Welcome to Link Community Charter School! Whether you are a parent, a student, an alumnus, a teacher or someone in search of a great school, you will find a very special school community here—one built on a longstanding commitment to social justice, a firm foundation of core values, and a deep belief in the capacity of our young people to excel. The faculty and staff provide a rich and vibrant program that nurtures the development of our students’ minds, bodies and spirits as they grow to become tomorrow’s leaders.
We strongly believe that all children deserve a quality education and can achieve given the right educational environment, and we aim to deliver that each and every day for our young scholars. As we enter our 50th academic year, we are resolute in our commitment to social justice and educational equity. We have built a program that bridges academic and achievement gaps and readies young people for a future that needs their talents and skills.
When you visit, and I hope you will, you will find a positive and safe school environment; energetic and dedicated teachers who plan thoughtfully for engaging instruction and go beyond the expected to support student growth; an academic program that values strong math and literacy skills, as well as creative expression and the arts; support systems that enable all learners to be successful; and a community committed to modeling and teaching core values as an essential component of educating the whole child.
We cannot forget that we are a middle school, a community of learners immersed in those wonderful yet often challenging pre-adolescent years. So, sometimes our students push the boundaries, make significant errors in judgment, are unkind, and forget the Core Values we hold dear—they are working within their own developmental stages. And, we are here to support them through the growth, helping them to learn from mistakes and arming them with the skills to develop into positive, strong, empathetic and value driven individuals. In doing so, we work closely with families, our greatest partners.
As you learn more about Link you will learn that not only is our program and community strong, but so are our results. We look at results broadly, acknowledging that student success is defined by much more than test scores. Nevertheless, we work towards strong performance and growth on state assessments. For the past six years, we have seen incredible growth in our student scores and strong performance in English Language Arts, outperforming the districts they live in, many charter schools and even the state averages in 7th and 8th grades. In math, where many students across the state and country under-perform, Link has outlined a three year plan to improve student performance and we are beginning to see gains.
Scholars leave Link prepared not for comprehensive high schools in the city but for competitive magnet schools and private schools, including independent day and boarding schools, throughout the country, as well as strong Catholic schools in the region. The Class of 2019 received over $6 million in scholarships and financial to make their high school acceptances a reality. They then graduate high school and college at rates higher than their peers in Newark.
At Link, the work is hard but rewarding and it calls upon every member of our school community—students, parents, teachers, staff, trustees, community partners to give their very best. Together, we all support student growth and a bright future!
Maria Pilar Paradiso, J.D.
Head of School