Newark Public Schools Showcase Inaugural High School Thesis Project

The Newark Board of Education proudly announces the inaugural High School Senior Thesis Project that represents a groundbreaking initiative aimed at elevating scholarly inquiry and intellectual exploration among graduating seniors. This initiative offers students a unique opportunity to engage in independent research, critical analysis, and academic writing, mirroring the rigors of collegiate-level study within a high school setting. Breaking away from traditional academic conventions, the Senior Thesis Project empowers students to delve deeply into a subject of their choice, honing their research skills, analytical capabilities, and presentation abilities.

Through guided mentorship and structured support, students navigate the complexities of a research project, from formulating a research question to synthesizing findings into a coherent thesis document. As participants in this pioneering endeavor, Seniors not only demonstrated their academic abilities and intellectual curiosity but also set a precedent for future graduating classes to embrace the mindset of scholarly exploration and academic rigor.

On May 31, 2024, the Office of English Language Arts hosted the District’s first Senior Thesis Day event where each high school selected a senior representative to defend their Senior Thesis, demonstrating the intellectual curiosity, the academic rigor, and the spirit of inquiry that define students of Newark Public Schools.

Two students emerged as winners from the competition, with Eva Khan of Central High School recognized for Best Research Analysis and Thesis Development and Olivia Dias Barbas of East Side for Best Oral Presentation. The event was a testament to the exemplary scholarship and dedication of the students, as well as the support and mentorship provided by Newark Public School educators.

The panel of judges commended the students for their innovative research, critical thinking skills, and articulate presentations. The winners exemplified academic excellence and demonstrated the ability to engage with complex topics with clarity and depth.

Superintendent León said, “This milestone signifies the intellectual growth and academic excellence of Newark students! We are proud of the Seniors who have demonstrated commendable dedication and innovation in their chosen topics, reflecting their true passions.  We look forward to witnessing their impact on this world.”

By integrating research-based assignments, project-based learning activities, and writing workshops into existing grades 9-11 coursework, educators will equip students with the tools and expertise necessary to undertake sophisticated research projects culminating in their Senior Thesis in grade 12. This forward-thinking initiative underscores the commitment to provide students with a seamless pathway towards academic success.

About Newark Public Schools

The Newark Public Schools is the largest school district in New Jersey and dates back to 1676.  The District currently enrolls over 39,000 students in 63 schools.  After more than two decades of state operation and upon return to local control in 2018, the District has opened 9 new schools under Superintendent León’s leadership with an additional portfolio of new options to be announced in the coming months and years. The Newark Board of Education serves as a beacon of educational excellence, dedicated to nurturing the potential of every student. With a commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and fostering a love for learning, the District continues to shape future generations and make a positive impact within the community.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Nancy J. Deering, Acting Communications Director