All admission statuses for the 2024-2025 academic year have been sent through email. Kindly review your junk/spam folder if you haven't received it.

Application information for the 2024-2025 School Year
Students in 5th grade as of September 1, 2023

Explore Middle School admission applications should be submitted in the fall of students' 5th grade year.

The application link was available
Wednesday, October 25, 2023 8:00 PM to Thursday, November 30, 2023 11:59 PM
Thank you for your interest!

Important Dates

  • Open House for 5th Grade Students/Parents: Tuesday, October 24, 2023 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Explore Middle School
  • Application is Available: Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 8:00 AM
  • Application Deadline Date (Students/Parents): Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 11:59 PM
  • Recommendation Letters must be submitted via the email link sent to the recommender.  Two letters of recommendation are required; these letters should be from 3rd, 4th or 5th grade academic teachers.
  • Deadline for Letters of Recommendations: Monday, December 11, 2023 at 11:59 PM
  • Application Deadline Date (School Counselors/Administrators): Friday, December 22, 2023 at 11:59 PM *Counselors must submit all pertinent student information through their counselor dashboard by this time.
  • Applicants will receive a notification by the end of March 2024 of acceptance or nonacceptance.

Criteria for Review - Student Responsibility

The student is responsible for the following criteria and will submit the information on their online application.

  • Section 8: Explore Middle School Essay
    • Please share a detailed expository essay introducing yourself; this may include your school career, family life, hobbies, interests, talents and/or special skills.

Criteria for Review - Parent/Legal Guardian Responsibility

The parent/legal guardian is responsible for the following criteria and will submit the information on their online application.

  • Section 1: Student Information
    • First Name, Middle Name, Last Name
    • Gender
    • Date of Birth
    • Address, City, State, Zip Code
  • Section 2: Demographics
    • Is the Student Hispanic or Latino?
    • Student's Race (More than one race category may be reported for the student.)
      • American Indian or Alaska Native - A person having origins in any of the original people of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains a tribal affiliation or community attachment.
      • Asian - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
      • Black or African American - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
      • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
      • White - A person having origins of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa.
  • Section 3: Current School
    • School’s Name
    • Counselor's Name and Email
  • Section 4: Letter of Recommendation
    • Two (2) Mandatory Recommendations from a 3rd, 4th or 5th grade academic teacher.
      • You must have your designated teacher's CORRECT email address.  There is a section on the application to input the recommender's email address.
      • Your selected recommender will receive an email to complete the recommendation form online.
      • Hard copies or emails of recommendation letters will not be accepted.
  • Section 5: Parent/Legal Guardian Contact Information
  • Section 6: Siblings Currently Attending Explore Middle School
    • Do you have any siblings who are CURRENTLY ATTENDING Explore Middle School?
  • Section 7: Explore Middle School Parent/Guardian Questions
    • How did you hear about Explore Middle School?
    • What other middle schools is your child applying to?
    • Why are you considering Explore Middle School as an appropriate learning environment for your child? Include details about your child’s personality and learning styles.
    • Please describe any special circumstances that have affected your child’s school experience (for example,
      particular learning strengths and/or difficulties).
    • What are the three most significant goals that you have for your child’s middle school education?
    • Do you have any special hobbies, interests, or areas of expertise you might be willing to share with students?
    • Please include any additional information which you feel will be helpful to us in making admission decisions.
  • Section 9: Electronic Signature

School Fees

  • HCST Explore Middle School has an annual Student Activity Fee of $350.00

Criteria for Review - Guidance Counselor Responsibility

The student's guidance counselor is responsible for the following criteria and will submit the information on their counselor dashboard.

  • Overall recommendation for the student's social/emotional development based on:
    • Emotional Maturity
    • Shows Self Control
    • Integrity
    • Respects Others and Property
    • Fulfills Responsibilities
    • Listens and Follows Directions
    • Positive Social Interactions
  • NJSmart Information (if applicable)
  • Student's Attendance Information
  • 5th Grade First Marking Period Report Card
  • Transcript (Grades 3-4)
  • Standardized Test Scores
    • Examples:
      • NJSLA
      • TerraNova
      • Iowa

Admission Review Committee (ARC)

The Admission Review Committee (ARC) is a school-based committee comprised of counselors, teachers and administrators. The ARC performs a comprehensive evaluation based on the applicant’s grades, attendance, scores, special skills, talents, interests, letters of recommendation, essay and learning preference. Applicants are selected based on this criteria while considering the demographics of Hudson County. Students/parents/counselors will receive a notification by the end of March of acceptance or nonacceptance; students will be notified of their orientation meeting upon acceptance.

Career and Technical Middle School

Explore Middle School, the only career and technical middle school in New Jersey, is a rigorous, academic school with a project-based approach. We focus not only on the core subjects (math, English, science, social studies, world language, technology, music and health/physical education) but also career and technical studies, character development, team building, and critical thinking. Each marking period we have a unique thematic unit which integrates interdisciplinary studies, meets the standards, and engages students in a hands-on approach. Within our diverse community, students learn how to be self-directed learners while being challenged academically. Interpersonal skills are developed through collaborative activities that require both teamwork and independence. Explore Middle School builds character and enhances problem-solving abilities.