A new charter school is scheduled to open in Asbury Park in September after receiving final approval from the New Jersey department of education this week.
College Achieve Asbury Park Charter School, a kindergarten through ninth grade school, will be held at the site of a former church at 700 Grand Ave.
The school is also seeking to operate in the First Baptist Church on Grand Avenue, but is scheduled to go before the Board of Adjustment for approval of the site as a school. The church is also the former site of the Central Jersey Christian School.
According to a release from the charter school, College Achieve Asbury Park Charter School’s mission is to prepare students to excel in and graduate from the top colleges and universities in the nation. The academic program emphasizes writing, along with a challenging science technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) curriculum.
“We would like to thank the state of New Jersey for helping us bring a school focused on the goal of college for every single one of our kids to Asbury Park,” said Travis Ally, parent of five school-age students and founding member of the board of College Achieve Greater Asbury Park Charter School. “As we work hard to raise achievement in Asbury Park, we need schools like College Achieve to be part of the solution and give parents a choice for a high quality public school.”
The school pledges to double the amount of time spent on science education from the national average of 2.3 hours per week to five hours per week, beginning at the kindergarten level.
The release states that College Achieve curriculum is rooted in the Toulmin College Writing Model, a program embraced by the top private k-12 schools in the nation, which challenges them to write, develop and defend arguments.
“Our schools are focused on inspiring our students to believe in their futures and preparing them to not only graduate from high school, but to excel in and graduate from the best colleges,” said New Jersey native Michael Piscal, founder and CEO of College Achieve. “Everything we do from our emphasis on creating a thinking curriculum to the lengths we go to hire and train the best teachers is done with this focus in mind.”
The school’s principal is Dan Simon, who is currently the principal at Colts Neck High School and formerly served as principal of High Technology High School.
“At College Achieve Greater Asbury Park, we are forming a strong, cohesive and collaborative team focused on our mission to prepare every one of our students to succeed in college,” Simon said. “We’re so excited for the impact we anticipate having on Asbury Park through our model, which has a proven track record of success and has changed thousands of students’ lives already.”
Opening in August the school will initially enroll 276 students in grades K, 1, 5, and 6 and grow to over a 1,000 students in pre-K through 9th by 2020. To enroll visit www.collegeachieve.org/apps/form/enroll-AsburyPark