Hawthorne Avenue School, erected in 1896, is located in the South Ward of the city of Newark, New Jersey. Hawthorne is situated in a community that is experiencing urban renewal.
Our school services approximately 420 students in grades PreK-8. The school’s mission is to provide a stimulating, structured, and safe learning environment that ensures the delivery of high-quality instruction with a hands-on and technological orientation across the curriculum.
Housed within the context of an older facility, our staff strives to maintain a climate in which our students feel safe, respected, supported, nurtured and educated. Our staff is dedicated to working collaboratively with the district, parents and interested community partners to assist students in developing their personal best. Our practices are grounded in the belief that all children can learn using the best urban educational research. Moreover, the Hawthorne team believes that a cycle of sound planning tailored instruction, effective teacher monitoring and assessment, as well as timely reflection and adjustments will lend to school and student goal attainment.
For the past four school years, we have utilized the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as our curriculum. The CCSS allows us to focus on fewer standards, which allow for a deeper emphasis on the most important national standards in education. This has started and will ultimately prepare our students for the college and/or career of their choice. We are elated about the student achievement growth that we’ve seen over the last three school years. Between 2011 and 2013, student achievement went from the 39th percentile in our district to the 53th percentile over the course of two years in English Language-Arts (12 percentage point growth). In mathematics, student achievement went from the 42nd percentile in our district to the 63rd percentile (21 percentage point growth at the close of 2012). This serves as evidence that we are effectively growing students in the direction of greater student achievement!
In 2013, Hawthorne distinguished itself as the only of the 12 schools in its network (Roger Leon’s network) who met the state achievement target in literacy, and exceeded the state target in mathematics by 11.7 percentage points. In addition, Hawthorne is currently among the top two schools in the Newark Public Schools with the greatest percentage of student growth in mathematics! This year, student achievement data shows that students are making gains in literacy and math when compared to last school year. We are striving to return to such growth achievement.
Hawthorne’s vision is to provide a quality education to all students that inspires them to embrace high academic achievement, and develops sound moral-ethical values that propel them into a future of productivity, responsibility, and “Excellence Without Exception.” To that end, we have flexible grouping in all classes to address individual needs. We have implemented a departmentalized format in grades four through eight to better utilize teacher strengths and experiences. By rigorously implementing balanced- literacy and Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) strategies in the early grades, we strive to have advance proficient and proficient readers and writers by the end of grade three.
Opportunities for students to hone skills and to find avenues for exploration, self-expression and creativity are provided through our extracurricular and extended-day programs. Included in these avenues are: The Young Men’s Academy, Young Ladies’ Academy, basketball teams, and Cheerleading Club. In the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Academy, middle-school students participate in discussions and activities that are grounded in the daily social issues that they face as inner-city children. These discussions and activities include but are not limited to, “Gangs and Criminality, Peer Pressure, The Role of the Media in Our Community, Abstinence, and Drugs and Alcohol.” Moreover, there are a variety of school-based projects that we engage our students in including “The Festival of Nations,” and the “Annual Science Fair.” Other innovative programs such as the Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), Saturday Assessment Academy and the After-School Excel Program serve to further benefit our students in their journey to developing into mentally-strong and morally-straight citizens. Additional resources and relationships are being vigorously pursued with a variety of community agencies including, but not limited to, the following:
Boy/Girl Scouts of Essex/Hudson
Healthy Mothers & Babies
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Upsilon Phi)
Trinity Lodge Free and Accepted Masons