Today’s NJ Spotlight reports on the second year of One Newark’s universal enrollment system, whereby parents get to rank their school choices:
As they were last year, charter schools were the top picks in the universal enrollment system, especially in the elementary and middle schools.
The most popular schools for K-8 were North Star Academy, TEAM Academy and Peter’s Academy topping the list. The most popular district schools were the Ann Street and First Avenue schools.
This year’s implementation of universal enrollment appears far smoother than last year’s, when parents complained about not getting their top choices, siblings were sometimes separated, and transportation was a problem. This time, according to Superintendent Cami Anderson, three-quarters of families got one of their top three choices. Specifically, “76 percent of applicants saw matches with their first three choices of schools, she said, and 95 percent of incoming kindergartners had a top-three match.”
Here’s Board President Board Rashon Hasan: “When you look at where we were last year, where there were a lot of rumblings,” he said, “it seems the district has really taken ownership this year. It seems this year that folks really get it.”