Central Jersey College Prep Gets 1,400 Applications For 150 Spots

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Central Jersey College Prep (CJCP), one of the highest-performing public schools in the State of New Jersey, announced today that over 1,400 parents have attempted to enroll their children in the school for the 2021-2022 school year.  CJCP, a public charter school open to all families free of charge within the Somerset, North Brunswick, and New Brunswick school districts, will only have 150 open classroom seats available to the community for next year. 

With the line of parent interest in CJCP far exceeding the enrollment limit allowed by the New Jersey Department of Education, almost 90 percent of all enrollees will not be allowed entry to the school.  On March 17 and 18th, CJCP will be will be forced to conduct a lottery to determine acceptance. 

Based on national standards of excellence, CJCP has previously been named by the US Department of Education as a “National Blue Ribbon School.”  This is the highest possible designation granted to a K-12 school and has been cited for exemplary high-performing classrooms and their work in closing the Achievement Gap within the Central Jersey region.  In addition, CJCP has also been awarded by the New Jersey Department of Education with a Tier 1 designation, the highest possible ranking for a public charter school in the State.

“This time of year is always bittersweet.  While we are so thrilled and thankful for the passion and interest of parents, we also are concerned and frustrated that there are thousands of families waiting for the State to provide greater opportunity and access to our classrooms,” stated Dr. Namik Sercan, Chief Education Officer for CJCP.  “Parents are demanding that their children attend CJCP because we have the greatest track record of achievement of any public school in the area.  Our students are provided the strongest academics and support possible – and we ensure that every one of our students attends and stays in College.  We look forward to our lottery this week and ushering in our allotted 150 new students.  Still, CJCP will continue to fight for the many families who continue to wait, hoping for equity, respect, and the hope for a better life for their children.”

“Look at the data.  This happens every year.  Thousands of parents are not being allowed access to this great public school.  As a CJCP parent and community leader, there is nothing more painful than our annual lottery.  Talking to parents who do not “win” the lottery is heartbreaking, and it does not need to be this way,” Sherrie Schneider, CJCP PTSO President.  “All children, no matter who they are, deserve an outstanding education and hope for the future.  I am proud of the academic success of CJCP.  But I am prouder that each year, the school challenges the NJDOE to open its enrollment to more families throughout our area.  We simply cannot forget the families that are waiting.  There are a small handful of elected officials who simply do not care about the needs and demands of parents.  Instead, they create unnecessary division and roadblocks rather than do what is best for our kids – and that is a shame.”

“If I hadn’t attended CJCP, I wouldn’t have access to the amazing opportunities that the school has to offer and the strong support system from the faculty, staff, and other students attending here as well. I wouldn’t be where I am today at Princeton University without the inspiration from those around me,” stated CJCP graduate, Christine Nguyen. “Every day I realize that the day I was picked by the lottery system to enroll in this school was a big turning point that enabled me to grow as a student, and as a person through my experiences here that I felt I would not have gained enrolling in a public school in my township. I’m proud to attend this school and hope that in the future, others will recognize that the values CJCP enforces works to encourage students to reach success in their own ways, and the fate of our community is dependent on allowing more students to attend a great school like ours.” 

To review a full report of the various awards provided to CJCP, please click here.

This year’s CJCP lottery will occur on Wednesday, March 17 for K-5 and Thursday, March 18 for grades 6-12.  Both lotteries start at 1:30 pm and can be viewed online on CJCP’s YouTube Channel.

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