Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


East Side High School 1911

Mr. Kennedy

Mr. James Kennedy
1st Principal, East Side High School

On November 25, 1908, a resolution was proposed for the building of East Side High School. The school was organized and opened on the first of February in 1911 for its first term, at the Market Street Annex.

The following April the school moved to the new building with an enrollment of 450 students coming from all parts of the city.

Currently, East Side has an enrollment of approximately 1,700 along with three buildings.

Courses of study offered in 1911 were the General or Classical, which prepared the students for college, the Commercial for those students interested in a business career; the Technical, which helped prepare boys for industries and trained girls in the arts and sciences for the purpose of practicing home-keeping.

Today, East Side has become very diversified in its course offerings. No longer are girls given only cooking courses in order to become better homemakers. Today, every student has a chance to select what courses they wish to study in addition to a required program.

Another area which varies greatly with the past is athletics. There was a time when the only physical activities available for girls to participate in was basketball, field hockey, and dance class, while the boys were involved in baseball, football, hockey, basketball, track and tennis.

Now, along with the other curriculum changes, athletics has also changed.

More and more girls are involved in the once for males only dominated world of sports. Today, girls are participating and competing all areas of athletic activities.
Today, girls are participating and competing in all areas of athletic activities.

In the past, evening school was also offered to those who wanted and needed to complete their education. Among the standard subjects of English and Math, carpentry, pattern making, wood turning, sheet meter work, forging, bookkeeping, stenography, typewriting, dressmaking, millinery, housekeeping, and cooking were offered.

This aspect of East Side's current year history has not changed drastically. East Side still offers area residents the chance to complete their high school education. Today, English and Math are still available to the new wave of immigrants to the city; however, these courses are now called Adult Education Classes.

As time went by, educational ideas are needs began to change and expand - and so did East Side. Today, East Side has developed into a multi-facated and diverse urban high school.

It may be bigger, the students may be more ethnically diverse, but the original goal remains intact; a strong desire to offer students the opportunity for the best possible education that began in the mind and hearts of those members of the Newark Board of Education in 1908, when they put forth the resolution to build a high school, to be called East Side, in the city of Newark.


An early graduating class at East Side assembles for a picture.

Over the years East Side has had some changes. Some were drastic and some were very minor. Of course, some changes were necessary, while others were natural steps in improvement. However, some things have been altered to a point where you would have never known they existed unless they were obvious.

One example is the boy's gym. In 1911, gym was held on the third floor in "C" building. It was , and still is, quite spacious with many windows. Shower baths were located near one door and ample dressing rooms were also used. Boys' showers were located above the girls bathing facilities.

Today, this gym is used mainly for gymnastics. Showers are no longer part of the average gym period. Girls and boys also have their respective gyms, but co-educational classes do exist.

One area which has changed is the art program. Students still sit down to draw and paint. Granted, today's techniques and supplies are more varied, but the same basic ideas related to drawing and painting are still in use.

Another are which has changed somewhat is the drama department. Productions in the early years of our school were more detailed, whereas today, specific details does not hold as much importance. There are similarities, such as the drive and dedication that the students have for the production of these dramas.

1911 was the beginning of a destiny, one in which we now find ourselves a part of. Looking back, the past was really the backbone for what we have now.


Drama Class

An early drama production performed by talented students.

Art class

Dedicated Students develop their artistic abilities.


All ready and at attention,
boys begin to warm up before the activites start


Getting into shape, these girls participate in early aerobic exercises

©2007-2008 Newark East Side High School Alumni Association, LLC.

All Rights Reserved.
Usage of this site is subject to adherence to our Terms of Use Policy.