Downtown Middle School

10 Washington Place
Newark, NJ 07102

T: (973) 642-0101
F: (973) 642-5800

Welcome to Downtown Middle School

Downtown Middle School is located next to Washington Park in Newark, NJ. Students from North Star Academy’s elementary schools (K-4) have the opportunity to attend our middle school for grades 5 to 8, and to continue on to a North Star Academy high school for grades 9 to 12.

22 Years

Downtown MS opened in 1997 by James Verrilli and Norman Atkins. It was one of New Jersey's first charter schools and currently serves over 300 students.

Grades 5-8

We are a middle school serving students in grades 5 to 8.


Our students wear uniforms to foster a focus on learning and a stronger sense of community.

Ready to begin your North Star journey?

Academics and Culture

Curriculum and Development

North Star Academy has developed over one hundred interim assessments directly aligned with New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and North Star curricula. These assessments form the backbone of the data-driven instructional model that has greatly enhanced student achievement.

Eliminating the Achievement Gap

North Star students have succeeded in eliminating the achievement gap, routinely outperforming their more affluent, suburban district peers on New Jersey state assessments.

See Our Results
Emphasis on College

North Star begins educating students about the importance of college from day one and continues to do so through college readiness activities found in middle and high school. The goal is for freshman year to become a natural extension of graduating from high school.

Partnering with Families

Partnering with families is vital to ensuring the success of our students and schools. We recognize that we cannot fulfill our mission of preparing students to enter, succeed in, and graduate from college without the support of our families. Family events are held at each campus at least once every two months. Flyers and messages inviting families to upcoming meetings and events are sent home with students. Food and child care are always provided.

In addition to campus events, North Star Academy is committed to maintaining frequent communication with our families by offering the following: back-to-school nights and family potluck dinners, campus newsletters and postcards, family conferences, monthly progress reports, end-of-quarter report cards, and more.

For an overview of our Parent Involvement Policies and Programs, please click here. North Star Academy’s Title I Parent Involvement Policy and School-Parent Compact can be found here.

Parent Council

Parents have been active in all phases of the school, from its founding to its governance. The Parent Council is an organization made up of North Star Parents. Each fall parents at each school elect their Parent Council officers. Visit North Star Academy’s Family Resource and Policies page for additional information.

Downtown Middle School Parent Council Members:

Nikkia Taylor, President
May Burnett, Vice President
Kim Lowen, Secretary
Dana Carter and Mariselis Bonilla, 7th Grade Representatives
Safia Maharaj, 6th Grade Representative
Sherice Lott and Nicole Christie, 5th Grade Representatives

Our School Leaders


Nikki Jones

Director of Operations

Sophia Perez

Learn How to Enroll

Ready to enroll your child? Click below to learn more about how to enroll.