History & Mission

Though we’re proud of our heritage, Newark Academy has never been beholden to our past. We have a long history of looking forward—always adapting to uphold our mission.

  • Founded in 1774 in the city of Newark by an advisor to George Washington
  • One of the oldest independent day schools in the country
  • Original building burned by the British, rebuilt in Newark in 1792
  • Moved to 68-acre campus in Livingston in 1964
  • Admitted the first class of girls in 1971
  • Motto: Ad Lumen (Toward Enlightenment)
  • Mission: Newark Academy will contribute to the world engaged individuals instilled with a passion for learning, a standard of excellence, and a generosity of spirit.

Academic Highlights
Middle School, Grades 6 – 8

Our Middle School program was designed with the needs of early adolescents in mind. Exploration-focused courses allow students to learn by doing. Given an unprecedented amount of freedom, students live up to expectations, recognizing that they are ultimately responsible for their own education.

  • Faculty-created “Skills Tree” used to evaluate learning
  • Teachers look for intellectual growth rather than academic achievement
  • Students are constantly asked to self-assess
  • All sixth graders take a study skills course with the Middle School principal
  • No more than two hours of homework per night, with opportunities to complete some or all during study halls and free periods
  • Only independent school in the area that allows students to advance in languages and math at their own pace
  • Student advisor groups meet twice a week
  • New Middle School building coming soon: new science labs, community spaces, and latest technology
  • To emphasize wellness and to experience teamwork, all Middle students play on an athletic team each season

Academic Highlights
Upper School, Grades 9 – 12

Our Upper School focuses on three priorities: providing an engaging, friendly, and ethical environment, offering the highest quality college preparatory program, and instilling the values and skills needed for a happy and successful adult life. A global focus ensures that our graduates will thrive in any environment.

  • Emphasizes depth of understanding over content mastery
  • Offers up to 23 International Baccalaureate exams in six disciplines and 10 AP exams in four disciplines
  • In May 2016, 71% of students scored 4 or higher on IB examinations, and 91% scored 3 or higher on AP examinations
  • Students master the analytical argument, executive function, and interpersonal skills
  • College counseling begins in earnest in eleventh grade with meetings with assigned college counselor, seminars, and workshops
  • Students are encouraged to develop a college list that offers the best opportunities and best fit
  • The Class of 2016 consists of 101 students, including 22 National Merit Commended Scholars and six Semi-Finalists, three Hispanic Scholars and 39 IB Diploma Candidates

Faculty

The NA faculty represents a diverse range of experiences and expertise, but they all share a love of teaching bright, motivated students. They aren’t just master teachers—they’re lifelong mentors and friends.

  • 85% of the faculty have advanced degrees
  • Nine teachers hold doctoral degrees
  • Average of 17.5 years of teaching experience
  • NA covers the full cost of graduate school tuition for faculty, as well as providing other professional development opportunities

Arts

Arts Department Chair Elaine Brodie explains the value of the arts in education: “The arts cultivate emotional intelligence—the ability to listen deeply, to have empathy, to view the world in new ways, to articulate thoughts. We seize and celebrate the power of the arts to shape our children’s intellect and character.”

  • 19,000-square-foot arts facility includes dance, painting, drawing, digital arts, ceramics, and film studios; a music suite, black box theater, and 550-seat auditorium; and McGraw Art Gallery
  • More than 40 different classes offered in the visual and performing arts
  • Three major drama productions, two dance concerts, and multiple performances in 25 choral and instrumental groups each year
  • Our instrumental music program is one of the finest in the country
  • Artist In Residence program brings a professional visual or performing artist to campus each year to lead workshops for students

Athletics

The athletic department strives to create a community of student-athletes who see competition as a complement to their academic studies, form relationships across grade levels, and develop leadership skills, resiliency, and a lifelong love of healthy competition. Our top-notch athletic facilities, which have been called the jewel of the region, contribute to a fun, sports festival-like atmosphere on campus.

  • 90% of students participate in the athletic program
  • 19 varsity sports offered at the Upper School
  • Middle School students required to participate in interscholastic sports
  • NA teams have won 148 Prep and NJISSA championships
  • Certified athletic trainer on staff
  • Facilities include a multi-use gym, six-lane pool, fitness center, indoor track, fencing center, dedicated wrestling gym, basketball and volleyball courts, 10 outdoor tennis courts, eight-lane track, and eight athletic fields

IB Program

NA was the first, and remains one of the few, schools in New Jersey authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. The IB program is a rigorous college preparatory sequence that emphasizes scholarship, intellectual inquiry and international understanding. Students may opt to pursue an IB diploma or take individual IB courses. Like AP tests, IB exams can lead to advanced placement or course credit in college.

Immersion Program

The Immersion Program requires all Upper School students to engage in cultural or environmental exploration through a multi-week immersion experience or a 10-day wilderness experience. These experiences lead to an appreciation of diverse cultures, peoples, and perspectives. Currently, there are nine programs for extended off-campus study in six states and four countries.

Technology

Technology is an integral part of learning at NA, but never at the expense of face-to-face interaction among students and their teachers. We embrace tools that foster collaboration and creativity. Every classroom is equipped with an interactive projector and all students have their own laptops.

  • Fast and secure campus-wide network
  • Course assignments and content organized with Google Apps and Canvas, our learning management system
  • Special equipment includes 3-D printers, digital microscopes, high-end filmmaking tools, and iMacs for digital arts and programming
  • Tech electives include a mobile app programming course, robotics, and STEMinar

Community Service

Though community service is a graduation requirement, most NA students far exceed the number of hours needed. The Community Service Council, clubs and organizations, and all-school projects offer many opportunities suited to all different interests, from removing over 300 pounds of trash from the Passaic River to musical performances at retirement communities. Some students even choose to incorporate service into their Senior Project.