School choice — the option-granting initiative that allows parents and caregivers to choose a school more to their liking and requirements — will become even more of a “buzzword” term over the next several days as “National School Choice Week” kicks off on Sunday, January 27 and runs through February 2.
Planned by a diverse and nonpartisan coalition of individuals and organizations, National School Choice Week features special events and activities that highlight support for school choice programs and proposals. The effort is a collaboration of more than 200 partner organizations, each of which uses the week to advance its own message of educational opportunity while uniting with like-minded organizations across the country.
“The purpose of National School Choice Week is to provide a concentrated focus on effective education options, including high performing public schools, public charter schools, private schools, magnet schools, virtual schools and homeschooling,” read, in part, the mission statement from National School Choice Week organizers. “National School Choice Week illustrates the unity of the school choice movement by combining the power and enthusiasm of tens of thousands of individuals, hundreds of organizations and many elected leaders.”
Locally, several educational institutions will celebrate National School Choice Week with a slew of informational events. On Sunday, St. Helena-Incarnation will hold a school open house after its welcoming Mass at 11:15 a.m., while Calvary Temple Christian Academy will host its 11th annual scholarship distribution on Tuesday, January 29 at 6:30 p.m.
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 30, Beulah Baptist Christian Day School will host a School Choice assembly with educational outfit Capstone Legacy Foundation, and on Friday, February 1, the Nazareth Academy Grade School will host an open house at 10:30 a.m. Imani Education Circle Charter School will participate, as it annually facilitates college visitations for its students during the week.
The full list of events is available online at www.SchoolChoiceWeekcom/events.
"National School Choice Week was instrumental in bringing greater awareness to the issue that is central to our mission. The week was able to shine a light on the issues we hold near and dear, and give them mainstream attention in a way that can communicate on a broad level the amazing amount of bipartisanship and strength of the school choice movement,” said American Federation for Children Spokesman Malcolm Glenn. “It will continue to help us in raising awareness; when people fully understand the plight of so many of our students who are struggling in schools that don’t fit their needs, they’ll realize the imperative nature of giving families choice now. National School Choice Week is able to sound perhaps the loudest alarm bell as to the importance of that effort."
Officials with School Choice New Jersey echoed much of Glenn’s sentiment.
"Just being part of a national movement was helpful, and the common theme expressed by the banners, scarves and stickers surely added character to the event. We also received 15 RSVP’s directly from your national website, which was enormously helpful in reaching new people we could not have reached,” said School Choice New Jersey Spokesman Israel Teitelbaum in a statement released by National School Choice Week. “This year’s National School Choice Week created a solid launching pad, worthy of taking universal school choice to every one of the 50 state legislatures, and to the U.S. Congress - for children of D.C. and U.S. Army bases. There is no better time to begin than now."