One Camden is a family-friendly application that makes it easier to apply to public schools in Camden, NJ.
Rather than having to submit multiple applications by different deadlines, families can use the One Camden application to apply to District schools outside of their neighborhood, renaissance schools, and public charter schools.
To ensure a fair process that treats all families equally, participating schools will only accept the One Camden application.
Why did we need an improved enrollment process in Camden?
In the past, families had to fill out separate applications for each school they wanted their child to attend. Schools had different deadlines and separate lotteries for enrollment, stretching from as early as October to as late as July.
One Camden creates a one-stop shop where families can learn about and applying to Camden schools. It simplifies the process and makes admissions fairer.
Families are matched to the school they prefer the most that has available space, helping ensure that more students will have a seat at a school they want to attend.
Who runs One Camden?
One Camden was launched as a Camden City School District (CCSD) initiative to replace the special transfers system and give all families equal access to getting their child into one of the City’s 41 District, charter, or renaissance schools.
In August 2017, One Camden established itself as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with independent funding, leadership, and a board of directors. The board is made up of two representatives each from participating District, charter, and renaissance schools.
The 2019-20 members of the board are
Katrina McCombs (CCSD)
Taryn Fletcher (CCSD)
Kaitlin McCann (Freedom Prep)
Ranjana Reddy (KIPP)
Giana Solomon (Uncommon)
One Camden’s bylaws require that any enrollment policy or change to the common enrollment system must be passed by the board with majority support and the support of at least one member from each school type (District, charter, and renaissance). This is to ensure that all policies adopted by One Camden benefit families first and the City as a whole, and do not disadvantage any type of publicly-funded school.
Why did One Camden become a non-profit?
CCSD established One Camden as a neutral, fair system to simplify the school enrollment process and give all Camden families equal access to high quality schools.
Given this goal, participating schools agreed that independent funding and governance would allow One Camden to operate fairly and stably as a service to the City’s families.
Fair for parents and schools: Each school that participates in One Camden needs to feel confident that One Camden is a neutral system to provide families objective information about Camden’s publicly funded schools, and match families with their preferred school, regardless of school type or any other factor. An independent board ensures that the enrollment system operates fairly, openly, and without advantaging or disadvantaging any school or type of school.
Fair funding: One Camden is a City-wide service to families, and its funding must reflect that for the system to be fair and sustainable. As a nonprofit, One Camden can fundraise independently and CCSD can reduce its funding commitment to One Camden.
Sustainable: As a nonprofit, One Camden is best positioned to advocate for families and fair school choice, regardless of changing political pressures facing any publicly funded school type – District, charter, or renaissance.