Newark Public Schools (NPS) launched a citywide enrollment campaign and opened the enrollment application process for the 2017 – 2018 school year on Saturday. The enrollment campaign kicked off with a School Fair at the Family Support Center that was attended by more than 2,000 students, parents and school representatives.
The school fair showcased information about Newark schools and the enrollment process, which is open until February 28, 2017. The school fair also featured student performances, including the marching bands of Weequahic High School and Malcolm X Shabazz, Arts High School’s Latin jazz band and East Side High School’s chorus, as well as a photo booth, pizza, and other activities for students and families. In addition to the school fair, parents have access to new resources and tools that will help them learn more about the enrollment process and their school choices, including a new website, revamped application, and detailed school guidebook.
“Newark has so many great schools, and we want to make sure families have all of the information they need to make the best decision about their child’s educational future,” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf, of NPS. “This year we are providing more resources than ever before through school fairs, a citywide enrollment campaign, a mobile-friendly application, a new-and-improved website and school guidebook to improve this process. We are committed to making this year’s process a positive experience for all of our families and will do everything we can to match students with a school that meets their needs.”
Last year, NPS collected feedback about ways to improve the enrollment process from a range of school and community members. After reviewing the feedback, the district made the following enhancements to the enrollment process for the 2017 – 18 school year:
- Adding audio instructions to the application in English, Spanish and Portuguese
- Making further improvements to how siblings are matched to ensure siblings are placed in the same school whenever possible
- Embedding a distance calculator into the application which automatically calculates the distance between a school and home address so that families can more easily take travel time into consideration as they select their preferred schools
- Launching a new-and-improved Newark Enrolls website with more resources and information than ever before
“The school fair was the beginning of a comprehensive citywide enrollment campaign to help get the word out to parents and guardians about the wonderful educational opportunities Newark has to offer,” said Gabrielle Ramos-Solomon, Executive Director of Enrollment. “The district is reaching out to more families than ever before to educate them about their school options. Over the next few months, the district will work hand-in-hand with our families to make sure our students are matched with the school that is best-suited to meet their individual needs.”
The district has taken additional steps to provide parents with the information they need to make informed decisions about their school options, including:
- A more comprehensive enrollment guidebook at www.newarkenrolls.com that provides detailed information about each school and the support services and programs that are available
- More community information sessions and school open houses so that families can learn about their options directly from school staff
- Videos that showcase the unique learning environment each school has to offer
- A citywide campaign to inform families about the application process through advertisements and community grassroots efforts
- A survey at the end of the application to gain insight into what factors are most important to families when selecting schools that will be used to inform future policies
Students who are eligible to participate in Newark Enrolls include: students in the last grade of their current school, pre-K4 students in Early Childhood programs, students enrolling in a Newark public school for the first time, and students who would like to enroll in a new school in September that better meets their needs. If children would like to remain in their current school next fall or do not fit the above criteria, parents do not need to submit an application in the enrollment process.
Families have until February 28, 2017 to submit an application for school enrollment at www.newarkenrolls.org. Applicants will receive their match letters in spring 2017. The match letter will provide families with next steps to register and confirm student placement in their match school.
Families interested in learning more about school enrollment should visit www.newarkenrolls.org or contact a member of their school’s enrollment team or the Contact Center at 973-733-7333.