KIPP SPARK Academy Elementary

KIPP New Jersey’s first elementary school prepares students to and through college from the day they start kindergarten.

  • 500 Students
  • K-4 Grades
  • 2009 Year

  • Race
    • 96% African-American
    • 2% latino
    • 2% Other
  • Free & Reduced meals
    • 72% free
    • 15% reduced
    • 13% paid
  • Gender
    • 48% male
    • 52% female
  • Special Education
    • 8% qualify for services
    • 92% do not qualify for services


230 Halsey Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: 973-481-0327

Carrie Jolley, School Leader

Announcements »

11/2/13 - New Family Resource Added…
11/2/13 - New Family Resource Added…
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School Hours

M,Tu,Th,F:     7:30 am - 4:30 pm
W:            7:30 am - 1:30 pm

What Makes SPARK Unique?

We are Newark, New Jersey

SPARKsters learn early and often to leave a place better than they found it, and that applies to Newark as much as the hallway in their school. Through service learning projects and character education, they learn to be the change in our city.

Team and Family

Parents have teachers’s cell phone numbers to ask questions, attend Saturday schools for kindergarteners, and participate in family focused events throughout the year. There's also a group of parent volunteers who help with school projects.

To and Through College

From day one, students are on a path to college. Classrooms at SPARK are named after colleges, grade levels are named after the year kids go to college, and students visit and learn about colleges throughout the year.

Spark Values
  • Seek Knowledge
  • Pursue Justice
  • Act as a Team
  • Reach for Excellence
  • Keep Going
  • Love
A student moves their name up on the STEP wall after reaching a new milestone.

Academic Growth

Scholars come to SPARK Academy at many different levels. We test and test them and meticulously track their progress from kindergarten to college. It starts on the first day of summer school.

MAP Progress

Students are tested throughout the year to make sure they are learning, so we don’t just rely on state tests to know if they are on-track.

STEP Literacy Assessment

We start testing our students as soon as they join us to make sure we meet their academic needs. STEP is designed to test early reading skills which helps get our kids on track from day one. Students watch their progress move across the step wall (above).

Progress Reporting

We collect hundreds of data points on each of our students throughout the year, and send them to you weekly to keep you informed of your students’ progress. As a staff, we use the same data to tell us what your student needs on a daily basis to get them on the path to and through college.

Developing the whole child

Students take classes on character education, build strong routines from kindergarten through fourth grade, and create systems to keep parents and students informed about their progress - both academic and behavioral.

Sample Trips and Activities

Acting workshops
Family carnival
International Art Day
Kindergarten end of year beach trip
The Lion King on Broadway
Montclair Art Museum
Newark Museum
Pumpkin patch trip

Sample Courses

Guided Reading

Sample Schedule

  • Check-in, breakfast,
    homework check

    7:15 AM
  • SPARK family and
    community meeting

    7:30 AM
  • Comprehension/IRA

    8:30 AM
  • Teacher Prep Period

    9:15 AM
  • Phonics

    9:45 AM
  • Guided Reading

    10:15 AM
  • Math Numbers Sense

    11:45 AM
  • Gym/Lunch

    12:15 PM
  • Math

    1:15 PM
  • Prep

    2:15 PM
  • Writing/Grammar

    3:05 PM
  • Snack; Dismissal

    3:30 PM

* Teachers get about 2 hours of prep

Nice Words from Our Families

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The teachers are excellent, patient and loving to our kids. SPARK (as well as all [KIPP New Jersey] Schools) believe in preparing our kids for college as well as life.

Jennifer Scott, SPARK Parent

Quote Marks

I admire and appreciate the high level of communication between staff and parents. More importantly, my child feels a sense of pride and responsibility with his work. GO SPARK!!!!

SPARK Parent

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SPARK Academy is a beacon of light to those children seeking knowledge in Newark! The teachers are amazing and care deeply about their students.

SPARK Parent

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I love the [KIPP New Jersey] experience. They have given my grandchildren and their classmates an excellent education!

Mr. Paden, SPARK Parent