Infinity Institute is the only Jersey City public school with 6th grade through 12th grade and serves about 293 students. Students generally enter in 6th grade and 9th grade, but there is also limited availability for students entering 7th grade and 10th grade. Students who complete 8th grade at Infinity are automatically promoted to 9th grade.
Applications, typically due in February, are evaluated on a point system, and the approximate cutoff for admission is 80 points:
- 30pts OLSAT
- 30pts PARCC
- 30pts Report Card (4th grade + first marking period of 5th grade)
- 20pts Teacher Recommendation
Entering middle school students must take the OLSAT (typically in 5th grade), the same exam that is used for admissions to the AEP program. The OLSAT test is offered by the district, often on the first Saturday of March. Also considered for admissions are the students’ PARCC scores (if they come from a Jersey City public school), elementary school grades, teacher recommendations, attendance, and extracurricular activities.
About 50 students are accepted into 6th grade, and about 10 students are accepted into 7th grade. The target 6th grade class size is only 30 students.
According to the Infinity Institute’s 2019 Blue Ribbon application, the admissions criteria is similar to McNair Academic High School’s in that applicants are first grouped by race to target a student population that is representative of Jersey City’s population:
“As a magnet school, Infinity Institute facilitates an acceptance process for both the middle and high school grades. At the middle school level, students apply for admission as current 5th – 7th graders. While at the high school level, students must be enrolled as current 8th or 9th graders at the time of their application. The high school admissions process begins annually, in the fall. Applications are distributed to the district’s public and charter elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and non-public schools located in Jersey City. Interested students are required to complete and submit an application to their school counselors. All completed applications must include student residence information, grades for the past two years in five core subjects (reading, writing, math, social studies, and science), recommendations from three teachers and one administrator, attendance record from the current year, Preliminary SAT 8/9 (PSAT 8/9) scores, and extracurricular activities. For each admissions criterion, the students receive points. The points are tabulated electronically to determine each student’s total overall score. The total maximum points that can be obtained are 100. Once the scores have been tabulated, all applicants in the databases are grouped into four subgroups based on their reported ethnicity: Hispanic, White, African-American, and Other (Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American). In each subgroup, the applicants’ total scores are ranked from highest to lowest. Since the school seeks to enroll a hundred new students each year, the committee offers acceptance to the top 20 applicants of each ethnicity subgroup (80 students). Once 80 accepted students have been identified in each subgroup, the remaining applicants from the four subgroups are placed in one group and ranked from highest to lowest based on their application score. The final 20 accepted students are the top 20 applicants in this heterogeneous group. If an accepted student declines the invitation to enroll, the committee then invites the next student on the heterogeneous list to enroll. At the middle school level, the admissions
process begins in early winter each school year and is very similar to the high school process.”
Entering high school students must take the PSAT, the same exam that is used for admissions to McNair Academic High School. The PSAT is offered to 8th grade JCBOE students in October.
(Updated September 2019)
The racial breakdown of students is as follows:
- 29% Asian
- 24% Hispanic or Latino
- 24% White
- 21% Black or African American
Of its 293 students, 193 (66%) are eligible for free/reduced-price meals. 97% of graduates enrolled in a 4-year college or university, and the remaining 3% enrolled in a community college.
Infinity has begun to implement Cambridge University curricula for middle school, preparing students for Advanced Placement (AP) level work in high school.
In 8th grade, some students take Algebra I, Stem Lab, and ELA Honors while others continue with the standard 8th grade curriculum.
Infinity Institute has an after school program sponsored by the YMCA that offers activities and homework help until 6:30pm.
Infinity’s high school, like McNair, requires 160 credits for graduation; whereas, other Jersey City public schools only require 120. The school offers a variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
The school doors open at 7:00am and both middle school and high school students attend classes between 8:35 and 3:05. Infinity Institute has partnered with the YMCA to supplement its after school program from 3:10pm to 6pm daily. The school also offers sports and other extracurricular activities.
What do parents like about this school?
Infinity is a small school, with relatively small class sizes. It is selective, and therefore academically rigorous, which shows in the school’s standardized test scores. Perhaps one of the best perks of attending Infinity for middle school is the ability to transition into high school without navigating another selection process. Additionally, many graduates of the middle school are accepted to the most selective high schools in the area, such as McNair and High Tech High.