The First Day of School in Newark

Superintendent León greets students on first day of school
Superintendent León greets students on first day of school

Today, marks a historic moment in Newark’s history, as over 38,000 students returned back from summer vacation on their first day of school.

While high school students began returning to school in August with Summer Bridge Programs and August High School Orientation Week, they joined all other students today to start this school year.

“The first day, is undeniably, the most important day of the year for students, their families, and staff. The attendance on the first day of school is just one way we ensure the school year gets off to a great start,” said Superintendent León. He added, “We are extremely excited about the expansion of grades across elementary schools to the 8th grade, growing grades at the new high schools, and opening new Prekindergarten seats throughout the city.”

This is the start of year three of the historic ten-year strategic plan, The Next Decade:  2020-30.  Our mission is to deliver an academically rigorous and culturally responsive instructional program that prepares every student for success and builds knowledge, strengthens character, cultivates ingenuity, and fosters leadership. Our vision is to build a new educational ecosystem that provides a world-class education for every child in Newark.

“I am so proud of the start of this school year. I just want to encourage students to start the year strong so they can end even stronger and accept all the knowledge that their teachers pour into them so that they can be the best that they can be. We are realizing the ten-year strategic plan. We see it alive and well and wish everyone a great school year,” said Board President Haynes.

With the start of the school year, the District is excited to open a new school. The Ironbound Academy is an elementary school in the heart of the city’s East Ward serving students in Kindergarten through grade 4 this year and growing one grade per year thereafter until it reaches 8th grade. This is one of eight schools opened since the start of Superintendent Leon’s administration and the District is looking forward to opening other new schools in Newark.

In preparation for the start of the school year, Superintendent León always activates the “Give Me Five Attendance Campaign” where every staff member is assigned five families to call to remind them of the first day of school, the importance of being on time, and ready to learn. In response to learning loss, the Excel Afterschool Program also begins today with well over 4,000 students already registered. This, alongside a plethora of options before school, during school, and after school for tutoring and to address the social-emotional learning needs of students is being provided to students across the district beginning today and throughout this school year.

Finally, another tradition is Central Office staff members report to schools across the district to support Principals, staff, students, and their families on the first days of school. Their role is to help the Principals in creating a welcoming and engaging school environment to ensure intentional learning takes place on day one.

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