[Newark, NJ] On Tuesday, November 14 Superintendent León, along with City Council President LaMonica McIver, Newark Board of Education President Hasani Council, members of the Newark School Board, staff, parents, community members, and other esteemed guests, proudly unveiled the Nelson Mandela Elementary School at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The school is located in the heart of the city in the Central Ward, and serves Pre-Kindergarten through third grade and will grow an additional grade every year until it reaches the eighth grade.
Nelson Mandela Elementary School is committed to honoring the legacy of the visionary leader Nelson Mandela by fostering a learning environment that embraces diversity, equity, and the values essential for creating positive change in communities and the world. Just as President Mandela dedicated his life to breaking down barriers and fostering unity, the Nelson Mandela Elementary School is committed to providing a nurturing environment where every child can thrive, regardless of background or circumstance. The school's vision is to equip every student with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to succeed in a global society, where diversity is celebrated and equality is valued.
The Nelson Mandela Elementary School envisions a future where every student embodies the core values of Persistence, Enthusiasm, Altruism, Community, and Excellence. These values form the foundation of their educational philosophy and are integral to developing students who grow into well-rounded adults and contribute positively to society guided by the spirit of Ubuntu – "I am because we are" – which permeates every classroom and hallway, the heart and mind of every student and staff member at Nelson Mandela Elementary School.
The curriculum is guided by Project Lead The Way and will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. PLTW prides itself on tapping into the curious nature of students, immersing them in hands-on activities, projects, and problems that build upon each other and relate to the real world while making learning feel like play.
This is the 9th new school that has been opened under the visionary leadership of Superintendent Leόn who pridefully stated, “At Nelson Mandela Elementary School, we embark on a journey to shape the leaders of tomorrow. This celebration marks the beginning of a legacy that will inspire generations to come.”
Board President Council stated, “Our vision is clear – the Newark Board of Education is not about closing doors; rather, it is about opening them, expanding opportunities, and championing excellence for every student”.
The District is grateful to the Schools Development Authority and the leadership of its CEO Manuel DaSilva for this school.
The inauguration of Nelson Mandela Elementary School as a new elementary school in the district is a further realization of the goals and priorities outlined in the ten-year strategic, The Next Decade: 2020-30. The opening of Nelson Mandela Elementary School comes on the heels of burgeoning student enrollment in the district, now reaching over 39,000 students.
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.
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Nancy J. Deering, Acting Communications Director