We have been invited to an alumni meeting with the Newark Superintendent of Schools this Thursday evening

See details below


Yesterday afternoon, the Weequahic High School Alumni Association, the West Side High School Alumni Association, and the Shabazz (formerly South Side) Alumni Association received the following invitation:  
From:  Cami Anderson, State Superintendent of Newark Public Schools
To:  Weequahic, West Side and Shabazz Alumni Associations 

Please join me to discuss "Keeping Our Comprehensive High Schools Open Through Creative Solutions"


Date:  Thursday, January 9, 2014

Time Frame:  5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Location:  NPJAC, One Center Street, in Newark - in the Chase Room



  • Presentation
  • Panel
  • Questions and Answers
Although we have been given short notice, we want to have a large gathering of Weequahic alumni present at this meeting.

If you can attend, please contact Phil Yourish at (973) 923-3133 or by e-mail at weequahicalumni@gmail.com.  He will be submitting a list tomorrow.

1956 WHS Grad, Paul Tractenberg, 
has written an article entitled:
To read it, click on the above blue hyperlink.
A Letter From A Weequahic Teacher


By Bashir Akinyele, 

a History teacher at Weequahic High School


To Ms. Anderson,


May this e-mail find you in the best of spirits!


Ms. Anderson, I hope in your wisdom that you are able to see that closing historic Weequahic High School would be an unjust tragedy.  Our school is 

great because we have so much to offer.  We have great students who've increased their standardized test scores since last year. Weequahic High School is blessed to have a successful football and track and field athletic programs, awesome teachers who are passionate about teaching, innovative administrators who are committed to keeping high standards for our students and staff, the best active alumni association in America, and a well-respected principal and Weequahic Alumnus, Mr. Faheem Ellis, who is dedicated to the academic progress of our students.


As you know, the school is located in Newark's Weequahic section in the South Ward.  This community is struggling with abject poverty, joblessness, family issues, and senseless violence.  However, the people/citizens/residents of the Weequahic community love Weequahic High School and the history it holds in their lives. In fact, I'm sure there isn't one household in this ward that hasn't a child who's graduated from Weequahic High School.  That's why we say, "IP (Indian Pride) Pride."  Our school serves as a safe haven for our students, parents, the youth, and the community.  I know this first hand, because I've been a part of the team to establish WHS as a safe zone, so that all of our students and the community know that violence is not accepted or allowed within our doors.


I believe in the greatness of Weequahic HS so much that I have spent over ten years of my teaching career and community activism helping our school evolve from a failing and violent school to one of the higher achieving and safest high schools in Newark.  I believe that our school can and will continue to progress under the leadership of Mr. Ellis with the help and support of our committed teachers, alumni association, parents, community, and hard working students in our historic building.     


I know you have the hard task of making necessary changes to the Newark Public Schools to ensure that our students receive the best education in America.  I respect that Ms. Anderson wholeheartedly, but Weequahic HS is not a failing school.  It is a school facing various challenges when it comes to educating today's youth who are constantly dealing with numerous societal ills (i.e. Gangs, violence, homelessness, abuse, dysfunctional family members, drugs).  Despite those challenges, the Weequahic High School community is willing to fight for a quality education for our students.


Ms. Andersen, under your leadership, I know you will prepare our students for a productive and successful life.  However, if Weequahic closes; our students, parents, and the community will lose a great school and a piece of Newark's, and America's, history will be lost forever!


Thank you for your time and hopefully your consideration.




Bashir Akinyele, 

Passionate WHS History Teacher & Community Activist 



1968 grad, J. Paul Blake, just started a petition called

Hands Off Weequahic


Click on the above link to sign the petition



Weequahic High School Alumni Association's

Position on the Newark Public Schools

New Educational Plan


  • We oppose the One Newark vision as proposed by Newark's state-appointed Superintendent of Schools due to a lack of genuine community input in the planning and decision-making process by the stakeholders that are most affected by this new plan.
  • We support the traditional concept of neighborhood schools and believe that it should continue to be one of the options offered to students and families.
  • We request that Weequahic High School remains open as a public comprehensive high school in the city of Newark and that all plans to phase out the traditional high school program over the next three years be discarded.
  • We further request that the plan to eliminate the 9th grade at Weequahic High School be abandoned and that that high school is listed as one of the high schools available to students for the 2014-15 school year
  • We view Weequahic High School as a progressing high school - one of the higher performing comprehensive high schools in the city - which has made gains in attendance, test scores, and graduation rates in the last five years. .
  • We endorse the high school's new Principal, Faheem Ellis, a 1996 WHS grad, and observe with pride that he has in his first year demonstrated dynamic leadership, vision, and effectiveness.
  • We believe that any innovative changes in the high school program should utilize the abilities and talents of Principal Ellis, his leadership team, and faculty in designing and implementing new strategies to create a more successful learning environment.
  • We urge that greater financial resources are allocated to the high school (which it has not received in previous years) to carry out its current program and/or to develop and support new programming.
  • We also recommend that additional funds are allotted to make essential repairs to the physical facility.
  • We believe that the rich tradition and history of Weequahic High School for the past 80 years (the number one academic high school in the state for many years) needs to be preserved and passed forward to serve as a catalyst and springboard to inspire a new generation of Weequahic students.
  • We declare that the Weequahic High School Alumni Association, which has invested more than one-half million dollars in scholarships and student activities at the high school over the past 16 years, will continue to enthusiastically provide assistance to the high school that we know so well in the coming years.
  • We will enlist our vast alumni community (more than 10,000) in joining us in this struggle to save our beloved high school and in communicating our position to the state-appointed Superintendent of Newark Public Schools and to local, county and state officials.
Phil Yourish, Executive Director, Class of 1964
Weequahic High School Alumni Association
279 Chancellor Avenue, Newark, NJ 07112 or
P.O. Box 494, Newark, NJ 07101
(973) 923-3133 / (973) 303-5294
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