Award Year: 2022

Redwood Elementary School

75 Redwood Avenue
West Orange, NJ, 07052-3623

(973) 669-5457

Ms. Kimya Jackson, Principal at time of Nomination

West Orange School District

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At Redwood, our guiding light is Dr. King's famous maxim that the true goal of education is to build students' "intelligence and character." We firmly believe that both intelligence and character are not fixed commodities, but rather that both can be developed. To that end, our academic programs are designed to grow our students' abilities in each of the core subjects of English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, along with enhancing their creativity through the Arts and Music, their health and wellness through Physical Education and Health, their language skills and cultural understandings through World Languages, and their facility with technology and research through Library & Media Arts. Redwood also places a premium on character development. Redwood is "The School That Cares," and with this theme in mind we teach our students to care about themselves, each other, our staff, and our school itself. Through our R.O.C.K.E.T. character initiative, our students build the character traits of Respect, Open-Mindedness, Caring, Kindness, Encouragement, and Trustworthiness. We aim to give our students the tools that they need to be responsible, productive, and civic-minded citizens.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 32%
  • White: 24%
  • Hispanic: 29%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 6%
  • Two or more races: 9%
Principal assists a kindergartener on the first day of school

Principal assists a kindergartener on the first day of school

Redwood's motto is "The school that cares." We care about ourselves, our community, and our school.

At Redwood, one of the many ways we display caring about ourselves is reflected with our Caught with Character program where students and staff receive appreciation tickets when they are caught going above and beyond to display great character. For example, students have received tickets for assisting kindergartener's to their classrooms, helping a classmate by opening the door for them when their hands are filled, and teaching new students how to play games during recess. Staff have received tickets for helping new staff members acclimate to our school, staying late with students when parents are running a little behind, and purchasing a playpen for one of our families in need. At the end of the month those who have received tickets are recognized and celebrated by the entire school.

We care about our community by celebrating and appreciating the many forms of diversity displayed in our school. Beyond themed months teachers weave in culturally responsive practices within all subject areas. Our school Diversity Equity and Access committee hosts summer book clubs for staff to engage in discussion and actions for a more socially just school environment.

Lastly, we care about school by beautifying the grounds with our "Rock"et Garden garden club and our annual tree planting ceremony.

Redwood is a school where you are valued and cared for by all.