history of chad


IN THE LATE 1960's, the Black  Youth Organization (BYO) convened a number of community leaders to  discuss the creation of a school for Newark’s African-American children.  BYO wanted to provide the City’s students of color more meaningful  educational opportunities.

IN 1969, BYO HELD A PILOT SCHOOL PROGRAM—The Chad  Summer Experience— to test the idea. It would be Afro-centric in nature  and serve as an alternative to the troubled Newark schools. Three  individuals were instrumental in its creation: Leon Moore, Betty James,  and Clifton Carter.

IN 1970, BYO ESTABLISHED THE CHAD SCHOOL, an  independent, co-ed, non-sectarian elementary school with an enrollment  of 77 children. It was named for the African nation that gained its  independence from French colonial rule in 1960. The School’s logo—“The  Heart of Africa”—displayed the country in the center of the continent.  The founders wanted to create “… a symbol of hope for children in the  heart of Newark, where children prove that with a good education and  pride in roots, they can achieve and succeed.” Core components included:  Starting Early: Early Childhood/Pre-K programs, High Expectations,  Rigorous Curriculum, and Strong Parental Involvement.

The School’s facilities were initially located in five converted  adjacent homes beginning with a row house at 78 Clinton Avenue. In  1985, the former St. Antoninus School at 308 South Ninth Street was  acquired from the Catholic Archdiocese and eventually opened as the new  Chad School in 1986, replacing the buildings on Clinton Avenue. The  South 9th Street Building provided instruction for grades Pre-K-8.

IN 1991, THE FOUNDATION WAS ESTABLISHED to serve as the  fund raising arm of BYO. Its first priority was to raise funds for a  high school. That objective  was  met  in 1992  when  the  Chad   Science  Academy  opened  in  the  former  St. Ann School  on  South 7th  Street,  serving grades 9 – 12. The high  school  placed  heavy   emphasis  on  technology,  science,  and  mathematics  instruction  to   create  a  pipeline  for  students  choosing  careers  in what is now  commonly referred to as the STEM fields (Science, Technology,  Engineering, Mathematics). EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS • The Schools were successful in many academic competitions: in a  1999 6th Grade statewide math competition among 297 schools, Chad  placed first—out performing Princeton, Livingston, and Upper Saddle  River. • Many  Chad  Elementary  students  received  a  solid   academic  foundation,  enabling  them  to  attend  such  prestigious   New  Jersey  high  schools  as  Immaculate  Conception,  Kent  Place,   Marylawn  of  the  Oranges,  Morristown-Beard,  Newark Academy,  Seton    Hall   Preparatory   School,   and  Wardlaw Hartridge. • Chad graduates gained admission to many outstanding colleges  and universities: Boston University, Columbia, Cornell University,  Harvard, Hampton University, Howard, Morehouse, New York University,  Princeton, Spelman, Virginia Polytechnic, and Wellesley. The  Chad  Schools  educated  thousands  of  students  from   Newark  and  surrounding  communities  over  the  course  of   thirty-five  years  before  closing  in  2005.