Double the chance

Dear Editor:
On behalf of the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa), I am thrilled to announce the HoLa has received permission from the New Jersey Department of Education to implement a weighted lottery that will give low-income applicants double the chance of being selected for an available seat at our school. HoLa was the first dual language charter school in the state when it opened its doors in 2010. Now, HoLa is the first charter school in the state to be permitted to offer a weighted lottery. HoLa has been committed to diversity and inclusiveness in all forms—including socioeconomic—since its very inception. This has been consistently demonstrated by our rigorous outreach efforts, such as knocking on hundreds of doors at the Housing Authority and partnering with local organizations, to ensure that all Hoboken residents are aware of their educational options, particularly those whose options are limited by poverty and who might benefit most from the well-established advantages of an immersion education. Now, a weighted lottery will further our efforts to provide greater access to Hoboken’s neediest residents, and we are grateful that approval was granted in time for us to implement it for the current admissions cycle. Eligibility for this lottery preference is determined by the applicant’s eligibility for subsidized housing, public assistance or free/reduced lunch at a current school. We will be working closely with the Hoboken Housing Authority and Applied Housing to inform residents of this new opportunity and to facilitate the application process.
We would like to thank our Board of Trustees for their unanimous support, as well as the many varied public officials and community leaders who have supported us in this effort: Mayor Dawn Zimmer, NJ Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, NJ Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, Freeholder Anthony Romano, Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Marc Recko, HOPES President and CEO Ora Welch, as well as Hoboken Board of Education Trustee Peter Biancamano, among others, all of whom recognize that a program that benefits Hoboken students benefits the city as a whole. HoLa will continue its efforts to ensure that all of Hoboken’s residents are aware of the options available to them, and that barriers to understanding those options and exercising choice are ameliorated.

Jen Sargent
HoLa Executive Director

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