiscal year, based on the most recent enrollment projections;
  12. Evidence of a uniform system of double-entry bookkeeping in conformance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP);
  13. The resolution of the board of trustees naming the Affirmative Action Officer, the Section 504 Coordinator and the Title IX Coordinator;
  14. Evidence of enrollment of at least 90% of approved maximum enrollment, as verified by student registrations by parents/guardian(s); and
  15. Documentation that ensures compliance with all federal and state regulations and statutes.

Additionally, the NJDOE will conduct a preparedness visit before the charter school may be granted a charter.  A preparedness visit is the on-site visit by Department personnel that gauges readiness for school opening. The preparedness visit shall include a review of the program, facility and fiscal documentation and interviews with the Board of Trustee members and staff members of the proposed charter school to assess organizational leadership and capacity. 

The preparedness visit must include:

  1. Facility review and approval by the county office of education and local building officials; and
  2. A verification of full student enrollment and review of appropriate documentation.    

The Commissioner will grant a charter on or before July 15 if all required documentation is submitted and approved by the NJDOE by June 30.


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