Dr. Christy Oliver-Hawley

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Greetings! My name is Dr. Christy Oliver-Hawley, and I am so thrilled to join the University Heights Charter School (UHCS) community as the new Head of School.Today is my first day on the job, and while there is much for me and the team to plan for the coming school year, it was my top priority this morning to reach out to each of you directly.

Last night, the excitement I have for the future got the best of me, and, like a child before the first day of school, I could not sleep.Many thoughts raced through my mind. I thought about the lesson learned from my many years of experience in leading district and school-level operations around North Jersey. I thought about the challenge I face following the amazing work of Ms. Dr. Christy Oliver-Hawley. I thought about the great passion I have for learning and A work ethic that was instilled in me at an early age by my Mother, who was an Educator and my Father, who workED hard as a Tractor Trailer Driver to support the family . Most of all, I thought about the dreams and hopes that unite us all.

As I have gone through the appointment process, I have learned so much about UHCS’s rich history and values. The teachers, scholars, parents, and the school leaders before me have built an extraordinary community, and I am prepared to do all I can to serve our collective mission.

Right now, we live during a very unique moment in our history, where we have all seen life get much tougher. Almost overnight, our concerns, our questions, even our prayers have changed – and the strain and responsibilities of our daily life have asked far more of us in recent days. As

Head of Schools for UHCS, I can promise you that while I will not always be perfect, I will listen, I will adapt, I will  be transparent, and I will do everything in my power and experience to ensure your child, our scholars, receive the exceptional education that they deserve.

While we have not yet met in person, what unites us is that we have all learned to fight every day to ensure that opportunity and equity are provided to our scholars . And as I write this note, may the work that I do speak for me and the school community

That being said,  there is a great deal of work to be done. However, I did want to preview three important points:

  • In the coming days, I hope to schedule a series of Zoom Town Hall meetings. UHCS will be sure to communicate with you our plan so we can all connect, I can better introduce myself, and we can address any immediate questions or needs you may have.
  • By early August, UHCS will have a comprehensive plan for opening our schools this Fall. I hope to have that plan to you by next week, along with a specific process and infrastructure to address any concerns.
  • I am so happy to inform each of you that UHCS will be providing all of our students this school year with laptop computers for each of our scholars, ensuring every child has access to learning needs.

Each of us has our own story as to what brought us to UHCS, and I am grateful to be joined together with each of you today and will give you my best every day. I am excited to take our different experiences and perspectives and make that a part of our scholars’ greater learning. I am grateful to be working in Newark and be a part of the city’s long history of activism, social justice, and engagement. Most of all, I am proud to now be a member of this school community in a city where I have lived, volunteered and worshipped.

I hope that as each day passes, and I build a deeper connection to your family, I will be of greater service to you.

Sincerely Yours,
Christy Oliver-Hawley, Ed.D
School Leader, University Heights Charter School