The South Ward Community Schools Initiative (SWCSI), a collaborative partnership between the Newark Public Schools (NPS) and the City of Newark, began in 2017 as a school transformation strategy designed to address the barriers that prevent students from reaching their full potential.
NTE coordinated the partnership, led documentation efforts with Metis Associates, and convened the school sites for peer learning and problem-solving. Five South Ward schools—BRICK Avon School, Belmont Runyon, BRICK Peshine, Malcolm X Shabazz High School, and Spencer-Miller—were selected through a competitive process, to transform their schools into community schools. After an intensive planning process, the schools began full implementation from 2016 to 2019.
Metis Associates, in partnership with the Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS) at Montclair State University, was selected in 2017 to conduct a 2-year evaluation of the South Ward Community Schools Initiative (SWCSI). The evaluation, which includes formative and summative components, is designed to document the successes, challenges, and lessons learned, and assess the impact of the initiative on key student, family, school, and community outcomes.