CJCP Holds Admission Lottery After Record Number Of Applications Received

Hopeful parents and children packed the CJCP cafeteria to watch the lottery.

Just about 1,600 families competed for 240 available slots in the Central Jersey College Prep Charter School lottery for the 2018-19 school year.

The lottery was held March 15 in the Mettlers Road school’s cafeteria.

The number of applications submitted to the school rose about 40 percent from last year, said Namik Sercan, the school’s chief education officer.

The school currently offers about 620 students education in grades Kindergarten through 4th, and 5th through 12th. A 5th grade will be added starting next school year, Sercan said, when the school is expected to house 840 students.

The available slots were in grades K-2.

Sercan said school administrators expected an increase in applications.

“We’d been receiving a lot of phone calls, so we were expecting some increase, but this is more than a 40 percent increase,” he said. “We had 1,092 last year, almost 1,600 now.”

“We’re very happy and satisfied with the demand from the community,” Sercan said.

This is the first year the lottery will be weighted in favor of low- and moderate-income families, Sercan said.

“We had about 280 unique applications that would qualify for the weighted lottery,” he said.

Names for the available slots were picked out of a clear bowl by a volunteer and then read aloud. Potential students who fall into the weighted category had two slips of paper with their names on them, rather than one.

Those whose names were picked after all available slots were filled were put on a waiting list.

The school was expecting to open a satellite location in New Brunswick, but, Sercan said, a real estate deal for a location fell through.

Sercan called the lottery process a success.

“We were very careful about the applications,” he said. “We’ve been in touch with the parents on a regular basis. If we were not sure about information at the time of submission, corrections were made.”


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