Among its many special programs, the Atlantic City public schools offer a gifted and talented program, a preschool program, English as a Second Language, a K & 1 Write to Read program, and a special truancy program. The school system has instituted a computerized managed instruction program that provides most students access to the schools' computer labs. Special software developed to coincide with texts in use and standardized tests complements the hardware. The high school, Atlantic City High, opened in the mid-1990s following an investment of some $80 million. Atlantic City's schools saw an increase in test scores in 2004, most notably in elementary language proficiency. Just over 60 percent of students were deemed at least proficient in language in 2004, up from 22 percent in 2003. High schoolers saw a combined increase of 4.5 percent in writing and mathematics in 2004. Among the challenges that face educators in the Atlantic City school system is the high rate of poverty; in 2005, 81.5 percent of enrolled students were identified as living below poverty level.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Atlantic City Public School system as of the 2004–2005 school year.
Total enrollment: 7,159
Number of facilities elementary schools: 8
junior high/middle schools: 2
senior high schools: 1
Student/teacher ratio: 25:1
Teacher salaries average: $53,897 (2004)
Funding per pupil: $11,123 (2004)
Public Schools Information: Atlantic City Public Schools, 1300 Atlantic Avenue, 5th Floor, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)343-7200
The nearest institution of higher learning is Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona, an easy commute to the west. The school offers bachelor's degrees in business, arts, and sciences. Special programs include interdisciplinary studies in gerontology, Judaism, Africana studies, Latin American/Caribbean studies, teacher education, and women's studies. Together with its academic curricula, Stockton offers students cooperative education, internships, and study abroad. Atlantic Community College, based in Mays Landing, holds "casino schools" in Atlantic City, teaching tourists the skills needed to play the games of chance in the city's casinos.
The public library system consists of the Atlantic City Free Public Library, the main facility, and the Richmond Branch Library. In addition to its 104,000 volumes, the system makes available magazines, videos, records, and cassettes. The library's History of Atlantic City Collection includes books, periodicals, pamphlets, postcards, maps, Miss America yearbooks, and period souvenirs. Information about New Jersey history and genealogy is also catalogued.
Within Atlantic City are several specialized libraries, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's Technical Information Research Facility at the Atlantic City Airport; and the Health Science Library of the Atlantic City Division of the Atlantic City Medical Center. The William J. Hughes Technical Center Library is a leading aviation research and testing facility designated as an emergency space shuttle landing site. At the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, mammals that have been rescued and deemed beyond saving are studied for what they can reveal about mammalian illness.
Public Library Information: Atlantic City Free Public Library, One North Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)345-2269; fax (609)345-5570