Our Alma Mater- Lady on the Hill
Lyrics by Elmer Treiss
High above the busy city
Far beyond all touch of ill
Sits enthroned our Alma Mater
Our Dear Lady on the Hill
Lift the Chorus
Send it swelling
With a real and loyal will
And our bounty be the beauty
Of Our Lady on the Hill
Central High School, founded in 1911, is located in Newark, New Jersey: the largest school district in the state and one of the oldest systems in New Jersey, dating back to 1676. After decades of struggle by school officials, parents, staff, students, and the community the new Central High School finally opened under the leadership of Principal Ras Baraka in August of 2008. This was a fulfillment of the community's dreams. The new Central is now a Beacon of Hope for the students to achieve academic excellence and compete in a global society.
The location of the new Central High School stands in stark contrast to its previous address. Whereas; it was once surrounded by state colleges and universities, it is now a symbol of the gentrification that is occurring in Newark, in particular, 17th Avenue. The neighborhood features new architecture in the form of franchised corporations, a community pool, a new community center, and community garden apartments where the residents take pride in the maintenance of their properties. Nevertheless, most of our student population continues to be drawn from economically disadvantaged areas of Newark. The recent economic downturn highlights the social and economic problems, high unemployment, homelessness, and poverty that affect so many in the City of Newark.
In order to meet these challenges, the new Central is positioned to be a true force of change for the community. Central High School offers a childcare center, a public park equipped with a track, and a football field. The new facility is designed to be used by the community it serves, for example, community meetings, public forums, and local organizations have already taken place utilizing the auditorium, the gym, the swimming pool, and the cafeteria as their hub.
Despite these social solutions, we recognize that true change for Newark will come via higher academic achievement. To this end, we have embedded professional development for our staff that is research-based, teacher-led, and student-centered. We have seen incremental gains over the years in the areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, and gains towards meeting our adequate yearly progress. Our focus on academics has led us to believe in: the power of literacy, the importance of RIGOR, and the role of relationships as they relate to the education of the whole child.