Newark Community Leaders Unveil Details of Three-Year Strategic Plan

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Strategic plan a result of nine months of collaboration and hard work by parents, students, educators, and community members

[Newark, NJ – August 26, 2016] – Newark Public Schools (NPS), the Newark Board of Education, the City of Newark and community leaders unveiled the details of the final three-year strategic plan tonight at Science Park High School in Newark. The three-year strategic plan is focused on improving district performance across four key priority areas in order to provide better opportunities and outcomes for all students. The plan is being made available to teachers, staff, parents and students for the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

“I am excited to unveil the three-year strategic plan which embodies the best ideas from across this community to enhance and improve Newark Public Schools. This has truly been a collaborative effort, and we are grateful for the countless hours that our community partners and team invested in making this plan a reality,” said Christopher D. Cerf, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “No initiative or one person will get us there, but if we continue to work together and remain focused on the important priorities and strategies the community has helped us to establish, we will create better schools and accelerate towards our goal of ensuring that all Newark students have access to a high quality public education.”

The strategic plan focuses on four major priorities and 18 targeted strategies to improve the district’s performance, each with specific action steps, key milestones, and indicators of success. The key priorities include:

  1. Strengthening academics and students supports
  2. Ensuring great talent in every school and department across the district
  3. Engaging the community
  4. Providing efficient operations, sustainable budgets and skilled governance

“This strategic plan is the third giant step this month toward the return of local control. It is a plan designed to create better schools and assure that every Newark student has the opportunity for a world class education and a successful and fulfilled life,” said Mayor Ras Baraka. “Together with the recommendations of the Newark Education Success Board, it represents a milestone in planning conducted with input from parents, students and community leaders.”

This plan is the result of the collaboration, feedback and hard work of hundreds of community members who participated in community meetings and working group sessions over the last year. Earlier this year, NPS hosted a series of strategic planning meetings to gain feedback from parents, educators, community-based organizations and students. Over 500 community members attended the initial planning meetings, and each ward meeting was hosted by a community-based organization and local ward councilmember who helped facilitate small-group discussions. Hundreds of others participated in the process through an online survey, focus groups, working teams and a review committee.

The event was held to thank all those who participated for their contributions and to provide them with the first available copies of the plan. The five community partners that were involved in the development of this plan include the Ironbound Community Corporation, La Casa de Don Pedro, Newark Fairmont Promise Neighborhood & Urban League of Essex County, Strong Healthy Community Initiative and United Way of Essex & West Hudson.

“I want to thank all of the community members who participated in this process to create a roadmap that will help Newark transition to local control,” said M. Teresa Ruiz, State Senator from Legislative District 29. “I look forward to working with district and city officials to implement this plan to improve outcomes for our children in the coming years.”

“The next three years is a living document; it is one that we will be guided by, and it is one that we will re-visit and access at regular intervals,” said Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson, Chairperson of the Newark Board of Education. “It will serve as a reminder of our goals and benchmarks for developing the Newark Public Schools as a comprehensive student and community centered district. We will visit it as a guide, and re-visit it to access its appropriateness and our adherence.”

For more information or to read the strategic plan, click here.