Our History

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We are a small academic community, offering a strong curriculum in the humanities and the sciences. The school was founded in 1969 as School Within A School (SWAS), and housed in South Side High School. It was designed to provide college preparatory classes to Newark students. In 1977, we moved to High Street and changed our name to University High School to indicate both our purpose and proximity to major universities. There we became a school, rather than a program. In 1982 we moved into our present location, the old Clinton Place Jr. High.

Students are recommended for admission by their elementary guidance counselors. They face a battery of standardized tests and must submit recommendations. This process has produced a student body composed of young people who have demonstrated academic motivation, intellectual curiosity and high achievement during their elementary school years. These students continue to excel through such extracurricular activities as sports, the award winning Phoenix Flame newspaper, ACT-SO competitions, National Forensic Debate Competitions, and Student Leadership groups among others.

We continue to grow. University High School is now home to the Gifted and Talented Program. Students are accepted after passing a test. They are taught a rigorous curriculum, in a departmentalized setting, which includes Algebra, English I, and a world language, in addition to traditional course work in their grade level.

The Information Age is very much with us, as we integrate technology into our curriculum. We boast an electronic card catalog, various electronic data bases, and computer labs. University High School’s ITV room has become a hub of activity, as we offer and receive courses.

In 1997, New Jersey Monthly Magazine named us as the second highest school in our District Factor Group. This ranking is based on several factors, including combined SAT scores, percentage of students passing the HSPT11, percentage of Advanced Placement subjects tested, and the amount of daily instruction time, among other criteria.

The School Leadership Council at University High School is a collaborative, decision –making body dedicated to improving all aspects of teaching and learning within the confines of our school building. For further details, see our SLC page.