Superintendent Roger León pilots two in-person elementary summer school programs in Newark, New Jersey beginning today, July 6, 2020.
"Since the pandemic started, this is the first time my son woke up early," said Bionett Roman, whose son is attending the First Avenue School site, "we are happy to come back!" Zakia Sabb who has two children attending the Thirteenth Avenue School site shared the same sentiment, "At last week's parent meeting, I was reassured when I learned of how everything was broken down by the Superintendent. He said we would see three stations and every student would experience four steps. Today, we saw three stations and experienced four steps. It was great! The whole thing took three minutes."
The guidance and preparation were equally as important and arguably more important than the actual return to in-person instruction this summer. Everyone received training from the Summer School Principals to staff to families to students. Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon stated, “NTU is proud of its members for taking this initiative. They are pioneers." Teacher Locksley Saunders, Jr. shared, "The pilot provides a great opportunity to help regain a sense of normalcy in education as well as a glimpse into our ‘new normal’ moving forward. Furthermore, it allows us to engage in person with our students, whom we have truly missed!"
"I am very proud of both Summer School Principals for demonstrating leadership, the staff for exuding compassion and patience, and parents and their children for their confidence in our commitment to excellence,” said Superintendent León. "We know that we are gathering valuable data during this pilot to inform future decision-making and help us continue to ensure the safety of every child and staff member.”