EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Egg Harbor Township will get its first charter school this September when the International Academy of Atlantic City Charter School relocates from its Pleasantville location to the Cardiff Shopping Center.

The school, which has been operating at 25 W. Black Horse Pike, will be open in its new location in time for the school year, according to Peter Caporilli, board president for the school.

“The International Academy of Atlantic City Charter School is a tuition-free publicly funded school currently offering full-day kindergarten through grade 5,” Caporilli said. “We are delighted to be the first public school in Egg Harbor Township to offer full-day kindergarten.”

The new location is the space previously used by Ross Dress for Less, at 6718 Black Horse Pike. The 27,000-square-foot space has been vacant.

Caporilli said the school, which educates about 325 students, will add a grade level each year as the students age up into 12th grade. He projects that the new, expanded space in Egg Harbor Township will lead to an increase in enrollment of about 75 students. The new location is being renovated to include classrooms, media rooms, offices and “a versatile cafetorium” space.

According to plans on file with the township, an outdoor play area will be constructed in the vacant lot to the northwest side of the building. It would be enclosed by a chain-link fence. The parking lot will be outfitted with new striping to designate student pick-up and drop-off areas.

The school is a member of the SABIS Network, a group of charter schools. Caporilli said the schools offer a full range of supports for special needs students in accordance with their individualized education plans.

“In life, when we enter a situation that is uncomfortable or challenging or simply new, God is there to help us improve in that area. Yet, He would never have the opportunity to do so if we do not enter that situation on our own. Just as a child raises their hand to accept help from their teacher, we need to simply step out of comfort zones in order to allow God to build us up to our full potential.”

“For academically and artistically gifted students there are many opportunities to have an enriched experience,” he said. “For example, academically high-performing students are given the role of Academic Prefects or Shadow Teachers in the school. In this role, they assist the teacher during instruction by serving as mentors to other students, checking other students’ work and providing necessary explanation and delivering mini-lessons of instruction to the whole class.”

He said beginning in grade 5, a student-led organization called the Student Life Organization provides opportunities for all students, including academically and artistically gifted students, to initiate, lead and participate in a variety of clubs and activities catering to their particular interests and skills.

“The enrollment process is simple. Parents can complete an application online or in person. We are planning our inaugural open house when we will invite parents and students to visit, meet teachers and staff and learn more about our school,” he said.

No date was yet available for the open house.

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