Families Receive Newark Enrolls Schools Placement Letters this Week

District focused on sibling match, neighborhood preference, special education; Families have until June 3 to register their child for the 2016-2017 school year

[Newark, NJ – April 19, 2016] – Newark Public Schools (NPS) announced today that the approximately 12,000 families who submitted new school applications for the 2016-2017 school year have been matched. Families will learn of their child’s placement through a letter they receive in the mail this week. Families may also learn of their placement by accessing their Newark Enrolls account online at www.newarkenrolls.org, or at a letter pick-up day on Saturday, April 23rd at the Family Support Center. To complete the enrollment process, parents or guardians must confirm school placements by registering their child at their assigned school before June 3.

“This year, we’ve incorporated the feedback we’ve heard from families to make improvements to the enrollment process,” said NPS Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf. He continued “Specifically, we made the following enhancements:

  1. We gave greater weight to neighborhood preferences
  2. We put processes in place to ensure that our special education students are matched with programs that meet their needs and;
  3. We worked harder to keep siblings together.

We believe these improvements have allowed us to be more responsive to the needs of our families, while still ensuring that this process is equitable to all children in Newark.”

With these adjustments in place, the process produced the following results:

  1. Most students chose to stay in their current school, including Pre-K students
    • All students continue to have the right to remain at their school, unless transitioning out of their school’s final grade (e.g. 8th grades students who need to attend high school in the fall)
    • 92% of all non-transition grade students (PreK-11) chose to remain at their school. 8% chose to apply for a new school.
  2. The vast majority of transition-grade students (incoming Kindergarteners, rising 9th graders) will attend one of their top choices
    • 92% of incoming Kindergarten students who applied to a new school were admitted to one of their top three choices
    • The 8% of students who were not matched to a top choice applied to schools with many more applicants than seats available. For example:
      • 187 students selected First Avenue as their top choice, but the school had space for only 60 new Kindergarten students
      • 150 students selected Philip’s Academy as their top choice but only 42 seats in Kindergarten were available
    • 77% of rising 9th grade students gained access to one of their top three choices
    • The 23% of students who were not matched to a top choice often selected only schools with many more applicants than seats available. For example:
      • 1,932 rising 9th graders chose a magnet school as their first choice, but these schools only had space for about 1,000 students (e.g. Science Park, Technology HS)
      • One-third of all 9th graders selected only magnet schools in their top 3 choices
  3. Every student in the South Ward who chose a Community School was admitted
    • The South Ward Community schools include: Malcolm X Shabazz High School, B.R.I.C.K. Avon Academy, Belmont Runyon Elementary School, Louise A Spencer Elementary School, and B.R.I.C.K. Peshine Avenue School
  4. Families who preferred a neighborhood district school were overwhelmingly admitted to a neighborhood school. However, many Kindergarten families selected a district school outside of their neighborhood or a charter school as their first choice.
    • 97% of incoming Kindergarten families who wanted to attend a district school in their neighborhood were matched to a district school in their neighborhood
    • In the small number of schools that did not have enough seats to accommodate all Kindergarten applicants from the neighborhood, there were more applicants from the neighborhood than seats available. For example:
      • 179 East Ward students selected Ann Street first for 118 open Kindergarten seats. All new Kindergarteners who matched there live in the East Ward, with the exception of four students whose siblings already attend Ann Street.
    • Many incoming Kindergarten families (59%) selected either a district school outside of their neighborhood or a charter school as their first choice
      • 15% selected a district school outside of their neighborhood as their first choice
      • 44% selected a charter school as their first choice
  5. Families who wanted their children to attend school with siblings were accommodated at high rates
    • 94% of students who applied to a school where their sibling currently attends were admitted to that school
    • The 6% of students who were not matched to the school where they currently have a sibling most often applied to Pre-K programs or charter schools that did not have enough space to take all siblings. For example:
      • 29 siblings of current students at Mount Vernon applied to Pre-K there, but because only 17 seats were available, 12 siblings could not be accommodated. No students without siblings were admitted to Mount Vernon’s Pre-K program.
    • In addition, 72% of families with multiple children who applied to attend a new school together were matched together
  6. Applicants with specific special education needs are being matched to school choices most suited to provide them with appropriate services
    • Matches for incoming NPS students who require self-contained special education programs have been reviewed closely by district staff to assure that appropriate services were available. The Office of Special Education is continuing to work with about 80 families to ensure their children are matched to schools that meet their needs.

“Newark Enrolls encourages families to take advantage of the great schools that are available to them, and we have worked very hard to make sure the enrollment process works for everyone,” said Executive Director of Enrollment, Gabrielle Ramos-Solomon. “That is why we placed a strong emphasis on responding to community feedback and on reviewing unique cases to make sure that we do our best to get each placement right. We believe this year’s improvements will give families confidence in their school matches, and we are looking forward to continue to help families secure their child’s seat in the 2016-2017 school year.”

Families will be notified about their child’s school placement in the following ways:

  • All families will receive a letter in the mail with their school match outcome and detailed next steps
  • Families who filed an electronic application can also log-in to their account on www.newarkenrolls.org to view their school placement
  • Families who filed a paper application can call the NPS Contact Center at 973-733-7333 for more information
  • Families can also go to their child’s current school to pick up their match letter or call the school regarding their child’s placement
  • The district will also be hosting a letter pick-up day on Saturday, April 23rd at the Family Support Center located at 301 W. Kinney Street from 10:00am to 2:00pm

Once they have received their match, parents or guardians must register their children before June 3; simply receiving a match letter does not automatically register a child in the school. At certain schools, failure to register may result in the child losing his or her seat in the school they have been placed for the 2016-2017 school year. The district encourages parents to review their match letter and contact their school for more information about the registration process. Registration information for each school can also be found at www.newarkenrolls.org.

After receiving a match letter, families have the following options:

  • Parents or guardians have until June 3 to register their child in the school in which they have been placed
  • If circumstances have changed since the application was submitted, parents or guardians can submit an online appeal at www.newarkenrolls.org/appeals
  • If a family is new to Newark or missed the Newark Enrolls application window, they can submit an application through the online appeal at www.newarkenrolls.org/appeals

Families with questions about their match are encouraged to visit the Newark Enrolls website at www.newarkenrolls.org, or reach out to the NPS Contact Center for assistance at 973-733-7333. In addition, the Family Support Center is open to all families, including those new to Newark Public Schools. Visit the Family Support Center for any immediate school enrollment needs at 301 W. Kinney Street in Newark, Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

For more information please visit www.newarkenrolls.org.