Newark Arts High School

Newark Arts High School
Newark Arts High School
550 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Newark, NJ 07102

Type Magnet Public high school
Established 1931
School district Newark Public Schools
Principal Ms. Lynn Irby-Jackson
Faculty 48 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 6, 9 – 12
Enrollment 559 (as of 2009-10)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 11.65[1]
Color(s) Green and Gray
Athletics conference Super Essex Conference
Nickname Jaguars

Newark Arts High School is a four-year magnet public high school, serving students in grades 9 through 12 in Newark, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Newark Public Schools. In 2010, the 6th graders of William Brown Academy is housed there as its venue is currently being built. The school is located in the University Heights area of Newark.

As of the 2009-10 school year, the school had an enrollment of 559 students and 48 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.65.[1]

The school was the 205th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 322 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2010 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 154th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[2] The school was ranked 186th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[3]



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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

During 2006-2007,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 (www.artshighconsortium) 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?"[8]

Until 1997, the Arts High School also housed the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, a postsecondary vocational school that focused on arts education.[citation needed]


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.[9]

Sports Offered: Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball, Indoor Track, Bowling, Softball, Baseball, Outdoor Track.


Core members of the school's administration are:

  • Ms. Lynn Irby-Jackson, Principal[7]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b c d Arts High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed August 13, 2011.
  2. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 17, 2011.
  3. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  4. ^ Arts High School 2010 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed August 10, 2008. "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!"
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ via the Associated Press. "THE REGION; Newark Approves School Bond Issue", The New York Times, December 8, 1983. Accessed August 10, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k A Brief History, Newark Arts High School. Accessed August 10, 2008.
  8. ^ The Scope, Volume 15, Issue 2, Spring 2007
  9. ^ League Memberships – 2010-2011, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 13, 2011.
  10. ^ 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."
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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."
  13. ^ "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."
  14. ^ Jacobs, Andrew. "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."
  15. ^ 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."
  16. ^ "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."
  17. ^ 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."

External links

Coordinates: 40°44′03″N 74°10′49″W / 40.734163°N 74.180387°W / 40.734163; -74.180387

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