On June 1st, Dr. Pedro Noguera (Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, Steinhardt’s Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, and Professor of Teaching and Learning) and Dr. Clifford Janey (Superintendent of the Newark, New Jersey Public Schools) convened a city-wide planning conference to formally launch the partnership between the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University and Newark Public Schools (NPS). Newark is the first BBA demonstration. In July 2009, a broad group of educators, service providers, community organizations, and others came together to begin planning and designing a BBA reform plan.
At the June 1st meeting, Dr. Lauren Wells, Director of BBA Newark brought the extended set of stakeholders up to date on what had been accomplished in the year’s initial planning.
Drawing on a series of educational meetings, collaborations, and research activities, six principals and their staff and parents came together to create the Newark Global Village School Zone (NGVSZ). Schools in the Central Ward are scheduled for restructuring as follows:
NPS Schools in Focus
- 18th Avenue School
- Sussex Street School
- Burnet Street School
- Newton Street School
- Cleveland School
- Quitman Street Community School
- Central High School
- The goal of the NGVSZ is to have the seven schools operate as one school with the same mission, values, and beliefs
- NGVSZ intends to operate one school that plans collectively and collaboratively to educate the approximately 3,500 children ages 3-21 that live in Newark’s Central Ward from PreK3 to College
- Newark Global Village School Zone policies will be structured to allow the Newark Central Ward Schools to coordinate teaching and learning, education activities, curricula, professional development, social services, budget and enrichment opportunities
- The Newark Global Village School Zone is to be designated as schools of choice commencing with the school year 2012-2013. First priority would be to enroll students from Central Ward schools, and then vacancies will be filled from other schools through an interview process
The current plans include:
- Accountability for all state and federal testing requirements
- The flexibility to streamline the curriculum, through mapping, by going deep, rather than wide. We will prioritize the concepts and skills to be taught, by grade level. This will encompass an interdisciplinary approach to instruction for all Newark Global Village School Zone.
- Employment of electronic curriculum mapping program that will manage students results and provide informed next steps. The NGVSZ schools will have the option to use district assessments at any time.
- Creation of a secondary campus that includes Eighteenth Avenue and cross professional development between the schools to provide opportunities for the middle school: advanced placement classes; access to high school curriculum, facilities, and support services.
- Advanced placement classes in grades 6-8 (English I, Algebra II, Biology, and include Genetics at the high school)
- Infusion of art, music, media, and technology into the curriculum
- Year-long math and science content (geometry & astronomy - grade 6, pre-algebra & life science - grade 7, and algebra & physical science - grade 8)
- Introduction to skilled trades: Carpentry, electronics, plumbing principles – grades 6-8 to continue into high school;
- Social service and extracurricular activities for all students PreK3 – grade 13
The NGVSZ will be held to the highest levels of accountability through shared leadership, district, state and school reviews, and assessment. The NGVSZ Advisory Board brings increased decision-making closest to the students and those most familiar with the schools.
Extended Time and Day for Learning
A Memorandum of Understanding will be created that supports the autonomy structure and practices. Decisions will be made by consensus, utilizing Roberts Rules of Order. The NGVSZ will stagger starting times for students and faculty between the hours of 8:10 – 4:30 and possibly a longer school year in accordance with negotiated salaries.
Parental Involvement: Providing a 21st Century Education
- Ensure that schools are safe, welcoming, and working collaboratively with parents, families, and community partners to support student success.
- Create safe, family-friendly schools
- Inform and involved parents and families
- Create stronger community and national partnerships
- The NGVSZ will develop a parent contract that must be signed by every parent who wishes to enroll a student
- The Executive Board of the PTA/PTO will consist of the PTA/PTO President from each school. Members of the Board will interact with principals and parents to support community friendly strategies throughout the Newark Global Village School Zone.