Friday, February 12, 2016

Archive: November, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, November 29, 2012, 2:25 PM

As I mentioned in my story today, the Camden Board of Education expressed its support for the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy proposal, reversing its prior position on the matter. 

The board's approval of the KIPP plan was due to two board members - Sean Brown and Kathryn Ribay - changing their votes on the proposal.  Ribay said she would only support the proposal if the promise of negotiating a contract was put in writing. And so, a contract negotiation clause was added to the resolution.

Below is a copy of the amended resolution that the board sent to state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf for final approval.

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POSTED: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 4:43 PM

In today’s Inquirer, my colleague Dan Hardy took a look at a study released Tuesday by a Stanford University research center that found that students in New Jersey charter schools had greater learning gains, on average, than those in comparable traditional public schools.

While the report by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) was positive for charters statewide, Camden's charter schools overall did not share in the good news. The study said comparable students in the public schools from which Camden's charter students are drawn showed greater gains in reading ability on state tests than students in the charters and about the same gains in math as the city's charters. The study did not release information on individual charter performance.

Nevertheless, Charters are growing in Camden and throughout the state at a faster pace than ever before. 

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POSTED: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 2:02 AM

After months of lobbying behind the scenes, the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy renaissance school founders got their wish: their five-school campus proposal was accepted by the Camden School Board early Wednesday evening.

The vote came just before 2 a.m., after more than two hours of closed session discussions among the board. Representatives from KIPP and the Cooper Foundation joined the board during the last hour of the board’s closed session.

 The KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy proposal —— which was rejected in September by the Camden Board of Education in its bid to become one of the state's first privately run, publicly financed Renaissance schools in the city —— was the only proposal re-considered at Tuesday’s board meeting.

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POSTED: Monday, November 26, 2012, 4:05 PM

With Cyber Monday in full swing today, millions of people are searching for the best bargains online. But one website is asking you to pay more for its products.

Until midnight on Cyber Monday, some items on the website will be marked up, instead of down as in most other places. It is the "Un-Sale".

The Camden-based couple who started the charity market website in 2011 wanted to use one of the biggest online shopping days of the year to help those less fortunate.

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POSTED: Sunday, November 25, 2012, 5:20 PM

The baseball park at Second and Erie will be renamed after one of Camden’s youngest heroes: Dominick Andujar.

Dominick, 6, died on Sept. 2 as he tried to defend his sister against a knife-wielding intruder. The man turned the knife on Dominick, slicing his throat and leaving him dead. But Dominick gave the man enough of a struggle that his sister Amber was able to escape and survive.

At a celebration and belated birthday party Friday night for Amber, who turned 12 the night of the attack, Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd and City Council President Frank Moran announced that the park where Dominick played T-ball all summer would be named after him.

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POSTED: Monday, November 19, 2012, 9:42 AM

In case you missed it, my story in Sunday's Inquirer explained where some of Camden's state recovery money has been directed, including a $500,000 business incentive grant that recently went to one of the new charter schools in the city.

As part of the $175 million state takeover fund given to Camden in 2002, $7 million was set aside for business lease grants to stimulate business growth throughout the city.

So far, less than $3 million of the business grants has been spent, the most recent and largest chunk to date being $495,990 to the nonprofit support group for the Knowledge A to Z (KATZ) Academy Charter School.

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POSTED: Friday, November 16, 2012, 10:28 AM

A $5.1 million grant for Rowan University to expand its downtown Camden campus was approved Thursday by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) board.

The grant will go toward the university’s $13.5 million redevelopment of the former First Camden National Bank and Trust building, a university spokesman said. The university purchased the property through eminent domain in 2009. After a court battle with the building’s owner, Rowan was forced to pay $4.45 million for the building and annex.

Rowan’s Camden enrollment has doubled to more than 800 students in recent years, with classes held in a building shared with Camden County at Broadway and Cooper, kitty-corner from the old bank. The expansion will allow Rowan to increase enrollment to more than 1,000 and offer additional bachelor’s degree programs, specifically in the areas of urban research and education.

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POSTED: Friday, November 16, 2012, 8:05 PM

The sweet and buttery smell of the mac and cheese filtered through the door of the East Camden Boys & Girls Club Thursday night. Inside, more than 200 Camden club members (from Parkside and East Camden club houses) and their families lined up to get a plateful of mac and cheese, veggies, ham and turkey meat rolled around a ball of stuffing during the fourth annual Thanksgiving dinner for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Camden County family.

The dessert table was also divine with more than 200 beautifully decorated cupcakes.

All the food was donated by area caterers and supermarkets. Volunteers from Congregation Beth El in Voorhees and Impacting Your World Christian Center in Cherry Hill did most of the cooking and serving during Thursday’s feast.

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About this blog

Allison Steele writes about Camden’s schools, government and businesses. Most importantly, she writes about the city’s residents. She is a former crime reporter who covered the Camden and Philadelphia police departments for the Inquirer. A Philly native, she has been with the Inquirer since 2008.

Send comments, tips and story ideas to, call 856-779-3876, or reach out on Twitter @AESteele.

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