The mission of Philip’s Academy Charter School Newark (also referred to as PACS Newark) is to inspire diverse learners in a rigorous and innovative environment that cultivates resilient leadership, intellectual curiosity, and thoughtful stewardship. Our school’s core values are to provide students with the love and support that they need to build a strong foundation for life. At PACS, we believe that learning happens everywhere, both inside and outside of the classroom. In addition to the academic core, we instill in our students a hunger and determination to forge their own life paths, realize their dreams, and reach their full potential. Accordingly, we promote and recognize the importance of ethical decision-making and the personal values of honesty, integrity, responsibility, tolerance, and service. In sum, we prepare students for entrance into a global society by teaching respect for diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and, we recognize the unique worth of each member of the school community.

    Our educational philosophy is to offer rigorous preparation for higher education in age-appropriate ways. This includes challenging learning experiences presented through individual and collaborative work, homework and classwork, research assignments, assignments that require critical thinking and problem-solving, and extensive reading and writing throughout the curriculum. 

    The process of learning math, science, and other parts of the standard curriculum is not limited to those classrooms. It spreads throughout the learning labs, and inside and outside the classroom. When students take part in one of those labs, the kitchen learning lab, for example, and they make purple potato chips, they learn about geography, plant biology, and even chemistry. When they’re harvesting baby kale from the school’s AeroFarm mini farm, or planting and then harvesting cabbage and carrots on the rooftop garden, they learn about the environment and ecology.

    Outside the classroom—during recess—students learn emotional and social skills, how to include everyone during play, how to resolve conflicts, even how to be a leader. In the dining room, where students eat family-style, the lessons might be about food literacy, sustainability, and nutrition.

    Here's what sets PACS Newark apart:

    1. Small School Community:  Class size is capped at 21 students, enabling teachers to meet the diverse learning needs of the children they serve. Smaller class sizes provide opportunities for targeted, tailored, and organic instruction. When there are fewer children enrolled in each classroom, teachers have the capacity to implement flexible and dynamic small group instruction. This helps students and teachers to build authentic relationships thereby satisfying our expectation for students in every classroom to be known, valued, and supported by their teachers.  

    2. Quality Instruction, Accountability, and High Student Expectations:  PACS recruits, attracts, trains, and develops strong instructional and student support staff. We provide smart, useful, and relevant professional development focused on Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) goals. Teachers’ daily practice is measured by the Newark Public Schools’ Teacher Evaluation Framework, and they are held accountable to the Framework’s standards as measured by multiple observations, and continuous feedback and development delivered via the Whetstone Education platform

    3. Data-Driven Interventions and Student Supports:  School administrators and teachers review student performance data from Illuminate, i-Ready, curriculum-generated assessments, and exit tickets during weekly/biweekly Professional Learning Community (PLCs) meetings determined by the frequency of assessment administrations. These data reviews result in differentiated instruction, intervention groupings, and reteach plans. Additional instructional adjustments may be made based on students’ individual performance, misconceptions about what they’re learning, and personalized plans. PACS’ master schedule includes 45-60 minute intervention blocks which are offered four times weekly to facilitate early intervention and ensure over-classification of students into special education. These intervention blocks enable teachers and support staff to remediate, accelerate, and/or enrich student learning. 

    4. Leader-in-Me (LiM):  A comprehensive program intended to address students’ social and emotional needs, ready them for college and career, and help schools to develop a strong leadership culture. The LiM process involves student, staff, and family development. It provides schools with systematic, classroom-based processes and lessons designed to increase students’ social and emotional competencies. LiM helps students develop agency and establish a voice, and acquire life and leadership skills that will enable them to thrive in an ever-changing global economy.

    5. EcoSpaces Education:  A once weekly co-curricular program utilizing multi-dimensional learning environments to provide students with the tools and skills to lead healthy and environmentally productive lives. EcoSpaces Education is comprised of 10 unique learning environments custom-designed to inspire students to embrace the highest principles of environmental and nutritional stewardship. Through demonstrations, students develop an understanding of how food is grown, nurtured, harvested, cooked, and served. Student participation in the EcoSpaces program expands their knowledge of the importance of food for our bodies and communities.


    It is demonstrated in every contact and relationship between staff, teachers, and students. It is a part of our DNA here at Philip's Academy. We look forward to having you find out what we're about first hand! For information about how your child can be a part of our learning community, please reach out to Ms. June Bernard, Director of Enrollment, by emailing jbernard@pacsnewark.org today!