Hebrew Immersion Charter School To Open Next Year

School officials in Englewood and Teaneck reviewing impact, plan to discuss with BoE.

A controversial Hebrew immersion charter school will open a year later than expected after it failed to meet state requirements, officials said in a statement Friday. 

and had already started registering students from Teaneck and Englewood for the upcoming school year.  The fate of those slots was not immediately clear. 

Shalom Academy founder Raphael Bachrach did not return calls and e-mails for comment Friday. Bachrach has not returned repeated requests for comment and much of the details of the charter school remain unclear.

"I would assume the school will be communicating directly with families on this," Department of Education spokesman Justin Barra said of the enrollment.

The school advertised a public meeting to be held at the Englewood Public Library Friday but a library employee said the group was “escorted out” for not properly registering the meeting space. 

The school’s location also remained unknown Friday. Documents obtained by Patch list an address on William Street in Englewood but property owners have said they have no plans to sell or move out.

“Since it is not opening this year, we do not know the location right now for 2012,” Barra said. 

The school did not submit a Certificate of Occupancy for the building, Barra said. 

The news came in a statement issued by the state Education Department around 6 p.m. Friday. Nine other charter schools were approved to open in September, the statement said. 

“The Christie Administration’s commitment to approving quality charter schools demonstrates the high bar that we must have for any school that is serving New Jersey students,” Acting Education Commissioner Christopher D. Cerf said in the statement. 

Teaneck Board of Education President Ardie Walser said the Board plans to discuss the impact of the charter's delayed opening in August. Teaneck had budgeted $1.4 million for Shalom Academy. Nearly all of the school’s 160 spots were filled, according to the school’s website.

"We are cautious with public funds and try to plan everything well. We don’t want to rush to any judgment about use of funds previously designated for Shalom Charter," Teaneck Schools Superintendent Barbara Pinsak said in an e-mail Monday morning.

Englewood School District Superintendent Donald Carlisle also said Shalom Academy would be discussed at an upcoming Board of Education meeting. City schools had filed an appeal in an attempt to block the charter school from opening. 

"We're not over here celebrating. We are upset," Carlisle said. "We were prepared to work with those folks as neighbors."

Carlisle said he understood that locating a facility suitable for a school was difficult.

Note: This article was first published Friday, but has since been updated with comments from Teaneck school officials. Check back for updates on this developing story.

JAD July 17, 2011 at 02:53 AM
Am I the only one who finds it quite odd that they apparently mislead people by placing an address on applications to a building who knows nothing of them? Maybe I am misunderstanding the article but something isn't sitting right with me on that.
Sarah Rappoport July 17, 2011 at 11:46 AM
JAD - No, you're not the only one who finds this a concern. By listing a location that was not valid, they mislead both the state charter review board and the families interested in the school. I feel for the families who were counting on the charter school and now must make other arrangements for their child(ren)...And school starts in about six weeks!
JamesTS July 18, 2011 at 02:27 PM
I agree... alsodoes anyone find it very very strange that the group "escorted out" before a so-called public meeting? they posted a public meeting without properly securing a location for said meeting? isn't that a public law violation? this charter school group is really strange... lets hope the public and media continues to follow this closely.
Chondra Young July 18, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Let's follow this closely.
Mrs. Melnyk July 19, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Perhaps the film program at the High School can be reinstated?


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