The Compass Academy Charter School FAQ’s


Basic Questions
Curricular Questions
Operational Questions
Parent Involvement Questions
Facility Description/ Health/ Safety Questions

Basic Questions:

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are independently-operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs. All charter schools operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer – usually a nonprofit organization, government agency, or university – that holds them accountable to the high standards outlined in their “charter.” It is common to see charter schools led by former teachers who wanted to take the lessons they learned in the classroom and apply those lessons to an entire school.

Each of the more than 6,900 charter schools is unique – both inside and out. Some focus on college prep, some follow a STEM curriculum, and others integrate the arts into each subject. Most charter schools are located in cities, but there are charter schools in suburban and rural areas as well. Some charter schools require uniforms, others have longer school days, and some teach their entire curriculum in two languages. The possibilities are endless, but charter schools aim to provide a range of options so that parents can choose the public school that best fits their child.

The reasons that parents choose charter schools for their children are just as unique as the students themselves. They choose charter schools because of the strong, dedicated teachers, because the school’s focus matches their child’s needs, or simply because their child was struggling in their assigned public school and needed to try something new. Charter schools provide families with options in public education, allowing parents to take a more active role in their child’s education.

What is the cost? Is there tuition?

Compass Academy Charter School is free, therefore there is no fee for the education of the children who attend CACS. CACS is a state regulated school system and like all public schools, materials, uniforms, and other minimal expenditures will apply.

Is their a family rate?

Due to the fact that CACS is a public charter, there is no cost for any child.

What makes this charter school unique?

The Compass Academy Charter School provides:

  • a small classroom environment
  • a hands-on curriculum
  • a personalized learning plan for each student
  • school chef who cooks all meals on site
  • Service Learning Projects for every grade
  • in-house Cumberland County 4-H clubs
  • monthly Making Sense Days (days of experiential learning based on topics of interest)
  • monthly family nights/parent workshops
  • a focus on student growth through other means of assessments and benchmarks beyond PARCC

Where is it located?

We are located on 23 West Chestnut Ave., Vineland, NJ 08360.

Who can apply to attend this school?

Parents of children entering grades K-5. Parents can register their child throughout the school year. There is no deadline to apply. Applications will be reviewed and accepted based on space available within each grade.

What are the school’s hours?

The school hours are 8:00-3:00 with a before and after school care program.

Is the kindergarten full day?

All grades are in session with a full day schedule.

Is there a before and after school program?

The CACS offers a before and after school care program (6:30-8:00 am and 3-6 pm) in order to meet the needs of working parents.

Is transportation provided?

Transportation to children within the Vineland School district will be provided via a busing system. All other children outside of CACS districts will need to provide their own transportation. A lieu of transportation form may be filled out in order to receive funding for transporting the child to school if busing is not an option.

How are students selected for enrollment?

The school verifies each applicant’s eligibility for admission to school. Parents must provide evidence of residence at the time of admission. Proof of residence includes the legal home address of the parent or guardian and/or other appropriate documentation.

If there are more applicants than available spaces, the students are selected by a lottery drawing. The school allows any student who was enrolled in the school in the immediately preceding school year to enroll in the charter school in the appropriate grade. The school also gives enrollment priority to a sibling of a student enrolled in the charter school. Students from other school districts may attend the Compass Academy Charter School provided there are unfilled spaces at the scheduled lottery date.

What monthly schedule will the school follow? 

CACS will follow the Vineland school calendar in terms of federal holidays and snow days.

Is there a dress code? Will students be required to wear uniforms?

Children are required to wear uniforms and a dress code will be reinforced as addressed in the school handbook.

Parents are asked to pay for their child’s uniforms. Compass Academy uses Cheryl’s Uniforms for all tops and pants.

How can I register my child(ren) in Compass?

We currently have spaces available, please call to inquire for specific information.

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Curricular Questions

Will the school offer art, music, health and phys education for the children?

Art, Music, Physical Education, Health and Technology are offered to our children every week.

What services are available for special needs children?

Special needs children will be accepted and served based on their Individual Educational Programs (IEP). Children with an IEP will be accepted and enrolled in the CACS based on the services Compass can provide (least restrictive environment). We currently contract with Salem County Special Service School District for all Child Study Team and related services.

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Operational Questions:

Who will operate the school?

We have a full-time, certified principal on-site during the school day. Overall, the school is run by its Board of Trustees.

Will the administrative and teaching faculty be certified?

All administrators and instructors are fully certified by the state of NJ.

Will you have a school counselor?

Yes, a certified school counselor is a part of the staff and counseling services are available.

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Parent Involvement Questions

Will families be involved in the CACS?

The Compass Academy Charter School prides itself in being a family-centered school. Each month a family learning and fellowship activity is held at which parents and family members can learn and grow together in strengthening their home as a learning community.

Additional family involvement is not only welcomed, but encouraged as a part of the school’s vision and mission.

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Facility Description/ Health/ Safety

Is the facility be secured during school hours?

The CACS is in a facility that has security systems that provide the safest environment for the children and staff. Like local public schools, all people wishing to enter the school building will need to be identified via telecom, screened via a TV monitor, and sign in with identification if wishing to enter the classrooms or pick up a child.

Will there be health checks for kids? Screening?

The State requires that all children attending public schools follows the health regulations. A school nurse is available for basic health screenings such as vision and hearing. All other vaccinations and health screenings are required to be up to date and administered by the family’s physician.

Will there be someone there to administer medications?

Nursing services are provided by a licensed school nurse.

Will food services be available?

The school provides a breakfast and lunch program in accordance with the state Child Nutrition Program regulations. Free and reduced lunch is provided based on application information supplied to the State.

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