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WHAT WE DO

PRESERVING NEWARKS BEAUTIFUL SCHOOLS

Thank you for visiting. We're delighted to tell you about the Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee and invite you to join us in preserving the Schools we love so much. 

NPSHPC seeks items that showcase the rich history of the Newark Public Schools. Do you have clothing, yearbooks, photos, or items to donate? Contact us at NPSHPC@aol.com!

Introduction

In the fall of 2009 a coalition of concerned citizens, alumni and preservationists formed the Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee. It was apparent to the group that the Newark Public Schools needed to honor its very rich heritage.

The school district is one of the oldest in the nation. Barringer High School is the third oldest public high school in the country. Prominent alumni have graduated from our schools and have never been properly recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to history.

Archives representing the history and culture of past generations are a meaningful part of today’s life experience and culture. This history must be made accessible to our students and the public. The archives represent our social, political, economic and cultural heritage. Historical documents and narratives should be developed and available to Newark students as part of the school district’s curriculum.

The district will need assistance with the preparation of policies and guidelines to complete the primary work of this committee. There are models in the district that can be replicated. Barringer High School’s archives have been preserved and the school has a designated archivist. Weequahic Alumni Association’s efforts can also serve as a model for replication.

Additionally, a place to archive the historically significant material in the schools and the central office should exist.

Time is running out.

The historians are aging and the time to capture as much of our history as possible is now.

The Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee is a 501(c)(3) organization that was established to chronicle the history, preserve documents, artifacts and school buildings. It is also our intention to share the history of the Newark Public Schools with students and the greater community.

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THE PROBLEM

Need For Internal Guidelines:
 Newark is the third oldest city in the United States. The city’s school district, as well as the city, is struggling to preserve its rich history. There is no clearly defined mechanism to deal with historical preservation. In the absence of guidelines, many valuable artifacts have been discarded. Many murals of historical significance have been covered over. Schools that have been slated for demolition should be on the National Register of Historic Places.
Establishing guidelines is a prerequisite to the real work. Archivists will need to be trained to recognize historically valuable items in a school.

The cohort of archivists will need to be trained and provided administrative support to ensure that everyone understands the mission and contributes to its success.

Need for Expertise:
 The school district, wherever feasible and beneficial, should enter into collaborative partnerships with historical preservation and cultural organizations, including (but not limited to) the New Jersey Historical Society, the Newark Public Library, the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, and the Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee.

Need for Resources / Funding
: In addition to Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee’s pro bono work and in kind support from the district, additional funding will be needed. Funds are necessary for training of the archivists and for the establishment of the Newark Public Schools museum: the museum to be established at the James Baxter school building located on State Street

OUR OBJECTIVES
  • To establish a policy and guidelines for the preservation and archiving of historically valuable artifacts of the Newark Public Schools.
  • To establish repositories within the schools for the collection and preservation of valuable documents and materials relating to the history of the school which otherwise would be lost.
  • To develop and keep current a chronology of significant events in the Newark Public Schools.
  • To identify at least six schools for possible listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • To establish a permanent Newark Public Schools museum at the James Baxter school/office complex.
  • To develop the lot adjacent to the State Street building as the James Baxter Park. This will be done in partnership with the Newark Municipal Council and Trust for Public Land.
  • To develop a program for teaching research methods and related skills to teachers and students.
  • To have students assist, wherever possible, with the archives and the chronology.
  • To use the Barringer and Weequahic high schools’ archive collections as models for replication.
  • To develop collaborative working relationships with alumni associations and other preservation organizations.
  • To develop a proposal for fund raising to support ongoing archival efforts.
GOVERNING POLICY

THE NEWARK PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Newark, New Jersey
POLICY FILE CODE: 7540 

ASSEMBLING AND PRESERVING IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

The Newark Public Schools (the “District”) is the third oldest school system in the country and has a rich and storied heritage.  The District recognizes the great value of preserving its history for future generations of students, as well as for the broader community.  The District, therefore, will undertake, to the extent permitted by law and resources, to establish archives in every school, as well as the Central Office, for the preservation of historic documents and artifacts of the District.

The District shall designate a staff member to act as an “archivist” in every school, as well as Central Office.  The designee shall be responsible for collecting, cataloguing, displaying and/or storing (for present and future use) historically valuable documents and artifacts.  As part of this preservation process, the District and individual schools shall encourage both student and alumni participation in the collecting, categorizing and maintaining of historic documents and artifacts, as well as fundraising for the purpose of preserving the District’s valuable historical records.

In addition, the District, shall, wherever feasible and beneficial, enter into collaborative partnerships with various historical preservation organizations, including (but not limited to) the New Jersey Historical Society, the Newark Public Library, the Newark Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee, to whose Board of Directors the District shall consider appointing at least one member.

Date Adopted by State District Superintendent: March 23, 2010