Newark Leadership Academy began its second year of operation on September 6, 2012, welcoming several new staffers, including new principal, Semone Morant, a second Social Studies teacher, two Art teachers, one Child Study Team Social Worker, and a part-time School Psychologist. Currently, one hundred sixteen (116) students are enrolled.  

YBN has partnered with the Newark Public Schools’ (NPS) Re-Engagement Center (REC) for students who are currently not in school but interested in returning. The REC will be the single point of entry for all students as opposed to individual schools being able to transfer students to other schools directly. It will assess students’ educational and socio-emotional needs and create an educational program based upon on their individual needs. Students will receive approximately six (6) weeks of remediation, counseling and standard instruction at the REC prior to their transition to a traditional district high school, a district alternative program (e.g. NLA) or a community-based program (e.g. YBN) for those students who may be over-aged, etc.

In addition to assisting with ongoing recruitment, YBN continues to work with the REC to help cultivate a program culture that is rooted in evidence-based youth development methodologies. By establishing a “youth development” culture at the REC, staff and students will be better able to assess students’ interests, readiness, strengths, areas of concern, etc. and NPS can thus recommend the most appropriate individualized plan for each student. It is YBN’s hope that this partnership will reach and provide services to more out-of-school and disengaged youth.

YBN is grateful for the support of the Nicholson Foundation, the Newark Trust for Education and the Foundation for Newark’s Future, whose support enabled YBN to more readily ensure that NLA debuted as an effective model for comprehensive alternative education and youth development.