Two Newark-based Public Charter High Schools Set to Open Next School Year

April 16, 2012
Innovative blended learning schools will offer flexible and individualized programs

NEWARK, N.J., April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Combining adaptive online learning and face-to-face instruction, two new public charter high schools will serve students in Newark next school year through an innovative blended learning school program.

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Newark Prep and Spirit Prep, two public charter schools approved by the New Jersey Department of Education, will offer ninth grade in their first year. Both schools will add the remaining high school grades in the following years.

Each school will have rigorous academic, college-prep programs, high student expectations, and a unique focus.

Newark Prep Charter School's mission is to prepare students to be college and career ready young adults. Students will take courses in core subjects and have access to multiple high school electives, including honors and Advanced Placement courses. Students will also participate in engaging learning opportunities, both online and offline, and receive intensive one-on-one support from teachers, advisors, and counselors. Students who reside in Newark are eligible to enroll in the school.

Spirit Prep Charter School is designed for students who are passionate about music and the performing arts. The school will offer a rigorous education program combined with a focus on music. Spirit Prep students will study a musical instrument and are expected to perform as part of the school's regular and extracurricular offerings. Students who reside in Newark, East Orange, and Irvington are eligible to enroll in Spirit Prep.

The schools will share a facility located in Newark at 570 Broad Street.

Blended learning turns the typical school environment on its head. Rather than a "one size fits all" program of distinct periods and bells, these blended schools will offer students flexible block scheduling and engaging project-based learning activities, both online and in a classroom setting, that maximize students' unique skills and styles of learning. Academic individualization is a hallmark of both schools. Students will attend school onsite every day, however, each school will structure the schedule so that students are able to progress at their own pace and receive the enrichment or remediation they need.

Each public charter school is governed by an independent, nonprofit school board led by local educators and community leaders.

"Newark Prep's blended learning model will offer families the best education has to offer today: face-to-face instruction and online learning," said Adrianna Meherji, President of the Newark Prep Board of Trustees. "Our students will have the flexibility of a truly personalized education, thus providing them access to the best educational resources, especially teachers who are focused on small groups of students rather than whole-class instruction. It's a model that looks a lot like the way higher education and workplace training are currently structured. Blended learning will give Newark Prep students the edge to succeed."

Harold Wright, President of the Spirit Prep Charter School Board of Trustees said, "So many kids want to learn a musical instrument, but seats in the excellent music magnet schools are too few to serve all those who want the opportunity. The Spirit Prep mission is an important step in helping fulfill that need. We are a public high school option dedicated to providing any student with a first class blended learning experience in a school environment that is permeated with music. Spirit Prep is a school where every student has the chance to pursue their love of music."

Both schools will use the curriculum and school services provided by K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), the nation's largest provider of online learning programs in grades K-12. Over 2,000 public schools and public school districts across the country use K12's courses, assessments, and instructional services in online and blended schools, and traditional classrooms. K12's curriculum and education programs have received numerous honors and awards. Most recently, EdNET Insight named K12 Inc. as a leading provider of online programs to school districts, and the K12 curriculum was named a 2011 top product award winner in District Administration.

K12's innovative blended learning programs are used in public charter schools and school districts in cities throughout the country, including Chicago, San Francisco, and Indianapolis.

"K12 is excited to provide our high quality curriculum and instructional services to Newark Prep and Spirit Prep," said Darren Reed, Vice President of Blended Schools at K12 Inc. "Through blended learning, teachers and educators are finding new ways to better personalize instruction, and help students engage, learn, and succeed."

More information on Newark Prep can be found at Information on Spirit Prep can be found at