Camden BOE approves school
CAMDEN — An agreement between the Camden Board of Education and KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy was signed Tuesday night.
The contract between the two parties will advance plans to build a state-funded Renaissance school in the Lanning Square section of the city.
The vote — five yes, one no and one abstention — comes after the New Jersey Department of Education on Friday sent a letter outlining approval of the school’s application.
The KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy is a collaborative alliance of George Norcross’ family foundation, Cooper University Hospital’s charitable foundation and KIPP, a national chain of charter schools. The plan is to bring five schools with a total of 2,850 students to the Lanning Square neighborhood, which adjoins Cooper University Hospital’s new medical school.
Norcross, an influential South Jersey Democrat, is Cooper’s chairman.
The state, city and KIPP officials have been going back and forth for the last year on the project.
The Camden Board of Education on Sept. 25 rejected a proposal to build the school, voting 4-4 with one abstention. The board granted approval Nov. 28 after a second vote.
KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy is expected to open in the fall of 2014.
The school will open with prekindergarten and kindergarten students. Additional grades will be offered each year after.