Join your charter school colleagues
About the Annual Conference
Since 2009, the New Jersey Charter Schools Association has proudly hosted the only professional development conference dedicated to bringing together the entire New Jersey charter school community, including current and future school operators, administrators, teachers, support staff, business officials, board trustees, stakeholders, board attorneys, parents, vendors, and service providers. The Annual Conference is an important forum for the charter community to gather and exchange ideas, best practices, and new information with colleagues, policymakers, and stakeholders. More than 60 breakout sessions are designed to address the needs of New Jersey charter school employees, trustees and stakeholders, in which they can discuss their challenges, explore innovative solutions and celebrate resounding triumphs.
- During the past few years, we’ve welcomed between 700 and 800 registrants plus more than 90 exhibiting companies at each conference. Registrants include not only charter school educators, administrators, board trustees, founders, but also business people, CMO representatives, breakout session presenters, stakeholders, parents and exhibitors.
- About half of all registrants work directly in current or future NJ charter schools. Of them, half were school administrators, founders, leaders or trustees; the other half were classroom teachers, parents or other school support staff.
- We offer more than 60 professional development breakout sessions over the course of two full days (three breakout session time slots per day, averaging 8 options per time slot). Because charter school staff often have varying roles and responsibilities, attendees can attend any session in any track. In general, the tracks are usually identified as Operations, Governance, Use of Data, Leadership and Student Achievement.
- When companies and organizations participate as exhibitors, advertisers and/or sponsors in the annual conference, they gain immediate access to this growing market through face-to-face interactions with charter school educators in a relaxed yet professional environment. We strive to keep a 50/50 mix of business people and educators.
About New Jersey Charter Schools
Although considered public schools by law, charter schools face unique challenges that are unparalleled in traditional, private or parochial school environments. Charter schools are free, independent public schools that welcome all children, regardless of academic performance, ability, wealth, gender, race or religion. There is no tuition to attend a charter school, and any school-aged child can be enrolled in a charter school. Charter schools must meet the same requirements as district schools in the areas of teacher certification, student testing, curriculum, civil rights, and student health and safety. Unlike district public schools, charter public schools can be closed for poor performance or failure to meet the requirements stated in their charters.
About the Charter Schools Market
New Jersey’s charter schools continue to be a strong market for suppliers of educational products and services.
- Strong parent demand for school choice has led to a robust charter school movement in New Jersey, where 88 charter schools are currently educating more than 50,000 students from Pre-K to 12th grade.
- Charter school law grants each charter school autonomy over its own purchasing decisions, allowing it to bypass the red tape and roadblocks facing most district schools. Some charters are expanding (adding grades & buildings) and are creating central offices so they can consolidate their purchasing decisions.
- Many of New Jersey’s existing charter schools are experiencing a tremendous increase in enrollment and grades served, necessitating the purchase of more supplies, services and support. These schools are actively seeking partnerships with suppliers who understand and support their unique needs.
- Although only a select handful of new schools are being approved to open each year, existing charter schools are choosing to expand, meaning they’re opening additional buildings, adding more grades and/or increasing enrollment, usually under the existing charter.
- Most school employees assume multiple roles within their schools (e.g., many leaders will teach classes), empowering more people with front-line, decision-making abilities than typically allowed in district schools.
About the New Jersey Charter Schools Association
Since 1999, the New Jersey Charter Schools Association has been recognized as the voice for all charter schools in the state. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership association, our mission is to advance educational choice for New Jersey’s children through quality public charter schools. To this end, we offer services and programs to our members, including grant programs; advocacy training & support; incubation, start-up and renewal services; professional development opportunities; and much more. The Annual Conference is our culminating event that provides professional development and networking opportunities to the entire charter school community, regardless of membership in our Association. For more information, visit our main website at www.njcharters.org.