Newark Public School students and staff return to 2022-2023 school year after summer vacation

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By: Tracie Carter / Richard L. Smith

Thousands of Newark Public School teachers and students are expected to fill hallways and classrooms at 8:10 a.m. Tuesday, when the 2022-2023 year officially begins with the ringing of a school bell.

And while some COVID protocols are in place, things aren’t as strict as they once were.

According to Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger Leon, anyone entering a school building in the city must wear a mask.

The district has required masks in schools since students returned to class during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials confirmed that the NPS continued the mask mandate this year during summer school and programming.

According to NPS spokeswoman Nancy Deering, the mask mandate will remain in place for all 38,000 public school students and 6,000 staff in Newark, where classes are held until further notice.

Superintendent Leon also touted the success of hiring more than 600 new teachers in the district after a nationwide teacher shortage left many classrooms without instructors in New Jersey.

“Our schools cannot function without you, and our children will not learn without you. We are thrilled to have you here, and we want you to know that we are committed to making sure you know and feel how important you matter every time. I know you could have chosen any school district in New Jersey, and we are so honored that you chose Newark.

According to the Newark Teacher’s Union on July 2, 2022, in a landmark contract reopening, the Newark Board of Education and Newark Teachers Union agreed to increase the district’s new teacher’s starting salary to $62,000 per year.

Superintendent Leon asserted that the Newark Board of Education is now one of the highest-paying districts in New Jersey with incentives for both recruitment and retention.

District officials said they have also implemented several district-wide initiatives to help attract and retain teachers.

“Several partnerships with excellent educator preparation programs, such as Montclair State University and Rutgers University of Newark, help us expand the pool of teachers for hard-to-fill teaching positions such as as bilingual, ESL and special education teachers,” concluded Superintendent Leon.

Expect a soggy school community around Newark as National Weather Center forecasters forecast periods of heavy rain that could bring flooding to some areas of the city and region.

The rain is expected to continue after school hours and into the evening.

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