New Jersey's Interdistrict Public School Choice Program enables approved choice districts to enroll students who do not reside within their districts without cost to their parents. The program increases educational opportunities for students and their families by providing students with school options outside of their district of residence and giving parents the power to select a school program that best serves their child's individual needs.
The Public School Choice Program benefits students and parents, as well as the choice districts. Choice programs might have smaller class sizes, increased instructional time, and a school culture more conducive to a student's success in school. Many choice districts have established specialized and innovative programs and courses that focus on areas such as art, music, foreign languages, and technology, and are open to students who demonstrate an interest in the special programs. Opening enrollment to students outside the district can bring in more students interested in taking advantage of these special programs and courses, allowing both the programs and students to grow and flourish.
Benefits of the Program
The state also has many small districts and schools that sometimes experience population shifts that result in budget crunches. Opening enrollment beyond the district's boundaries can alleviate the effects of these shifts and bring greater stability to operations, since choice students bring additional funding to the district. The addition of students with different backgrounds and perspectives from those of the district's resident students also can enrich the school community.
Pinelands Regional School District is located in Little Egg Harbor, Ocean County, and serves students in grades 7-12. The district students reside in Little Egg Harbor, Tuckerton, Eagleswood, and Bass River Township (Burlington County). Pinelands Regional School District will offer Choice students the opportunity to share in the small classes and individual attention in which the district prides itself.
Pinelands Regional boasts small classes, a performing arts program and a plethora of honors/AP courses. In addition, there is an extensive athletic program and extra-curricular activities. The Pinelands Regional learning community embraces a commitment to the development of the whole student. Pinelands offers many extra-curricular activities, an outstanding athletic program and have a highly decorated Thespian Competition Team. We embrace the philosophy of encouraging all students to participate in Advanced Placement Courses. In fact, College Board has recognized Pinelands as being an honor roll district that simultaneously achieved increases in access to AP courses and also maintained or improved the rate at which our students earned scores of a 3 or higher.
Pinelands is also offering two Academies. The Academy of Humanities/Law prepares students for a career in Humanities/Law and the Bio/Medical Academy which will provide students the path to pursue a career in the Health Sciences at the undergraduate level. Partnered with Ocean County College and Stockton University, the students will have the opportunity to gain college credit. Both require prerequisite courses and an application process. We pride ourselves on a fully engaged guidance department that works closely with all of our students in the post-secondary planning process.