Newark Arts High School is a four-year magnet public high school, serving students in seventh through twelfth grades in Newark, in Essex County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Newark Public Schools. The school is located in the University Heights section of Newark. Starting in 2011-12, the 7th graders of William Brown Academy were housed there as its venue is being built.
As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 709 students and 58.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 12.2:1. There were 421 students (59.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 52 (7.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Awards, recognition and rankings
The school was the 248th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology. The school had been ranked 240th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 205th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 154th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 186th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.
Arts High School opened its doors to students in September 1931 as the first public high school in the United States specializing in the visual and performing arts.
By the mid-1970s, Arts High School faced challenges from budget cuts affecting public schools in general, and those of the older cities in particular. The school also faced competition from other districts, such as the Montclair Public Schools in the suburban portion of Essex County, that was starting a high school magnet arts programs of its own.
In 1983, Newark voters approved by referendum a $62.6 million bond package, which included $8 million to be used for a renovation and expansion project at Arts High School. After an 18-month-long renovation project, the school reopened in January 1996, with the addition of drama and science laboratories, and a preserved Art Deco-style auditorium.
During 2006-07, Arts High School celebrated its 75th Anniversary in year-long events. The celebrations began in October 2006 with a 75th Anniversary Gala and Alumni Day. In December, 2006, sponsored by the Arts High Consortium at the Newark Museum, the first Arts High Hall of Fame was established by President of Arts High Consortium Volora Howell and Willie Cole; notable inductees include Fashion Designer, Steven Burrows; Dancer/Choreographer, Savion Glover; and Singer/Actress Melba Moore. The finale, featuring "Savion Glover and Friends" celebrating National Tap Dance Day was held on Friday, May 25, 2007 in the school's auditorium. Mr. Glover, the choreographer for "Happy Feet", as a special treat, performed with some of Arts' students as they accompanied him on drums. Other activities included an art exhibit, fashion show, and student essay contest-"Arts High School is 75 years old! How have your experiences at Arts High School enriched your life both personally and socially?"
Until 1997, the Arts High School also housed the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, a post-secondary vocational school that focused on arts education.
The Arts High School Jaguars compete in the Super Essex Conference, which includes public and private high schools in Essex County, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 446 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North II, Group I for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 73 to 487 students in that grade range. Prior to the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment, the school had competed as part of the Colonial Hills Conference.
Sports offered include: Volleyball, Basketball, Softball and Baseball.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Ricardo Pedro, Principal
- Diane DelRusso, Vice Principal - Math/Science
- Devonne Gorman, Vice Principal - Visual and Performing Arts
- Tameka Green-Foote, Vice Principal - Climate and Culture
- Antonio Lopes, Vice Principal - Humanities and Physical Education
- Paul Bacon (1923-2015), graphic designer best known for his work on book jackets and album covers.
- Tisha Campbell-Martin (born 1968), actress.
- Charles Calello (born 1938), musical director.
- Leo Dee (born 1931), photographer / painter.
- Kat DeLuna (born 1987), singer and dancer.
- Connie Francis (born 1938), singer.
- Savion Glover (born 1973), actor, tap dancer and choreographer.
- Michael B. Jordan (born 1987), actor who has appeared in All My Children, The Wire and Friday Night Lights.
- Mort Lindsey (born 1923), musical director.
- Melba Moore (born 1945), R&B singer.
- Frankie Negrón (born 1977), salsa singer.
- Nicholas Reale (1922-1984), watercolorist with a lengthy career in art and teaching.
- Woody Shaw (1944–1989), jazz trumpeter and composer.
- Wayne Shorter (born 1933), jazz composer and saxophonist.
- Sarah Vaughan (1924–1990), singer.
- J. D. Williams (born 1978), actor.
- Larry Young (1940-1978), jazz organist.
- ^ a b c d School data for Arts High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 12, 2018.
- ^ a b c d Arts High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 6, 2015.
- ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 27, 2012.
- ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 17, 2011.
- ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- ^ Arts High School 2013 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 7, 2016. "In September 1931, Arts High School, erected at a cost of $1.25 million dollars during the Depression, opened its doors and became the first public high school for visual and performing arts in the United States!"
- ^ Cook, Joan. "High Schools for the Arts, Hit Hard by Budget Cuts in the Cities, Beginning to Spring Up in the Suburbs", The New York Times, December 25, 1976. Accessed August 10, 2008.
- ^ via the Associated Press. "THE REGION; Newark Approves School Bond Issue", The New York Times, December 8, 1983. Accessed August 10, 2008.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j A Brief History of Arts High, Newark Arts High School. Accessed December 15, 2014.
- ^ The Scope, Volume 15, Issue 2, Spring 2007.
- ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- ^ Home Page, Colonial Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive, as of November 19, 2010. Accessed December 15, 2014.
- ^ Administration, Arts High School. Accessed December 23, 2017.
- ^ Myers, Marc. "Interview: Paul Bacon (Part 1)", Jazz Wx, July 13, 2010. Accessed August 13, 2011. "JW: Where did you go to school? PB: I was lucky enough to attend Newark Arts High School, New Jersey's equivalent of Manhattan's prestigious High School of Music and Art. At Arts High, you could major in art, music or theater."
- ^ Carter, Kevin L. "Talk Of `Martin,' But Not Martin \ Tisha Campbell's Situation With Martin Lawrence Is Off Limits — By Order Of The Court.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 15, 1997. Accessed August 18, 2008.
- ^ Lustig, Jay. "Dream girl", The Star-Ledger, August 18, 2007. Accessed August 13, 2011. "From Newark's Arts High to a massive hit single, Kat DeLuna has done it her way. When it came time to apply to high schools, the No. 1 choice for Newark's Kat DeLuna was Arts High School. There was no No. 2 on her list.... Arts High did accept her, and she concentrated on vocal studies there. Representing Arts High, she was a finalist for The Star-Ledger Scholarship for the Performing Arts, in 2003."
- ^ "OLD SCHOOL TIES", The Miami Herald, January 10, 1985. Accessed August 18, 2008. "Singer Connie Francis, fresh from her Miami appearance in the Orange Bowl Parade, returned to her old high school in Newark, N.J., this week for the first time in three decades to talk to students and old teachers, saying, Nostalgia always feels good. Francis, 46, said the bathrooms were the only things that had changed at Arts High School, which she attended in 1951 and 1952."
- ^ Andrew Jacobs. "In Person; 'Been Around'", The New York Times, December 17, 200. Accessed August 10, 2008. "I've been hanging, he said, as a small crowd gathered, some of them long-lost acquaintances from the days when Mr. Glover hung downtown after class had let out at Newark Arts High School."
- ^ Politi, Steve. "Politi: 'Friday Night Lights' is over, but Newark's Michael B. Jordan is just getting started", The Star-Ledger, July 15, 2011. Accessed August 13, 2011. "Jordan was 18 when I met him for a feature story (see below). He already had a role in one of my other all-time favorite shows, The Wire, as the heartbreaking Wallace. He was a senior at Arts, the star guard on a team filled with musicians and stage actors, a kid with a famous name already making a name for himself."
- ^ "Tropical Music Sensation, Arts High School Graduate And Newark Native Frankie Negron Joins New Jersey's Campaign to Register to Vote State's Latino Community: Negron is State's First Tropical Music Celebrity to Join 'Be Powerful, Be Heard' Voting Initiative", New Jersey Attorney General press release dated September 2, 2005. Accessed August 13, 2011. "Arts High School graduate and Newark native Frank Negron filled the halls of his alma mater with sounds of Tropical music today as part of the New Jersey, 'BE POWERFUL, BE HEARD' voter outreach and education initiative."
- ^ "Artist Enjoys Teaching And 'Gives His All'", Bernardsville News, November 24, 1977. Accessed January 8, 2018. "Teachers meant a great deal to Nicholas Reale of Hillside, from his beginnings in grammar school, to Arts High in Newark and on to Pratt Institute, where he learned a strong sense of design."
- ^ a b Jazz in the Garden: Woody Shaw Legacy Ensemble, Newark Museum. Accessed November 10, 2016. "Regarded as one of the great band leaders and innovators of his generation, Woody Shaw Jr. (1944-1989) was an infant when his parents moved to Newark, NJ. Considered one of 'Newarks own', the legendary trumpeter attended the famed Arts High in Newark, which was attended by many great jazz artists, such as Wayne Shorter, Sarah Vaughan, and organist Larry Young."
- ^ JDWilliams, I Know I'm Somebody! The Musical. Accessed August 13, 2011. "JD Williams was born in Newark, New Jersey where he attended Arts High School. He is a renowned actor with starring roles in the HBO television programs Oz and The Wire under his belt."