PATERSON, NJ—College Achieve Paterson successfully launched the new year at its new Downtown campus featuring amenities that will expand students academic and arts experiences.
The school, which will house grades seven to 10 during the 2021-22 school year, rolled out new classes and programs including advanced academic, physical fitness, and a wide variety of arts programs including music, podcasts, and production.
The new campus is housed in a 55,000-square-foot seven-story historic building at 21 Market St., directly across from Paterson City Hall. Located in the heart of Paterson, the school is easily accessible to families in the community. The building boasts 26 classrooms, brand-new laboratories for chemistry, physics and biology classes, a computer lab, a suite for its guidance counselors, social workers and nurse, a high Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) room, a music room that they’re equipping with podcast equipment to create a studio, a dance/yoga/Zumba studio, and cafeteria.
With studies showing a strong correlation between physical activity and strong academics, the new campus space also allows for students to explore their physical fitness. In addition to providing basketball, volleyball, soccer and track and field teams for boys and girls, there is a state-of-the-art high intensity interval training (HIIT) room, which is fully equipped with the latest sports and training equipment.
The fitness room serves as the gym during school, the training facility for the sports teams after school, as well as a gym for all students to use outside of school hours. The key to the fitness room is the presence of personal trainers guiding the workouts for all students.
“We’ve made a promise to our community that we will offer students a path to and through college, and in order to prepare our students to be competitive applicants for schools and jobs, they need access to courses that teach them new skills and allow them to expand their knowledge,” said Gemar Mills, executive director and co-founder of College Achieve Paterson Charter School. “Our new facility gives students what students in wealthier communities have. With our fully-equipped science labs, computer lab and classrooms, we’ll be able to complement our rigorous curriculum with hands-on training that will set them up as desirable candidates for universities and jobs.”
While College Achieve Paterson serves students that come to the school one to four years behind grade level, in just one year, the school improved its ranking from the 8th to the 60th percentile in the State of NJ based on the ESSA evaluation of quality schools (2017-18 to the 2018-19 school year).
Those strong academic outcomes, as well as access to a well-rounded K-12 program, have led to robust demand for the school since its opening. The popular school currently has a waiting list of 398 students and enrollment grew 70 percent in just five years of operation to 1,200 students this year.
Validating its academic growth, earlier this year New Jersey officials granted College Achieve Paterson a five-year renewal and allowed the school to expand to the 12th grade by the 2023-2024 school year.