My school opened its doors in the 2002-2003 school year and is currently in its fifteenth year of operation. We currently serve 426 students with a maximum approved enrollment of 460 students. Students who graduate with a GPA of 3.2 or greater and who are accepted to NJCU with regular full-time status are eligible to receive the NJCU Presidential Scholarship and attend the university for free.
Our school looks to foster a sense of community through our clubs, sports, and group-based discussion programs.
Administrators and teachers maintain high expectations of our students, and we encourage students to meet and exceed these standards through a small school setting where teachers and students grow close in classes with 20 students or less.
Our school operates with a service-learning theme. The goal of service learning is to design a framework that promotes an understanding that our youth can contribute to the community at large. By co-creating and implementing community enterprises, youth develop their core academic skills, habits of mind, and sense of self-efficacy. Every class is responsible for a service-learning project and our 12th-grade students are required to do a service learning capstone project.
Jersey City has been described by some as “New York West”. However, the reality is that many students living in Jersey City still face poverty, hunger, and parental involvement. As a teacher in an urban school district, my students are faced with several challenges both in and out of the classroom. Many come from single-parent households with free or reduced meals provided by the school. Most days, they come to school without breakfast, good sleep due to working to support the family or enough clean water to drink. I may not be able to control their home lives; however, I can certainly control their experiences during the school day.
As their teacher, I try to provide them all their basic needs from food to guidance as a role model that they may not get at home.
My students want to engage in art, but most times can’t due to these basic necessities not being met. These needs may prevent them from getting ahead in this critical stage of life and learn to their fullest. By providing breakfasts, snacks, and water bottles, I hope to improve their school experience to grow into the best they can be.
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