The impetus for MPTCS began in the pews of one of Newark’s oldest predominantly Black, faith-based institutions, The New Hope Baptist Church. The late Rev. Dr. Charles E. Thomas, the former pastor of New Hope, urged his congregation to take on the challenge of developing a quality educational option for Newark’s youth. After years of planning and fundraising, Pastor Thomas’ vision became a reality when the school opened its doors to 60 kindergarten to second-grade students in 1999. Unfortunately, Pastor Thomas’ wife, Marion, an early champion of the school, succumbed to cancer before the school opened its doors. To memorialize her commitment to Newark’s future generations the school was named in her honor.
Under the leadership of the founding CEO and Superintendent, Dr. Karen Thomas, MPTCS experienced exponential growth. Within 10 years, the school grew from four classrooms to two campuses, encompassing kindergarten to 8th grade. In 2014, MPTCS merged with Visions Academy Charter High School, another charter school established by a historic, predominately Black, faith-based institution – St. James AME Church. The consolidation united both schools into one entity that provides a “crayons to college and career” educational experience allowing students to move seamlessly from prekindergarten through 12th grade. MPTCS now has three campuses – PAC and STEAM Academies (PreK-8th grade), and Marion P. Thomas Charter High School (9th-12th grade). Collectively, MPTCS serves approximately 1400 students from Newark and surrounding communities.
Our motto, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child,” continues to be at the heart of all activities associated with the school. As a result, students, parents, staff, alumni, the Board, and post-secondary and community partners, diligently work together to ensure the steady growth and increased vitality of the Village.