By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
A new charter school set to open in September has found a home in the First Baptist Church at Third and Grand Avenues and the former Greek Church at 700 Grand Ave., both in Asbury Park.
College Achieve Greater Asbury Park Charter School is the second of its kind in New Jersey.
Founder and CEO Michael D. Piscal said a lottery was held for Asbury Park and Neptune students which yielded half of the 276 maximum number of students for the first year.
Piscal said enrollment has now been opened to Long Branch, Ocean Township and Belmar students.
He also said he has been contacted by parents from Neptune City who are interested in having their children apply to the school.
The first year he said the school will start with grades kindergarten, first, fifth and six.
The second year grades two and seven will be added and the third year, grades three and eight.
At the four year mark grades four and nine will be added and when the charter for the school comes up for renewal in the fifth year grades 10, 11 and 12 will be added.
“There will be 1000 students in four years,” Piscal said.
Asbury Park resident Dale Caldwell, whom Piscal has met at charter school conventions, is the Chairman of the Board of the school and joining him on the board are Frank Syphax, restaurateur Marilyn Schlossbach and Neptune resident Matthew Stevens.
Stevens, a teacher at Rutgers, recruits for the school and will be director of the after school programs and Parent Resource Center.
Piscal said there are no criteria for enrollment, which will be ongoing until 276 students are enrolled. The per pupil cost for students coming from Asbury Park will be $13,000 while the cost for those in district schools is $34,000.
Piscal said he comes from a long line of educators and grew up in Toms River where his mother was a teacher and another family helped open Toms River East High School.
His grandfather was a founder of Stockton College, now a university, under Governor Richard Hughes.
For five years Piscal taught English at the Harvard School, one of the best preparatory schools in the country.
Piscal said teachers with little experience to those with 20 years are contacting him, board members and administrators to apply for positions.
Because it is part of the public school system tuition is paid by the district where the student resides.
“The money follows the student,” Piscal said.
For additional information visit www.collegeachieve.org.