Friday, March 30, 2012

Signs of Life From SACS

A reader sent in the letter below which was sent by SACS recently.  Seems like they are being a bit more cautious than last year.  

What I don't understand is that they expect to get a "reasonable sense on the final approval status as early as mid June."  So when do they get final approval? In August?  What happens to the teachers & faculty they supposedly hired if they find out in August that it's not opening?  What about the students?  Hopefully their parents will have the sense to double-register.  Are parents willing to send their kids without having met a single administrator or teacher, or even knowing where the school is going to be?

Progress towards opening in September 2012 is going very well and on schedule.

All of our Administration and most of the Staff are still lined up and applications continue to come in to fill any vacancies.

Following another round of in-district applications, announcements will be made of admission of students from the out of district waiting list – if there are any remaining seats. Registration will occur in late spring – Shalom Academy will provide you with registration guidelines to secure the spot (district transfer cards, proofs of age and residency). For now, your in-district spots are being held and no action must be taken.

Our current phase involves demonstrating to the NJ State DOE and Bergen County DOE that the school has achieved all of the necessary preparedness steps and is indeed ready to open. Our Administration, and Immersion and Development teams have been working very hard to ensure successful navigation of this process including mandatory weekly seminars and workshops in Trenton and Washington, DC.

Last year this phase was navigated successfully with only 1 deficiency - a limit to the number of students that was far below our actual enrollment was added to our Certificate of Occupancy.

We have already leased a new facility, and last week underwent a preliminary site evaluation - the outcome was extremely favorable.

It is likely that we will be able to get a reasonable sense on the final approval status as early as mid June – less likely but possible as early as mid May.

There is every indication, and we are optimistic, that we will be able to receive this approval – and efforts to get an advance ruling are underway. However, as we found last year, there is no guarantee that the school will receive this approval.

In the event that there is any indication that we will be unable to open in September we will inform you immediately. Similarly, if we are clear that opening is definite, that information will be released immediately.

We look forward to a positive result from the DOE and passing on this great news to you.