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Newark Public Schools

District Partner 2011-2012

In September 2011 ERS launched a partnership with Newark Public Schools to complete a resource map of the district to examine how they currently use resources to support student learning goals. 

"Our partner districts show us what's really happening on the ground—the data reveal where resources are going and our relationships with district leadership teams refine our best thinking about solutions."
-Karen Hawley Miles, Executive Director, ERS

District Facts

Students: 41,235
Staff: 2,495
: 75

Work Focus

  • Resource Use: Assess current resource strategies and consider how to reallocate to maximize impact on student learning

  • Weighted Student Funding: To support the evolution of the district’s weighted student funding formula

Findings and Outcomes

  • Special Education: Our analysis showed that compared to most other districts we have studied, Newark placed more of its students in self-contained SPED models, spent the most on SPED students and utilized the most expensive settings; in SY1213, the district embarked on making changes to address the issues we identified in our analysis:
    • Hired a new SPED director to oversee changes
    • In ES, students in grades K-2 who would normally be placed in a self-contained setting for behavior disability are being retained in their GenEd classes and are supported with behavior management intervention support
    • Three schools are being piloted as models of truly inclusive schools where special education students who are served in general education settings are being co-taught by both a special education and general education teacher who collaborate on how to adjust instruction to meet all students’ needs
    • Central office special education program management is better aligning with the  school-based teams by providing training for the Child Study Teams (the team of parents, teachers, principals, and social emotional professionals who craft students’ Individual Education Plans)

  • School Design: Using many of the findings from our analysis to support their strategy, district leaders are revamping the enrollment process at comprehensive high schools to mitigate student assignment inequities and are evaluating and restructuring the school designs and structures of these schools so they can better serve students' needs; they plan to start implementing pieces of it for SY1314

  • Weighted Student Funding: Our analysis helped the district craft WSF opportunities that give principals the flexibility to meet school and student needs

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