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Data & Information

New Jersey

New Jersey has two blended charter schools and at least two programs that offer supplemental online courses. The New Jersey Virtual School has offered tuition-based supplemental courses to students in grades 6-12 since 2002; it served 4,675 course enrollments in SY 2013-14, a 15% annual decrease. While it still offers a small number of fully online supplemental classes, NJeSchool shifted its focus in SY 2013-14 to providing content for extended-day classes where students participate in blended courses within Hudson County School District. About 2,100 students from 44 schools took classes through The Virtual High School in SY 2013-14.    

Fully online schools

Two virtual charter school applicants were approved for two planning years in 2011 and 2012: the New Jersey Virtual Charter School and the New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School. The applications were submitted under the New Jersey charter school law enacted in 1995. It required applications “be submitted to the commissioner and the local board of education or State superintendent … in the school year preceding the school year in which the charter school will be established.” Approval for a planning year does not guarantee final authorization or that the school will go into operation. The planning year is designed to give school leadership “additional time to develop the academic and operational components of the school.” The schools must pass “an additional ‘preparedness review’ [in 2012] to show that they have … met all regulatory requirements to open.”

Previous attempts at chartering virtual schools have been stymied by two requirements of the charter school law: 90% of the enrollment of a new school must be from the home district or contiguous counties; and the application must include a description of the “physical facility in which the charter school will be located.” Both virtual charters that were granted a planning year are focused on students from multiple, contiguous counties.

However, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) rejected both virtual school applications in June 2013.

State virtual school

New Jersey does not have a State Virtual School.


District programs

Some school districts contract with online learning providers, and 43 high schools are members of the Virtual High School Global Consortium. Monmouth Ocean Educational Service Commission (ESC) has legal ownership of the “New Jersey Virtual School” name and offers online classes, but is not a state virtual school.  The New Jersey Virtual School (NJVS) has offered tuition-based supplemental courses to students in grades 6-12 since 2002; it served 5,485 course enrollments in SY 2012-13, a 10% annual increase. NJeSchool reported 854 enrollments in supplemental courses in SY 2012-13.

Online learning policy history

2007: The Educational Technology Plan for New Jersey, a report from the NJDOE published by the state board in December 2007, noted that the NJDOE will provide research and policy support for the development and use of online courses and virtual schools.

2009: The NJDOE revised its Core Curriculum Content Standards for 2009 to reflect strong integration of technology in all core content areas, and the state adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010. New Jersey is a member of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills initiative and is committed to increasing student achievement using 21st Century technologies.


Blended learning

New Jersey has two fully blended charter schools. Newark Preparatory Charter is using K12 Inc. curriculum and served 150 students in 9th grade in SY 2012-13; it expanded to include 10th grade students in SY 2013-14. Merit Preparatory Charter, operated by Touchstone Education, reported 84 students in 6th grade in SY 2012-13 and is expanding to include 7th grade in SY 2013-14.

last updated October 23, 2014

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