The Compass Academy Charter School in Vineland is preparing to open in September with a new leadership team and still has openings it the first- and second-grade classes, school officials said.

Susan Little, of Pittsgrove Township, a former principal in the Bridgeton school district, will serve as the school’s principal. Little has also served as a school board member in Pittsgrove Township.

Jane Berger, of Pittsgrove, currently a third-grade teacher at the Lawrenceville School in Mercer County, will be the facilitator of staff development and student learning.

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“These individuals came out of a very strong pool of candidates,” board of trustees President Sanford Tweedie said. “We are very excited about having them in place and taking this school to new heights.”

The school is based on the Let Me Learn Process developed by school founder Joel Johnston’s mother, Christine Johnston, former director of the Center for the Advancement of Learning at Rowan University in Glassboro, Gloucester County. The process helps students understand their own learning styles and develop strategies for learning. Each child will get an individualized learning profile.

Berger is a certified Let Me Learn learning specialist and also has a master’s degree in school counseling.

Compass Academy had planned to open last September, but due to a misunderstanding with the state Department of Education about its enrollment it was not granted its final charter, but instead given an extra planning year.

The school plan is to open with 114 students in kindergarten, first and second grades for 2013-14, then expand one grade each year until it reaches 228 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The school is located in a former preschool behind the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer on East Landis Avenue.

The school has a waiting list for the kindergarten class but still has openings in first and second grade. As a public charter school, there is no tuition charged to parents. Preference is given to students from Vineland, Millville and Pittsgrove Township, but students from other towns also may enroll.

The school’s office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 2 p.m. and Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information,call 856-899-5570 or visit

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