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New School Enrollment System Coming to Newark

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WNYC
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The Newark Common App is being adopted by 80% of Newark's charter schools — no district schools so far

A new system for school enrollment is coming to Newark.

It’s called the Newark Common App and it goes live December 1.

The app was developed by the New Jersey Children's Foundation and the technology firm Avela. Kyle Rosenkrans, the founder of the New Jersey Children's Foundation, explained why a new system was needed.

“We felt that the policies put in place in recent years showed an overabundance of favoritism towards the district schools, when in fact this was supposed to be a true collaboration between co-equal partners,” he said.

The app will give families access to 80% of the city’s charter schools. It will prioritize homeless and displaced students, as well as special education students, English-language learners, and those that qualify for free lunch.

“All of the participating schools right now are public schools under New Jersey law, they are just public charter schools, there are no public district schools that are participating in our first year,” he said. “We’ve sent an invitation to the Board of Ed and we hope they accept.”

The Newark Board of Education did not respond to an email requesting comment.

He said a new system was needed because of the closure of the family support center, residency documentation requirements resulting in a 34% drop in applications which the foundation says violate state guidelines, and mistakes in matching students to schools.

“The system (Newark Enrolls) has been malfunctioning, mismanaged and policies put in place that frustrate the ability of families to make that choice of the school that works best for their children,” said Rosenkrans.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.