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Teacher Talk - May 1, 2023

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Message from the Superintendent 

Dear Teachers and Instructional Staff,

I cannot begin to tell or describe the significance of the role you play in the daily lives of our students. While I didn’t need a global pandemic to prove to anyone your commitment to our students, the lingering effects of that time period continue to reveal themselves and are yet truly unknown. You are survivors. And, look at what you do. You are still giving us your all. You are our star polishers and you are making our stars shine.

As Superintendent, I understand the depth of the importance of your work and commitment to the students of the city of Newark. You wake up every morning ready to fulfill the promise of each of your students, and encompass everything that it takes to be a dynamic and passionate educator. You teach curricula, nurture relationships, elevate student voices, and inspire the minds of every young person you encounter. You do the truly possible, you help children’s dreams become real. You do the truly possible. It is possible for their dreams to become real. 

As a child of this city with teachers who taught me to dream big as you do, I thank you and I appreciate you, and I know our children do too.

It is my privilege and honor to recognize YOU, our teachers and all instructional staff, as we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day on May 2, 2023, and Staff Appreciation Week from May 8 - 12, 2023.

I acknowledge you and thank you for answering the call to be an educator at this pivotal time, and your choice to do so in the Newark Public Schools.

Thank you, 
Superintendent León

Message from Dr. Reilly

A month ago we invited you to participate in a survey concerning the ELA units. This morning we wanted to communicate what your feedback is helping us to do. We wanted to eliminate hassles, improve outcomes, and solve academic problems. Several important themes emerged. 

  1. The content within the units require historical background knowledge that require teacher preparation.  
  2. The units require more time than reflected on the pacing guide in order to unpack challenging content.  
  3. The relevancy of the units are appreciated. 
  4. The integration of The Writing Revolution (TWR) should continue and be shared with teachers across content.  
  5. Writing instruction must be embedded and aligned to the curriculum. 
  6. Writing process needs to be clearer so children can be more successful at daily instructional tasks (DIT) and culminating tasks. 

This summer teachers are being hired by grade level to help the ELA team to make these refinements. If you have the interest and time to lead this work, please contact Director Othman ( ), our new Director of Literacy. Thanks so much for your responses. 

Dr. Reilly



10th Annual Night at the Museum! (New)

Contact: Mara Kaplan, Office of Early Childhood

The Newark Board of Education Office of Early Childhood proudly invites you to Night at the Museum. This fun-filled event at the Newark Museum of Arts features educational activities, museum tours, early childhood resources, and programs for children and families including special guest Chase from Paw Patrol. This event will take place on Friday, June 9 from 3:00- 7:00 PM at 49 Washington Street. Please share the flyers below with your staff and family and encourage them to register at

We look forward to seeing you and your families there!



Mandatory Summer School - Additional Letters (New)

Contact: Darren Watsky, Student Information Services

Letters for additional students requiring summer school will be provided to homeroom teachers for student delivery home during the week of Monday, May 1. Your school PowerSchool clerk or designee will print the letters, and distribute them to classrooms. Teachers will give the letters to students for delivery to parents. Parents are to sign the letters and return them to school. If letters are returned to teachers, they are to be given to the PowerSchool clerk or other designee identified by the Principal.


The Writing Revolution Black History Month Writing Contest for Grades 3-8 (New)

Contact: Elisa Lee, Office of ELA

In celebration of Black History Month 2023, The Writing Revolution held a contest that required students to write a paragraph, using the Single-Paragraph Outline (SPO), on someone who inspires them and gives them hope for a better tomorrow. Students were judged using the comparative judgment protocol, in partnership with No More Marking, and out of 36 schools across several states, we are proud to announce that 3 of our students won! 

Grades 3-5
2nd Place Winner

  • Student: Isabella Polanco
  • Grade: 5th Grade
  • Teacher: Ms. Susan Almeida 
  • School: First Avenue School
  • Prize: Fire HD10 Plus Tablet

Honorable Mention

  • Student: Zu'Riana Candelaria
  • Grade: 5th Grade
  • Teacher: Ms. Jaclyn Van Natten
  • School: Chancellor Avenue School
  • Prize: Visa Gift Card

Grades 6-8
Honorable Mention

  • Student: Aishah Bacchus
  • Grade: 8th Grade
  • Teacher: Ms. Maribel Ortiz
  • School: First Avenue School 
  • Prize: Visa Gift Card

Congratulations to the winners and to all students who participated in the contest. We’d also like to thank the teachers and coaches who continue to support them along the way. We appreciate you!


Foundational Skills: Guided Writing and Student Prompting (New)

Contact: Jazleen Othman, Office of ELA

In this interactive session, teachers will explore how guided writing supports foundational skills at each stage of development. Teachers will also use knowledge of foundational skills and the small group tracker to plan and practice effective prompting. You will leave with a planned guided writing activity, including potential misconceptions and prompts you can use to address these. 

Sign Up Here:



Presenting the 2nd Annual City Wide Green Fest (New)

Contact: Rodney L Williams, Office of Facilities

This year, the City Wide Green Fest will focus on projects and presentations that deal with cleaner use of the expenditures of energy or the result in a cleaner environment because of, or in spite of, energy use. Projects or presentations must include an interactive component that the public can engage with. The project can either be a singular project and/or group projects. The winning projects will receive a cash prize and consideration for a tech-based internship.



Introductory Course - The Writing Revolution (New)

Contact: Jazleen Othman, Office of ELA

If you haven't taken The Writing Revolution's (TWR) introductory course yet, you can register now for a spring course. Click here for more information. Completion of a TWR introductory course is the prerequisite for any future TWR workshops and/or TWR curriculum projects for the district. Educators who register for a course taking place outside of school hours will receive payment for their time from the district upon completion of the course. Please email if you have any questions.


Revolutionary Workshop - The Writing Revolution (New)

Contact: Jazleen Othman, Office of ELA

If you have completed the TWR introductory course and have been using TWR strategies in your classroom, you can register for an upcoming TWR Revolutionary Workshop. In this workshop, educators are guided through the process of embedding TWR strategies in their content, and learn practices for implementing those strategies in a lesson. Click here for more information. This workshop is the prerequisite for any future TWR curriculum projects for the district. Educators who register for a workshop will receive payment for their time from the district upon completion of the workshop. Please email if you have any questions.


OSE Updates and PD Opportunities (New)

Contact: LaPrice Weatherington, Office of Special Education

In New Jersey, the week of May 14th is dedicated to "shouting out" or "shining out" your special education teachers, CST, and support staff for their dedication in supporting students with special needs. The month of May is also dedicated to "Better Speech and Hearing".  Be sure to shout out your speech language specialists and audiologist.  

See this month's attachment for upcoming professional development opportunities. Did you know that parents can access IEP's remotely? See and share the recorded webinar with your parents.


2022-2023 Discretionary Funds (New)

Contact: MJames, Office of Human Resource

Dear Teachers, Nurses, Academic Interventionists:

As per District policy, in order to be reimbursed in the amount of $150.00 for items that supplement and affect your work with pupils this school year, you will be providing your receipts to your location treasurer.

Please be guided by the Discretionary Fund Memo attached.


2022-2023 Escrow Program (New)

Contact: MJames, Office of Human Resource

Dear Employee:

  • Escrow Open Enrollment is May 1st through July 15th of each year!
  • Employees who are 10-month and 11-month full time employees can now self-enroll, discontinue, and switch options in the Escrow Program.
  • To view the option you have selected, feel free to log into ESS (Employee Self Service) - instructions attached.
  • For more information about deductions and refund dates for the option you have selected, kindly visit



Communicating with the Media

Contact: Nancy Deering, Office of Communications
Email: NDeering@NPS.K12.NJ.US

This district works hard to shape and create a narrative that positions the great work that is being done by you and your staff, appropriately. The Director of Communications will serve as spokesperson for the district and take the lead in communicating with the media. So please forward ALL media inquiries, requests for interviews, etc., to Nancy Deering ( and copy your Principal or department head.

A copy of the policy is attached for your convenience:



New Teacher Induction

Contact: Dana Moore-Mishoe, Office of Educator Effectiveness

The next New Teacher Induction sessions will take place on Tuesday, May 2nd from 4-6pm. All teachers who are new to Newark (regardless of previous years of experience) are expected to attend at least 6 of the 10 monthly sessions that are being offered this year. One of the May 2nd sessions will explore: Focusing on the best early childhood practices for facilitating small group instruction, led by the Office of Early Childhood. The meeting link and additional session descriptions can be found in the schedule linked here.


Principal's List Criteria: Grades 3 to 12

Contact: Roger León, Superintendent

Please be advised that page 41 of the High School Guidebook (section on Honor Roll) has been updated accordingly. Updates are found in the attachment.


Discontinuation of Start Strong Assessments

Contact: Lydia Alvarez, OPPET

The Start Strong assessment was originally piloted in the Fall of 2020 and its administration has continued since then. In the fall of 2021, this assessment was mandated as a mechanism to ensure that districts had access to high-quality, standards-based student data through the suspension of the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA). With the successful reinstatement of the NJSLA in the Spring of 2022, the New Jersey Department of Education will discontinue the Start Strong assessment effective Fall 2023.


Enter the Peace Islands Institute 2023 Art and Essay Contest

Contact: Margaret El, Office of Visual & Performing Arts

Peace Islands Institute (PII) welcomes submissions for its 13th Annual Art & Essay (A&E) Contest. This year’s theme is “The Impact of Social Media on Peace-Building”.

The A&E Contest aims to: 

  1. Bring middle and high school students from around New Jersey together
  2. Promote awareness regarding issues of common concern among New Jersey youth
  3. Facilitate their personal and academic growth through a healthy competitive environment
  4. Inspire them to make positive change in their communities

For more information, please visit the Peace Islands Institute website:



Contact: Mary Leigh Harvey, Student Support Services - Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life is partnering with the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (NJHESAA) to assist members of the Class of 2023 and their parents/guardians to complete either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application (NJAFAA). The next workshop will be conducted in English and Spanish on May 10th via WebEx from 5pm-6pm. 

Please share the links below with students who have not completed the graduation requirement.

School Counselors are available to provide assistance.


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Teacher Talk will be delivered every other Monday.

The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

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NBOE in the News

Stay informed on everything happening within Newark Public Schools and the Newark Board of Education! Read up on all of the many ways the district is garnering media coverage. 

News Stories

Apr 24, 2023: NBOE Welcomes Basketball Team From Puerto RicoApr 24, 2023: NBOE School Collaborates with Uniting Voices Chicago for a Musical ExperienceApr 24, 2023: Facilities Professional Development DayApr 24, 2023: Encouraging Parent Engagement Through Reading Continues Across the DistrictApr 24, 2023: 2023-2024 School Match Letters ReleasedApr 24, 2023: Unveiling the Connection Between Education, Digital Learning, and the Spread of Hate Speech with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)Apr 24, 2023: NBOE Celebrates Autism Acceptance Across the DistrictApr 24, 2023: Over 150 Support Staff Attend the 2nd Annual OSL ConferenceApr 24, 2023: NBOE Students Gear Up for State TestingApr 24, 2023: Ridge Street School Celebrates Making Your Struggles Your Success Apr 24, 2023: Montclair State University’s Commitment to Creating Lasting Change

Press Releases

Apr 27, 2023: Newark Public Schools Senior Wins Top National Honor Society AwardApr 24, 2023: Newark Public Schools Among Top 10 in the Nation for Speech Following Students’ Success at Prestigious Tournament of Champions  


NPS Mobile App! 

The district's NPS Mobile App is now available for download for both Apple iOS and Android. With this app you, can:

• Receive Push Notifications when there is inclement weather and school closings

• Track news feeds (powered by your school web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts) at the district and school level

• Look up commonly-sought information directly from the mobile app


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