Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts was established in 1982. The school is a themed school for the Arts that currently serves 675 students in Kindergarten through Grade 8. The school has 80 staff members that work collaboratively to support the ongoing development of the students in the school community. Academic needs are addressed by our classroom teachers, who are supported by Basic Skills teachers, and also by our Reading Specialist, Math Specialist and Arts Integration Specialist. Counseling services are provided by our School Counselor, and a School Social Worker
Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts is currently located at 199 Commercial Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In September 2018, the school community returned to our expanded and renovated location. The expansion and renovation was completed by the School Development Authority of the State of New Jersey.
The school is one of the theme schools for the district of New Brunswick. Our school integrates the arts into the established district curriculum providing opportunities for students to participate in Math, Language Arts and other academic activities through the arts. Teachers and staff participate in professional development activities that support teachers in both integrating the arts into instruction and also in providing students with rigorous, and challenging activities that include high level tasks that promote student achievement.
Students in the school benefit from access to state of the art technology including access to Chromebooks for students in grades 3 through 8, iPads in classrooms for students in Kindergarten through grade 2. Teachers utilize the Google platform to provide students with opportunities to interact with instructors and their peers through the Google Applications for Education (GAFE) tools. Teachers can create collaborative activities for students to demonstrate their learning. Through the GAFE tools teachers are able to reduce the amount of paper used in the classroom as many learning activities can be completed online allowing teachers to provide instant feedback to students.
In the Kindergarten classes, teachers utilize the Tools of the Mind curriculum to provide our students with hands-on opportunities for students to develop their beginning Literacy and Math skills. Teachers of students in Grades 1 and Grade 2 use the Journeys series to support delivery of the district Literacy curriculum. In addition, classroom teachers utilize regular Guided Reading, Writer's Workshop and Reader's Workshop to support students in building literacy skills. Guided Reading, Writer’s Workshop, and Novel study are the cornerstones of the Literacy program for students in grades 3 through 8. Teachers also utilize leveled readers to provide students with a variety of tools to promote the development of literacy skills. Teachers assess student progress with running records and the DRA2 assessment.
Classroom teachers focus on providing students with engaging, high level tasks that promote the development of independent thinking and reasoning skills in Math. Teachers seek to support students in developing fluency with numbers and mathematical operations.
Students in grade 6 - 8 have the opportunity to choose Academy and Encore classes in one of four forms of Art. They can choose an Academy class for the year in Visual Art, Chorus, Band, Orchestra, or Theater. The Academy classes are offered 3 days per week. Students are also able to choose two Encore classes, which last for 1/2 of the school year. Students can choose form Arts classes such as Cell Phone Photography, Public Speaking, Hip-Hop Dance, Graphic Design, Electronic Music, or Latin Ballroom Dancing. The Encore classes meet twice each week.
Students in Grades 1 through 5 have weekly classes in Visual Art and General Music and students can begin lessons with the instrument of their choice when reach Grade 4. In addition to Visual Art and General Music, students have Theater Integration lessons once a week during their Social Studies classes for 1/2 of the school year. Students also have Dance Integration activities during one of their Physical Education classes each week. These additional classes provide students in the building with exposure all forms of art during each school taught by a certified instructor in that discipline.
As the school transitions into a fully formed theme school for the arts over the next several years, we are excited to continue our existing partnerships with groups such as George Street Playhouse with whom we have in-school theater residencies with teaching artists. The school has an ongoing partnership with The Civic League of Greater New Brunswick supporting students in after school programs. In addition, students and teachers will continue partnerships with the American Repertory Ballet, The Zimmerli Museum, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Our students will benefit from these and other experiences with professionals in the world of the arts as we provide students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 opportunities to be Prepared, Empowered, and Inspired Leaders and Lifelong Learners.