The notion of “community schools” has a long history in New Jersey, one in which neighborhood schools serve not only as instructional bases for children but also as hubs for healthcare, job training and other family services.
But the concept has gained new urgency of late, as Newark Public Schools has launched a multimillion-dollar initiative in its troubled South Ward, while the program is also being put into play in Paterson and elsewhere.
NJ Spotlight on Cities, the second annual conference centering on New Jersey’s urban centers, will bring the issue to the fore with a special panel, “Community Schools: Old Idea, New Solution.”
Featured will be Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who oversaw one of New Jersey’s pioneering community schools as principal of Central High School and now spearheads the latest initiative in the South Ward as mayor. to sign up for NJ Spotlight on Cities.
Joining him will be Rosie Grant of the Paterson Education Fund and Deborah Cornavaca, a field organizer with the New Jersey Education Association, the teachers union. NJ Spotlight’s John Mooney will serve as moderator.