Newark High School in Partnership with Winward Academy Proves What's Possible - Excellence of Urban Youth

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Newark Collegiate Academy Students Rise to Top Tier Academics with Winward Academy

Winward Academy

Newark Collegiate Academy students celebrating college success with Dr. Jennifer Winward of Winward Academy

The accomplishments of NCA graduates now include college acceptances that read like those of the nation's best private high schools: Ivy League acceptances and full scholarships to Notre Dame, Duke, Georgetown, and others.

Ryan Hill, CEO of KIPP New Jersey, predicted in 2007 that “Newark would be the first major American city to prove all kids could achieve.” With recent results from KIPP’s Newark Collegiate Academy (NCA), Hill’s prediction has been realized.

NCA serves students in Newark, New Jersey, one of the most socio-economically challenged areas in the country. In 2017, a member of the KIPP New Jersey Board, whose son improved 9 points on the ACT using Winward Academy, approached its founder, Dr. Jennifer Winward, about providing her platform to NCA to help boost the students’ academic performance.

Winward worked closely with NCA teachers to craft a seminar program to focus on improvement for an upcoming ACT. Results were unprecedented: English scores rose by 5.2 points, math by 2.9, reading by 5.1, and science by 4.0. These improvements changed college trajectories, allowing NCA students to apply to colleges they previously considered out of reach.

In the class of 2018, Elijah L. achieved the unprecedented with a score of 30, placing him in the 95% percentile. In the class of 2019, Rae R. became the first student to earn a 31, and in the upcoming class of 2020, Fatima A. became the first to earn a 32 with a 33 superscore, placing her in the 99th percentile in the country.

Michael N. raised his ACT score 10 points and earned a full-ride college scholarship. Michael shared, “When I got my acceptance letter and full scholarship, it was the first time my little brother told me he wanted to be just like me.”

The accomplishments of NCA graduates now include college acceptances that read like those of the nation's best private high schools: Ivy League acceptances and full scholarships to Notre Dame, Duke, Georgetown, and others. As important, the culture of NCA has been transformed to one that celebrates academic growth and success.

“Winward Academy broke us out of the status quo and elevated our students’ ACT performance by 33 percentile points. The dynamic at our school has completely shifted. Winward Academy is our unicorn,” shared Ilyan Nunez, Director of College Placement, KIPP New Jersey.

NCA students are young people who work hard and care about their families and futures. Collectively, they have shown naysayers that despite long-held and problematic stereotypes, low-income urban youth — when afforded the same opportunities as their peers from higher earning families — will walk in their excellence.

For more information about Winward Academy’s efforts to support charter and public schools, please contact William Avery at 858.764.2591 or

About Winward Academy
Test success, college success, and life success – they all begin at Winward Academy, a research-based, student-centered learning platform for the ACT, SAT, math class, and college applications. Winward Academy applies a scientific approach to customize learning for each student, enabling growth for students of all levels and learning styles. Winward Academy is a team of passionate adolescent learning researchers committed to thoughtfully developing curriculum that improves learning, retention, and test performance – building confidence for life. Winward Academy curriculum is used by students at home, by teachers in the classroom, and by charities in after-school and summer programs. For more information on Winward Academy, see or follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

About KIPP New Jersey
KIPP New Jersey schools are part of the nationally recognized “Knowledge Is Power Program” non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. In 2002, KIPP New Jersey first opened its doors in Newark’s South Ward as a single class of 80 fifth graders and has since grown to teach over 6,290 students in grades K-12 in Newark and Camden. 90% of KIPP New Jersey students currently qualify for free or reduced meals. KIPP New Jersey alumni earn college degrees at more than 3 times the national average for students from low-income families. By offering highly effective educators with strong bonds to families, more time in school learning, services that support a variety of student needs, and a culture focused on achievement, our students are on the path to and through college.

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