The Application

The New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Charter Schools is responsible for developing and publishing the application templates, and accepting completed applications. The application template, requirements and deadlines can vary slightly from year to year, so be sure to always visit the NJDOE website for the latest information about the application process.

Developing a charter school application can often take a few years, and a lot of patience, hard work and money. Typically, the application for a charter school must include the following elements:

  1. Applicant: The identification of the charter applicant.
  2. School Name: The name of the proposed charter school.
  3. Governance Structures: The proposed structure of the charter school including a list of the proposed members of the board of trustees or a description of the qualifications and method for the appointment or election of members of the board of trustees.
  4. Curriculum: The educational goals of the charter school, the curriculum to be offered, and the methods to be used to assess whether students are meeting educational goals.
  5. Assessment Plan: Charter school students have to meet the same testing and academic performance standards for public school students as well as any additional assessment indicators included within the school’s approved charter.
  6. Admissions Policy: The admission policy and criteria for evaluating the admission of students in accord with the charter school law requirements concerning student admissions.
  7. Student Age: The age or grade range of students to be enrolled.
  8. School Calendar: The school calendar and school day schedule.
  9. Staff Descriptions: A description of the charter school staff responsibilities and the proposed qualifications of teaching staff.
  10. Parental Engagement: A description of procedures to ensure significant parental involvement in the operation of the school.
  11. Facilities: A description of the physical facility in which the charter school will be located and the address of the facility.
  12. Community Engagement: Information about how community groups will be involved in the charter school planning process.
  13. Finances: The financial plan for the charter school and the provisions for auditing the school in accordance with legal requirements in the charter school law.
  14. Waivers: A description of any waivers of regulations that the charter school will request and the reasons for them.
  15. Other: Any other information the commissioner of education requires.

This flowchart provides an overview of how the application process takes place. (Adopted from a flowchart developed by the Colorado League of Charter Schools.)

NJCSA staff is not able to write applications, but we offer a fee-based service to NJCSA Members to review applications a few months prior to being submitted to the NJDOE. We can also offer Mock Interview services to NJCSA Members who are invited by the NJDOE to participate in Phase II of the application process. To inquire about our Application Review and Mock Interview services, please contact Rick Pressler, Director of School Services, at 609-989-9700, 4411 or rpressler@njcharters.org.